Boldt Castle located in the Alexandria bay on Heart Island. It started out as a labor of love, but sadly ended in tragedy. A genuine castle that stands six stories tall was built by 300 craftsmen for a rich man’s wife. In 1900, George C Boldt, the millionaire owner of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel which is located in New York City, set out to build a castle on the 1000 Islands in order to display his love for his wife Louise Kehrer Boldt.
The castle was set to have 120 rooms in six floors and was to be a reproduction of a Rhineland Castle. The construction begun in 1900, but unfortunately came to a halt when his beloved wife, Louise succumbed to death in 1904. She died suddenly, leaving a heartbroken Georgeall alone.He then decided to put a stop to the construction of the castle.
The abandoned castle was left standing for over 70 years with no work done on it, until 1977, when the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority took over.Originally known as Hart Island,the island got its name from the way it was shaped,in addition to the romantic love story of George and Louise, and with its restoration, its scenic beauty has seen many weddings held there. You need to take a boat ride or ferry from Alexandria bay to get to this magnificent castle. At a fee, you will enter through the Main gate and be transported back in time to what the castle would have looked like before it was left unattended, and succumbed to all weather conditions and vandalism. This is because the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority went out of its way to restore the castle to some of its original glory.
A number of rooms on the first and second floor of the castle have been furnished with mainly modern pieces. However, if you desire to have a glimpse of the works of art during the Boldts era, then you will find incredible exhibits in some of the rooms and along the hallways that will showcase the artifacts and pictures of the time. A number of the rooms have been left unfurnished for a reason, which is to give visitors to the castle a chance to use their imagination and picture how the castle looked like before restoration and improvement in the modern era.
The castle also boasts of a power house which was built in order to hold a generator that would supply power to the Island. In a sense, it has been restored to give visitors a glimpse of how electric power was obtained at the turn of the century. At a fee, a boat ride will take you to another historic feature, the Boldt Yacht House, this yacht house is located on a nearby Island and was constructed in order to house Boldt’s racing boats.
The Island is not without mysteries, and intriguing stories. There are accounts and legends of pirates looting pirate passing ships being one of them. Most notable is the capture of Sir Robert Peel in 1838, and the remnants of the sunken hull from the looted ship which still draws visitors’ attention, who scuba dive in search for it.