In the Thousand Islands region of the state of New York in the United States, the prominent landmark and popular tourist attraction known as Boldt Castle may be found. It is located on Heart Island in the Saint Lawrence River and welcomes guests during the summer months between the middle of May and the middle of October. The community of Heart Island is located inside the boundaries of the Town of Alexandria in Jefferson County.
It was once a private residence that was erected by the American millionaire George Boldt, but now it is preserved as a tourist attraction by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. Images sourced from the Facebook, Instagram, and website of Boldt Castle, as well as Wikipedia.
History of the Castle Taken From the Website of Boldt Castle
George C. Boldt, the rich proprietor of the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, had the idea at the turn of the century to construct a full-size Rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on the island of Heart. It was intended for the opulent edifice to serve as a demonstration of his love for his wife, Louise.
Beginning in the year 1900, the Boldt family spent their summers in the 1000 Islands at the Boldt Families Wellesley House, which was located close to Mr. Boldt’s Wellesley Island Farms. During this time, 300 workers, including stonemasons, carpenters, and artists, constructed the six story, 120 room castle, which was complete with tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge, alster tower (children’s playhouse), and a There was not a single omission, and no expense was spared.
In January of 1904, a terrible event took place. The island was contacted via telegraph by Boldt, who gave the workmen the order to “immediately stop all building.” Louise had died abruptly. A broken-hearted Boldt was unable to picture his dream palace without the presence of his beloved. Boldt never went back to the island, and the structure he built there is a memorial to the love he had for the place.
The castle and its stone structures were abandoned for 73 years, during which time they were subject to the whims of the elements, including the wind, rain, ice, snow, and vandals. It was determined that the site would be kept for the enjoyment of future generations after the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority purchased it in 1977 and took ownership of the area. This would be accomplished by preserving any and all net earnings generated through the operation of the castle.
Since 1977, a number of millions of dollars have been invested in the Heart Island structures in order to facilitate their rehabilitation, restoration, and improvement.
Currently, visitors can reach Boldt Castle from Alexandria Bay in New York, Clayton in New York, Gananoque in Ontario, Rockport in Ontario, and Ivy Lea in Ontario by taking a ferry, a private boat, or a tour boat, respectively. The public is charged an admission fee in order to explore the majority of the grounds and structures. Heart Island also provides free docking for members of the general public who own boats. Visitors arriving on Heart Island from Canada are required to present valid identification in order to proceed through the United States Customs and Border Protection office, which is a wooden structure staffed by a single customs officer. Visiting the island is considered the same thing as entering the United States.
Today’s View of the Castle
As of the year 2011, the majority of the rooms on the first level and the majority of the rooms on the second story of Boldt Castle are furnished, but the majority of the furnishings are contemporary in nature. The majority of the basement has not been finished, although it does have a pool, bowling lanes, a number of compartments, and a long passageway leading to the power house. The majority of the rooms on the second floor and higher have been left unfurnished; however, there are exhibits in some of these rooms and corridors, showing pictures and artifacts of the Thousand Islands region during the time period in which the Boldts lived. These exhibits are located on the upper floors of the building. In addition, certain rooms have been left barren so that guests can picture what the castle was like before it was renovated and modernized. A monument stone triumphal arch that was originally planned by George Boldt to be the entrance way for boats has been totally repaired and can be found on the outskirts of the island. Had it have been necessary, the bridge that connects the two sides might have been elevated or lowered.
Before to/following the Great Hall