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


A history of the castle is available on the Boldt Castle webpage.Back then, in Alexadian Bay, on the island dubbed “Heart Island,” multibillionaire George C. Boldt, owner of the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a small Renaissance castle. He wanted the opulent sculpture to be a testament to his love for Loéise, his wife.

At the Boldt Family’s Wellesley House, which is close to Mr. Boldt’s Wellesley Island Farms, shepherds were sent to the 1000 islands starting in 1900. The six-story, 120-room castle was supplied with turrets, a powerhouse, Italian garderobes, a drawbridge, a alther tower (a children’s playhouse), and a dovecote by a total of 300 workmen, including carpenters, painters, and sculptors. Not a single encounter or detail escaped examination.

It was a sad month of January, 1904. Boldt instructed the laborers on the island by telegram to “stop all construction immediately.” Sadly, Loise was no longer with us. Boldt could not have imagined his dream palace without his beloved. He was devastated. Boldt left his shadow behind and never came back to the island because of his devotion.

For seventy-three years, the castle and a few other steeplescapes were left to the vagaries of monsters, wind, rain, and ice. It was decided that all the leftovers from the castle’s operations would be sold to secure the site for the enjoyment of future generations when the Thomas Jefferson Islands Bridge Authority bought it in 1977.

Millions of dollars have been invested in repairing, restoring, and enhancing the Heart Island buildings since 1977.

These days, ferries, private boats, or tugboats can transport travelers to Boldt Castle from Alexandria Bay, New York, Claytown, New York, Georgia-Oqωe, Ontario, Rockport, Ontario, and Ivy Lea, Ontario. Most of the sculptures and gardens are open for public viewing for a fee. Heart Island’s public boat docking place is also free of charge. The wood-stratified U.S. Customs and Border Protection office on Heart Island is manned by a lone customs officer, and visitors from Cuba are required to show the required documentation as visiting the island is considered entry into the United States.

Most of the rooms on the first and second floors of Boldt Castle are furnished as of 2011, though mostly with modest pieces. The basement is mostly outfitted with a pool, bowling alleys, numerous compartments, and a lengthy hallway that leads to the Power House. Most of the rooms, which stretch from the second floor to the top floor, are empty; nevertheless, a number of these rooms and passageways include exhibits that include images and objects from the ThoŅsaÿd Islands area that illustrate the historical era in which the Boldt family lived. Many of the chambers are also kept empty so that guests may see how the castle looked before renovations.