Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 06, 2006

Wendy Gibson
Cathy Jimenez

State Parks Dedicates Picnic Point Gazebo

Sissy Danforth Honored with Naming of New Thousand Islands Recreation Facility

(ALBANY, NY, April 6, 2006...) New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Bernadette Castro today announced the dedication of the recently-constructed gazebo at Canoe-Picnic Point State Park in the Thousand Islands to Sissy Danforth of Clayton, New York. Mrs. Danforth is credited with proposing improvements to the picnic facilities at the property and spearheading fundraising for the project.

Sissy Danforth Gazebo

State Parks Commissioner Castro said, "Sissy Danforth's vision for re-creating the former historic gazebo to enhance the scenic landscape at Picnic Point was critical to the success of this exciting project. By dedicating this unique and popular picnic destination to this very special person, we are proud to recognize Sissy's commitment and leadership in expanding recreational opportunities at our park and preserving an important part of the cultural heritage of the Thousand Islands region."

Prior to the installation of the gazebo, State Parks' Thousand Islands regional staff had been approached by the Clayton Fishing Guides' Association with a request to use Picnic Point, a longtime favorite boating destination on that section of the St. Lawrence River, to host their traditional shore dinners throughout the summer fishing seasons. The Guides offered to build a covered cooking shelter and to provide improved floating docks on the property, enhancements which would also be available to the general public.

"Sissy Danforth is a tireless champion for the landscape at Canoe-Picnic Point State Park," said Senator James Wright. "It is only appropriate that the state show its gratitude to her by dedicating this gazebo in her name."

"Sissy Danforth has fought tirelessly to preserve the environment and scenic beauty of the Thousand Islands region," said Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine. "North Country families, and visitors alike, will benefit for years to come from Sissy's vision and leadership in spearheading these improvements at Canoe-Picnic Point and it is only fitting that we recognize her by dedicating this gazebo in her name."

Thousand Island State Park Commission Chair Harold B. Johnson said, "As we look forward to another successful season, we are proud to highlight Sissy's valuable role in establishing the gazebo and celebrate its success and other improvements for visitors to Canoe-Picnic Point State Park."

During discussions of this project, Mrs. Danforth, at the time Executive Director of the Thousand Islands Land Trust, joined the effort and proposed re-creating the historic gazebo on Picnic Point. Picnic Point had once been the site of an early 20th century gazebo which afforded spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River. Mrs. Danforth committed to leading the fund-raising effort that would cover the cost of materials for such a structure.

Plans were drawn and in Spring 2003 the State Parks' regional construction crew began work on the project. Fund-raising, under Mrs. Danforth's direction, provided $25,000 for the purchase of building materials. The Clayton Guides Association built the cooking shelter in 2004 and improved floating docks were also installed.

Canoe-Picnic Point State Park on Grindstone Island is only reachable by boat, offering a quiet camping experience in a wooded area with plenty of dock space available. Just south of the camping area is Picnic Point, the picnic ground with its beautiful gazebo, shore dinner cooking facility and dockage. Since opening, the facilities have been enjoyed by a variety of patrons and organizations including Commissioner Castro and the members of the State Council of Parks.

Mrs. Danforth and her husband, Bill, are residents of Clayton, NY and nearby Jolly Island. Mr. Danforth is the retired Executive Director of the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 173 state parks and 35 state historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, please call (518) 474-0456 or visit the website at