Wednesday, June 27, 2012

1000 Islands - part 2

After our 2 Nation Cruise (see previous post), we went to Heart Island to see Boldt Castle.

A group shot before we started our tour...
Ann, Dan, Pauline, Tim, Dan, Colleen and Doug
Boldt Castle was built by George Boldt for his wife, Louise as a testament of his love and affection for her.  Construction started in 1900 with 300 workers.  When complete, it was to be a 6 story, 120 room castle  with tunnels, a playhouse for their children, beautiful gardens, a power house, and drawbridge.  No expense was to be spared.  However, tragedy struck in 1904 when Louise died.   George immediately halted all building activity and he never set foot on Heart Island again.   For the next 73 years, the unfinished castle stood empty facing vandals, ice, snow, rain, and wind.  In 1977 the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property and started restoring the castle.  It has been reported that it will never be completely finished....only restored to the point it was the last time George Boldt saw it.  In some of the unfinished rooms, you can still see the "work" of some of the vandals.  Amazingly, we saw graffiti dated back to 1945!!  Boldt Castle is an amazing place to visit and we spent hours going thru the castle as well as the grounds.
The Powerhouse
Children's playhouse

Living Room

Gorgeous stained glass

Grand staircase to second floor

Front parlor
And the outside was just as nice as the inside....
Looking at the Powerhouse 

The view of the St Lawrence from one of the gardens

There were heart shapes all over the grounds and in the castle!
Breath-taking views

Alexandria Bay lighthouse
Dan's Mom had been to the castle before....52 years ago!  This was when it was in a state of disarray.  She said that the changes were incredible.  

We also went to the Boldt Yacht House which is on Wellesley Island, right across from Heart Island.
Yes, this is the Yacht House!
The family yachts and enormous houseboat (La Duchesse) were housed here in slips 128 feetlong.  The building is 64 feet tall and also featured a shop to build racing boats and had quarters for crew and staff.  

We actually got to see La Duchesse when we went to the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY on Saturday.
La Duchesse
The houseboat is 106' long and is beautiful on the inside.  She actually sank....twice but is now once again restored and is open to the public for tours.  I did not get any pictures of the inside...I was too busy gawking!

We also got to see some steamboats as there was some sort of flotilla going on in Clayton.

I love the way they sound!

We also saw the first collapsible canoe....

and together!
It was neat but I think we'll keep our Sea Eagle!!

After lunch, we headed to Tibbett's Point Lighthouse in Cape Vincent, NY.

It was such a nice day and we enjoyed walking around and taking in the views of Lake Ontario.  We also got to see something I had never seen before....a different type of farm than what Dan grew up on....
A wind farm!
There were windmills across Lake Ontario in Canada.  There must have been dozens of them.

We really had such a nice time in the 1000 Islands.  Beautiful weather, great places to explore and family.  Life is good!    


Gail Houle said...

Definitely need to put this on our list. Very cool. Kind of a bittersweet love story but very cool, just the same.
Neat collapsible kayak. I think we'll keep our Sea Eagle too :)

Nancy and Bill said...

Great tour and wonderful day!! We lived in Rochester, NY and remember how beautiful Lake Ontario is in the summer:o)) But wintertime is a very different story. For some reason, it stays gray all the time. But summertime is SPECTACULAR!!!

Catherine, Jo Beth and Grace said...

Great tour- thanks for taking us along!

Sherry said...

What a great day you had. So many neat things. Whoever planned this did an excellent job. (you??). Such a sad story the castle. How could vandals want to do that to such a place. I just don't understand it. YEA!!! for wind farms! GO Canada! Fight terrorism - use alternative energy. :-)

Gin and Syl said...

I like the wind farm too. I can't imagine building a castle. It's a bit over the top for me. The house boat would be nice though.

Ceal said...

Very impressive castle but I wouldn't want to live there (HA!HA!)
I've seen wind farms before * they are something.