Abandoned for Over 70 Years, Historic Boldt Castle Has Been Restored. (Photos Inside)


Boldt Castle is a well-known landmark and well-liked tourist destination located in the Thousand Islands region of the state of New York in the United States. During the summer, from mid-May to mid-October, it is open to visitors and situated on Heart Island in the Saint Lawrence River. The Jefferson County settlement of Heart Island is situated inside the limits of the Town of Alexandria. The American millionaire George Boldt built it as a private home, but the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority has kept it intact as a tourist destination.

At the turn of the century, the wealthy owner of the renowned Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, George C. Boldt, came up with the plan to build a large Rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay on the island of Heart. The extravagant structure was supposed to be a sign of his love for his wife, Louise.

Summers in the 1000 Islands were spent by the Boldt family at the Boldt Families Wellesley House, which was near Mr. Boldt’s Wellesley Island Farms, starting in 1900. The six-story, 120-room castle was built during this period by 300 laborers, including stonemasons, carpenters, and artists. It had tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge, alster tower (a children’s playhouse), and a Not a single thing was left out, and no money was cut.

A horrible incident happened in January of 1904. Boldt sent a message to the island instructing the workers to “immediately stop all building.” Louise passed away suddenly. A heartbroken Boldt could not imagine his ideal palace without his beloved in it. Boldt never returned to the island, and his building there serves as a tribute to his enduring affection for it.

The castle and its stone buildings were left to the whims of the weather, including wind, rain, ice, snow, and vandals, for 73 years after it was abandoned. Following the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority’s 1977 purchase and acquisition of the site, it was decided that it would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. Preserving any and all net profits made from running the castle would help achieve this.

Boldt Castle is currently accessible by ferry, private boat, or tour boat from Alexandria Bay in New York, Clayton in New York, Gananoque in Ontario, Rockport in Ontario, and Ivy Lea in Ontario. Most of the grounds and buildings are off-limits to the public without an admission fee. Additionally, Heart Island offers free docking to the general public who own boats. Valid identification is required for entry into the United States Customs and Border Protection office, a wooden building manned by a lone customs officer, for visitors landing on Heart Island from Canada. It is seen as equivalent to entering the United States to visit the island.


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