Alexandria Bay, New York: Boldt Castle - On an Island

A genuine castle, six stories tall, 120 rooms. It was built by one of the superrich for his lady love -- just like the Taj Mahal. Abandoned for over 70 years, but slowly being restored.
Address:
Heart Island, Alexandria Bay, NY
Directions:
The only way to get to the island is by boat. The easiest place to leave from is in Alexandria Bay. There are several tour boat companies that have runs to the island, in both NY on the US side of the river and Ontario on the Canadian side of the river.
Hours:
Mid-May - Mid-Oct. (Call to verify)
Phone:
315-482-9724
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Boldt Castle. Boldt Castle - On an Island

Boldt Castle sits on Heart Island in the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY. It is a reproduction of a Rhineland castle and was commissioned by George C. Boldt (proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC) in 1900. The Thousand Island area was (and still is) a gathering place for the well-to-do at the turn of the century and many famous millionaires had summer homes, many on their own islands.

Boldt is a six story, 120 room castle. The Boldt family spent four summers on the island in the Alster Tower while construction was being done by 300 craftsmen. The castle was being built as a tribute to his wife, who died suddenly in 1904. Heartbroken, Boldt ordered all work to cease and it sat unattended until it was taken over by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority in 1977.

Admission fees and donations contribute to the ongoing restoration and completion of the castle. It is a beautiful site and many couples have their wedding ceremony on the castle grounds. Also available for touring is the boat house (on another island) which housed Mr. Boldt's racing boats, and the tiny house on a tiny island that he had built for his mother-in-law. The name of that was something along the lines of "Just Room Enough." It is a bittersweet story from a more romantic time in our nation's past.

[Joe Mehler, 09/08/2006]

Sept. 2012: Photo added.

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