The 280-hectare (690-acre) island stands several hundred metres offshore immediately northeast of the town and is a geographical novelty in that it is accessible at low tide by a wide gravel bar suitable for vehicular travel.
Minister’s Island became famous in the last decade of the nineteenth century as the summer home of Sir William Van Horne, the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. By the time of Van Horne’s death in 1915, the island had been transformed into a small Xanadu, sporting a sandstone mansion furnished in the most lavish late Edwardian manner, manicured grounds, scenic roads, greenhouses turning out exotic fruits and vegetables, as well as a breeding farm producing prize-winning Clydesdale horses and Dutch Belted cattle. It was the most spectacular of many palatial summer homes in St. Andrews, which since the creation of the St. Andrews Land Company in 1888 and the arrival of Van Horne in 1891, had become a watering place of note on the Canadian east coast.
Famous quotes containing the words island and/or minister:
“Our island home
Is far beyond the wave;we will no longer roam.”
—Alfred Tennyson (18091892)
“He had a gentleman-like frankness in his behaviour, and as a great point of honour as a minister can have, especially a minister at the head of the treasury, where numberless sturdy and insatiable beggars of condition apply, who cannot all be gratified, nor all with safety be refused.”
—Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (16941773)