The name of Harold Storie, the first Town Historian to occupy the 'Manse as a Museum' appears a lot in the Music Room where many of the radio items on display were gifts from him and his family. Harold's father and uncle, Arthur and Theodore Storie owned a radio shop on John's Street in Gouverneur.Harold had made a name for himself as a young man by building and operating radios. Among the Music Room's phones, phonographs, radios, sheet music and player piano, is a model boat - what is a boat doing in the Music Room? Once you learn more about it, you realize this steamboat model is also very much belongs in this room. This boat is well connected to Mr. Storie and his family.
The steamer, Oswegatchie, was the last to operate on Black Lake. She was built by Arthur K. Storie in 1905 near Rossie. The boat was 60 feet long, flat bottomed, with a Mississippi wheel that allowd navigation into shallow waters. It ran the waters from Rossie to Heuvelton, with stops along the way for both business and pleasure.
This service helped to support the farms and industries of the area and, at the same time, provided something fun to do - picnic excurisons on the lake! Mr. Storie describes an excursion day like this: "One day a week was excursion day. Starting from Heuvelton in the morning, we arrived in at Rossie at noon in time for dinner at the hotel, and returned in the afternoon. This was about a 60 mile trip." (Harold Storie)
He goes on to describe the steamer's service to the cheese farmers and factories:
Monday was cheese day. Stops were made at all the factories down the lake. Loading points were Rossie, Hutton's Landing for the Brasie Corners' Factory, Rollway's Bay for the Ruby Factory and Pope MIlls. From there we went across the lake to Morse's and Edwardsville. The cheese was taken into Heuvelton to be shipped by rail to its destination. Feed and freight of all kinds was taken back. (Harold Storie)
Click to read the entire article, "Steamboats on Black Lake," by Harold Storie...
The Oswegatchie Steamer sunk in a 1908 storm. The following letter describes the details of the event. The connection between the museum's first curator and the steamer Oswegetchie, certainly explains why there is a model boat in the Music Room.