Excursions on the steamers, such as the Tashmoo and Greyhound, became a popular recreation in the late 19th century. Stag Island, named for the deer population that had once inhabited it, was well located to benefit from this passenger traffic. About 1890, Nelson Mills of Marysville began turning the island into a resort. He built cottages, a hotel, dance pavillion, dining hall and other recreational facilities.
In 1900, a steam yacht owned by the David family provided transportation from Corunna to Stag Island. In order to generate more income, the David brothers began a tintype business, providing photos of their passengers. They also ran excursions up Talfourd Creek at 25 cents per person. The attraction on these rides was the chance to see rare albino turtles. The income from their enterprise dried up, however, when someone spoiled their fun by scraping some white paint off one of these “albino” turtles.
The popularity of the automobile for summer travel led to the decline of excursions on the river and thus the decline of Stag Island as a resort. It is now home to private cottages only. Although the island is Canadian, most cottage property is leased from an American fraternal organization.