Michael R. Franklin
Licensed Real Estate Broker
(o) 315-876-2262

Historic Bluff Island

US Thousand Islands

Clayton, NY 13624

$985,000 Price reduced.

Michael DeRosa
Licensed Real Estate Broker & Auctioneer
CNY Office 315.406.7355 NYC Office 212.757.1550

Bluff Island was built in 1900 by Brigadier General/ Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic Harry C. Kessler (Born March 18, 1844-Died September 10, 1907).


General Kessler at Bluff Island



Title Kessler, Harry C.
Date March 18, 1844-September 10, 1907
Description Harry C. Kessler, Brigadier General in the Union army and partner in the lithographic firm Breuker & Kessler, was born on March 18, 1844 in the Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. In 1861, at the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the Union army, where he served as first lieutenant of the 104th Pennsylvania Regiment of Volunteers, fought in the Amy of the Potomac, and oversaw the return of confederate prisoners to Camp Curtain in Pennsylvania before resigning in 1863.

In 1864 he clerked in Jacob Haehnlen's lithographic establishment at 125 South Third Street, where he met fellow lithographer and future business partner George W. Breuker, Sr. Together in 1866, they established the "practical" lithographic firm of Breuker & Kessler at Seventh and Chestnut Streets. Kessler remained with the company until the mid 1870s, at which time he joined his brother, Charles Kessler (b. 1851), in Butte, Montana. Harry's two younger brothers, J. Millard (b. 1848) and William S. (b. 1846), assumed Harry's portion of Breuker & Kessler.
In Montana, Harry purchased and mined land, established a newspaper entitled the Butte Miner, married Josephine Alden Dillworth (b. November 1846), and had two children, Josephine (b. 1878) and Harry C., Jr. (b. 1883). Kessler served as Silver Bow county commissioner and county treasurer, and designed what would later become the state flag of Montana. In 1889 he formed the First Montana U.S. Volunteer Infantry, now known as the National Guard. President William McKinley brevetted Kessler to the rank of Brigadier General for his service in the Spanish-American War with the First Montana Volunteers. In August of 1903 he was appointed junior vice commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic.
By 1905, Harry returned to Philadelphia with his family, and served as president of Breuker & Kessler, with his son Harry, Jr. (b 1883) as treasurer. He died two years later from complications of several diseases on September 10, 1907 at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

Is part of Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary of Lithographers
References See Breuker & Kessler.
Call number Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary of Lithographers
Bibliographic citation American Civil War Soldiers
Anaconda Standard, September 11, 1907
Census 1850, 1860, 1880, 1900
Diary of George G. Shubert, Temple University, 1866
Philadelphia Inquirer September 11, 1907
Tribute to Brigadier General Harry C. Kessler (House of Representatives - May 12, 1998), LOC
U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles
U.S. Passport application, January 25, 1892



Harry Clay Kessler


EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published June 10, 2015.

It's 1898 and Col. Harry Clay Kessler is molding a group of volunteers into the 1st Montana Infantry to fight in the war against Spain.

The recruits at Fort William Henry Harrison are given a 45-star U.S. flag to carry as their regimental colors.

But that, however, is not good enough for Kessler, according to the www.montanakid.com website. He wants something special to distinguish Montana from the others and commissions a unique Montana silk flag, 60 inches by 44 inches embroidered with the state seal. The seamstress is told to use whatever colors she wants.

"Col. Kessler's Flag" left for the Philippines in 1898 and received a grand welcome upon its return in 1899 from the Spanish-American War.

By that time, members of the media (known then as "newspapers") tout the banner as the unofficial state flag. Kessler gives the flag to the governor, who displays it around Montana. Today, that flag is at the Montana Historical Society. According to the Montana Secretary of State's website, it became the official state flag in 1905.

Montana's state flag has undergone some tweaks in 1905, 1981 and 1985, but has largely remained unchanged.

According to the Secretary of State's website, the flag represents the state's history of mining and farming as it features a pick, shovel and plow. A sun rises over mountains, forests and the Great Falls of the Missouri River. A ribbon contains the state motto "Gold and Silver" in Spanish.
This is the original banner for Montana. USV stands for U.S. Volunteers. The flag was originally designed for the Montana 1st Volunteers who fought for two years in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. It was known as the Kessler Flag in honor of Col. Harry Clay Kessler, the commander of the volunteers who had it made.

(Photo: Photo courtesy Montana Historical Society)

It's likely that Kessler would roll in his grave (which is in Pennsylvania) if he were to learn his beloved flag ranked 49th out of 50 in a recent online poll sponsored by a group that knows a thing or two about flag design.




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