Annual Mare’s Ware’s Arts Fest in Morristown on Friday

A sampling from last year of some of the artistic wares that can be found at the annual Mare’s Ware’s Arts Fest in Morristown. This year’s event, which typically draws thousands of people, will be held on Friday. Submitted Photo.

A sampling from last year of some of the artistic wares that can be found at the annual Mare’s Ware’s Arts Fest in Morristown. This year’s event, which typically draws thousands of people, will be held on Friday. Submitted Photo.

What started nine years ago as a small, intimate gathering of local artisans looking for a way to better showcase their creations, has blossomed into an annual ritual that routinely draws thousands of people from throughout the Northeast and parts of Canada. [Read more…]

Summer 2016: Homes Feature Story

A Wellesley Island Wonder

A Wellesley Island home on Stump Road boasts modern amenities and plenty of room to roam on 9.2 acres.

A Wellesley Island home on Stump Road boasts modern amenities and plenty of room to roam on 9.2 acres.

Stump Road home boasts top amenities, acreage for $1.9m

By Karee Magee, NNY Living Premier Properties

Photos by Justin Sorensen, NNY Living Premier Properties

Heading east from the Thousand Islands Country Club along a dead-end stretch of pavement called Stump Road on Wellesley Island, you’ll get a glimpse of a modern-style home partially obscured by the island’s vegetation, hidden away from the outside world.

The home of Carol and David Richardson is a remote oasis from the busy life that takes place on the St. Lawrence River, with the road hidden from view and the stretch of water bordering their property free from the cacophony of the main channel.

When the Richardson’s were looking for a place on the St. Lawrence in the summer of 2000, they were told that they would want a place along that main channel, but after witnessing the busyness of the area, they decided against it.

“It was so noisy that we decided we wanted something quieter,” Mr. Richardson said.

The house at 46150 Stump Road, Wellesley Island sits on an area of the river that only allows traffic at 5 mph, a perfect place to watch the boats go by without the noise, Mrs. Richardson said.

Though construction on this little refuge from the world began in 1997, when the Richardson’s bought the place in 2000, it was still very unfinished, which allowed them the opportunity to add a personality to their home from top to bottom.

Over a total of seven years, the Richardsons created a unique construction that revolved around all-natural materials, solid woods and stones. Although at the time it wasn’t for an environmentalist reason, the Richardson’s said they consider that a happy accident that came about from their desire to use materials that made the house natural, friendly and comfortable.

No room in the house epitomizes naturalness better than the screened-in porch, they’re favorite room, located off the kitchen.

0617_Homes_Homes11 WEBThe porch is made with solid woods including mahogany and cedar, as well as a fir ceiling. The floor is made entirely of local stone, including the flagstone from Hammond and the granite from Alexandria Bay.

Continuity of materials and quality were an important part of the house’s design, Mr. Richardson said. This can be seen walking back through the kitchen and into the dining room where crafted woodwork can be seen, including cabinets and custom-made columns, that was designed by a local craftsman from Cape Vincent.

Leading off from the dining room, the living room opens on an open floor plan, looking directly out on the river from a large glass window. The room was designed with the same idea of friendliness and comfort in mind that generated the use of natural materials. The Richardson’s classify the three-room area as formal, but informal.

The master bedroom is the last room on the ground floor, but it leads into the simply, luxurious master bath, with granite counter from South America, a German limestone floor and walls of cherry wood.

A large steam shower was also installed with a peaked roof to help with Mrs. Richardson’s allergies, but her favorite feature is the small window cut in the wall looking onto the lawn.

JUSTIN SORENSEN n WATERTOWN DAILY TIMESWhile the ground floor, though, is very natural and open, it’s the downstairs that takes the cake. Going down a flight of stairs you’re greeted to a view of the lower level of the outdoors patio through a set of glass doors leading off of the Richardson’s library.

 

Wall-to-wall cherry wood bookshelves are the dominant feature in the room with lower cupboards to store any number of knickknacks and collections, while the focus in the center of the room are two armchairs.

It’s the perfect place to read, Mr. Richardson said, because it’s always cool. It stays between 68 and 70 degrees.

When the Richardson’s originally bought the house the basement was empty. The library was part of a three-year plan that also included a home theater room.

Perfect for a family movie night, the theater room has a drop ceiling, sound-proof wall boards and two rows of Danish furniture, with the second row raised on a movable three-piece platform.

All of the electronics were wired by Mr. Richardson including a Klipsch sound system, a fixed screen and a projector that can be raised up into the ceiling. The rest of the electronic system is located in a cupboard in the back of the room.

Also in the back is the theater room’s bar made of black walnut wood. A wine cellar is located off of the room, which is also convenient for cold storage, Mrs. Richardson said.

0617_Homes_Homes9 WEBWhile the downstairs is very unique, in the middle of summer the dominant feature of the property is property’s land and water access, particularly for the Richardson’s grandchildren.

The stone patio is located on two levels with two doors leading onto it, one from the library and the other from the screened-in patio, and the stonework was done by Rusty Johnson Masonry of Clayton.

Walking down from the screened-in patio, the built-in steps have lights installed for safety in the evening.

On the lower level, there is a slightly raised platform outside of the library made of Brazilian hardwood and designed to resemble a boat. To its side stands a gazebo that houses an outdoor fireplace, which is perfect for the cooler weather of October and November, Mr. Richardson said.

Farther down the lawn, though, is the beautiful sight of the St. Lawrence River and its islands, some of which can be seen from the property, including Nobby Island.

Located on the water is the floating dock, which was built locally to accommodate the Richardson’s various water craft, including a hydro hoist for antique boats that can’t sit in the water for long periods and two lower floaters that make getting into their kayaks simpler and less wet.

Even considering all of the views of the property and the lake, though, the best view of the St. Lawrence River remains in the Sundown Room, a short hallway-like room above the living room that leads to a guest bedroom on one side and to the Richardson’s offices on the other.

0617_Homes_Homes6 WEBThe Sundown Room includes a sectional couch next to a half-circle window looking toward Canada that mirrors the same window above the living room’s large rectangular window, giving the person who sits there a perfect view of the river at sunset and a nice lookout toward the north.

Despite all of the work and love the Richardson’s put into their house on Wellesley Island, they’re selling the property after more than 15 years to make room for a new adventure in their life.

“We bought in Florida two years ago and we’re liking it a lot down there,” Mrs. Richardson said. “We want to downsize a bit. It’s a lifestyle thing.”

The Richardson’s won’t be strangers to the Thousand Islands region, but being gone most of the year in Florida and traveling makes it hard to maintain a house.

“We love this place, but it’s just another new adventure,” Mrs. Richardson said.

Karee Magee is a magazine associate for NNY Magazines. Contact her at 661-2381 or kmagee@wdt.net.

Summer 2016: North Country Notes

A native voice and mentor to other writers is sadly lost

Like every region, the north country has produced its share of mold-breakers. Some, like F.W. Woolworth and Melvil Dewey in retailing and library classification, respectively, achieved wide renown. Others passed their time on this Earth in relative anonymity outside of small circles of the like-minded. [Read more…]

Spring 2016: North Country Notes

A woman of courage and conviction, ahead of her time

Catherine Keese went to prison in Dannemora. Several times. Voluntarily.  [Read more…]

Study: Thousand Islands visitors tend to be in their 50s

Kayakers paddle past Cape Vincent along the St. Lawrence River last May. A new study has compiled demographic data on tourists. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

Kayakers paddle past Cape Vincent along the St. Lawrence River last May. A new study has compiled demographic data on tourists. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

A new study has found the average Thousand Islands region tourists are in their 50s, influenced to come by family and friends and stay for four days. [Read more…]

Winter 2016: North Country Notes

Our north country is a ‘land of many borders’ within itself

“Border country.” I overheard this phrase once, a discernible fragment of conversation in a noisy restaurant. It’s another name for the north country. When we use it, we are probably thinking of our border with Canada. [Read more…]

Watertown Family Y executive director to step down in October

After leading the organization through 20 years of growth, Executive Director Peter W. Schmitt will be retiring from the Watertown Family Y in October. [Read more…]

Snowshoers brave slushy conditions at Winona Forest’s annual snowshoe 5K

Eric D. Hulbert, Mexico, runs in shorts and short sleeves during the The 6th annual Stone Wall 5K Snowshoe Walk/Run. Mr. Hulbert took second. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

Eric D. Hulbert, Mexico, runs in shorts and short sleeves during the The 6th annual Stone Wall 5K Snowshoe Walk/Run. Mr. Hulbert took second. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

MANNSVILLE — Temperatures in the mid- to high 40s may have melted much of the north country’s snow on Sunday morning, but that did not dampen the spirits of some die-hard snowshoers. [Read more…]

Holiday 2015 Cover Story: Keeping holiday traditions bright

Light displays, performances top north country’s seasonal offerings

This festive pirate ship won best display in 2012. The sixth annual Lights on the River is set for Dec. 12 to 22 at the Lisbon Beach Camping Grounds, Ogdensburg.

This festive pirate ship won best display in 2012. The sixth annual Lights on the River is set for Dec. 12 to 22 at the Lisbon Beach Camping Grounds, Ogdensburg.

By Norah Machia, NNY Living

Many traditions are celebrated by north country residents to mark the holidays, and this year is no exception. These events are often made possible by organizations or businesses whose members volunteer their time to help people commemorate the season. Some events are free, others have an admission charge, and many benefit the community as well. [Read more…]