wpbstv.org | Exploring the 1000 Islands

WPBS: Exploring the 1000 Islands

WPBS-DT, Watertown’s public broadcasting station, is pleased to announce the release of our latest production; a new sixty-minute high definition heritage documentary entitled "Exploring the Thousand Islands". The heritage documentary directed and produced by award-winning producer, Tracy Duflo, will premiere digitally on, Monday, July 13th. For the first time in our history, WPBS will premiere a program online before the broadcast at watch.wpbstv.org and will premiere on-air on Monday, July 20th at 9pm, Saturday, July 25th at 5pm and Sunday, July 26th at 2pm on WPBS-DT. This high definition, 60-minute heritage piece will be syndicated nationally in July for air on other PBS stations nationwide. This production is a result of the work we’ve undertaken in WPBS-DT’s four avenues of service: Education, Economic Development, Travel & Tourism and Arts & Culture as we strive to advance public media in our region as a true media partner. A special thank you to the following organizations for their assistance in the making of Exploring the 1000 Islands: Boldt Castle, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, the Thousand Islands International Tourism Council, the Thousand Islands Museum, Alan and Marilyn Hutchinson with the Les Corbin Collection, the Town of Alexandria, and Uncle Sam Boat Tours.

This sixty-minute documentary covers the beauty and wonder of the 1000 Islands, from its earliest explorers and settlers to present day. It encompasses both sides of the border – New York, and Ontario, Canada. Discover the fascinating history of the 1000 Islands, from the first explorers to the development of tourism and the construction of hundreds of luxury hotels eventually destroyed by fire or torn down, to the new millionaires who built gilded-age mansions and castles on many of the islands to the lighthouses that guide massive freighters along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Receding glaciers of the last ice age carved the Great Lakes out of the vast North American River basin. In all, more than 1800 islands were formed. The first French Explorers of the 16th century christened this 60-mile stretch "The Thousand Islands." The 1000 Islands was the site of two battles of the War of 1812. Later, the visit of President Ulysses S. Grant launched an era of tourism. Grand hotels were built, and millionaires from big cities flocked to the islands during the summer months to escape the repressing heat of the cities.

The islands still attract vacationers from all over the world. Residents and vacationers alike enjoy activities such as boating, swimming, and water sports like waterskiing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding. Anglers find many different types of fish are native to the St. Lawrence River. Hundreds of freighters traverse the St. Lawrence Seaway annually, headed either to the Atlantic Ocean or to one of the Great Lakes.

Locally Themed Programming

Saturday, July 4
3:30pm – Mysterious Origins of Thousand Island Dressing
4:30pm – Lighthouses of the Seaway Trail

Sunday, July 5
3:00pm – Tour of Singer Castle

Monday, July 6
11:30pm – Park It

Friday, July 10
10:30pm – Raquette River Experience

Saturday, July 11
5:00pm – Preserving North America’s Boating Heritage

Sunday, July 12
3:00pm – Tribute to Love: The Story of Boldt Castle

Saturday, July 18
6:30pm – Thousand Islands Bridge An Arm of Friendship: 75th Anniversary

Monday, July 20
9:00pm – Exploring the 1000 Islands
10:00pm – Trailblazing a Path Through History: Central New York
10:30pm – Raquette River Experience

Wednesday, July 22
7:30pm – Trailblazing a Path Through History: Central New York

Saturday, July 25
5:00pm – Exploring the 1000 Islands
6:30pm – Fort Henry: Hard Rock & Heavy Metal

Sunday, July 26
2:00pm – Exploring the 1000 Islands
3:00pm – Trailblazing a Path Through History: Central New York

Coming Soon!


Videographer Award, 2016
Accolade Award, 2016 Award of Merit, Television Program or series;
Award of Merit, Tourism / Travel