Howe Island has a shared community of farming, full time residents as well as many seasonal dwellings. In recent years the number of full-time residents has significantly increased.
The fourth largest island in the Thousand Islands chain (after Wolfe, Wellesley, and Grindstone), Howe is about eight miles long by three miles wide. Two ferry services connect to the mainland across the Bateau Channel (at one time called Pittsburgh Channel) making it possible to drive much of the length of the island without retracing the route–but few visitors are aware of this, or even of the island.
There are no retail stores on Howe Island, however the towns of Gananoque and City of Kingston, make the resources of those communities relatively convenient.
Howe Island was originally named Ka-ou-enesegoan by local Iroquois and later Isle Cauchois after its first French owner Jacques Cauchois who took possession in 1685. It was named Howe Island after William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe, a British officer who served under General James Wolfe at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham during the Seven Years’ War, and first appeared on a map in 1818 following a survey by Captain (later Vice Admiral) William Fitzwilliam Owen of the Royal Navy.