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History -
Dean Sage

Dean Sage built the first camp on the site he named Harmony. "Fierce Dean" was the son of a wealthy New York merchant, a philanthropist, expert fly fisherman, a boxer and breeder of trotting horses, dogs and fighting cocks.

Sage was born in Ithaca in 1841 and passed away at Camp Harmony on June 23 1902.

"Dean Sage and his guide Alex Marchand fished the morning and landed three salmon. Sage returned to camp and ate lunch. He retired to his bed at 4 p.m. with chest pain and died soon after. During the night, a casket was brought up from Matapedia and the next day Sage's body was floated down balanced upon two canoes. Twichell later wrote that his friend was "borne down the stream over the flowing waters between the leafy banks so familiar to him."

Sage married Sarah Manning and was very much a family man raising five children, two sons and three daughters. The oldest son Henry M. Sage, was active in the family business and his other son Dean Sage Jr. became a prominent Manhattan lawyer.

Camp Harmony Setting room with fireplace Camp Harmony a view from the river

Dean Sage Jr., like his father was an ardent angler and President of the Camp Harmony Angling Club for many years.

Just as his father had done 40 years before him, Dean Sage Jr. passed away at Camp Harmony on July 1, 1943.

Camp on the river with scow in the foreground

Sage's First Trip

Not later than June 28, 1876, in company with his friend Judge Mason, having received intelligence that the salmon had commenced ascending the Restigouche River and it's tributary the Upsalquitch; Sage started for Boston on a steamer, with enough equipment to supply a modest regiment.

Another steamer was taken from Boston to St. John, New Brunswick, where after spending several days, the party boarded a train which carried them to Point du Chene.

Map of Dean Sage's travel to Camp Harmony

From Point du Chènes it was a three-day trip via steamer to Miramichi and Dalhousie. Two wagons were rented at Dalhousie for the 35 mile trip to Metapedia (now Matapedia)

The wagon road on the last leg of the journey to Matapedia, closely parallels the bank of the Restigouche. At some points the party could now and then glimpse a salmon jumping and a steam so beautiful that they could hardly resist the impulse to alight and try a cast or two.