A man so in love with his wife, that he builds her a castle – but she dies before it’s ever completed! That’s the tragic love story of Boldt Castle. The castle is located on Heart Island, in the 1000 Islands, opposite downtown Alexandria Bay. George Boldt bought the island in 1895.
George Boldt made his fortune managing and owning hotels such as the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. George was a true romantic, and it was his love for his wife Louise that prompted his construction of the complex of eleven buildings that would include Boldt Castle. From Alster Tower, the Boldt family playhouse, to the five-spired Powerhouse, to the boat entry styled after Paris’s Arc de Triomphe, Boldt Cast was an ambitious undertaking meant to resemble the Rhineland castles of Europe.
In 1900, construction was started on Boldt Castle. By 1904, the still windowless 150 rooms of the castle were receiving finishing marble. But in January, tragedy struck. Louise Boldt died, and all work on the castle stopped.
While George and his family continued to summer and hold vast properties on nearby Wellesley Island, they never again set foot on Heart Island. In the early 1920’s, it was sold to Edward John Noble, President of Life Savers Candy, and later Chairman of the Board at ABC and Paramount Pictures.
Over the years, the casle fell into extreme disrepair. Today, it is owned by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, which has undertaken a major program to stabilize and restore the castle. Boat tours from Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Gananoque, and Rockport stop there daily.
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