This morning Glenna and I headed out to our first National Carriage Rally, at Essex Junction, Vermont. We drove east along the 401 past Kingston to the Thousand Island bridge and into the U.S.A. Glenna loves castles, so our first stop was the Boldt Castle on Heart Island, one of the Thousand Islands.
At age thirteen and by himself, George Boldt emigrated to New York City from Northern Germany. He worked in the hotel industry and worked his way up to management. He married the daughter of a hotel owner from Pennsylvania. His wife Louisa had vast experience in the hotel business, and together they became successful hotel owners. Their fame to claim was the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
George had a large farm in the Alexandria Bay area, that produced fresh and produce, including milk and meat for his famous hotel. He liked the area and decided to build his wife a country estate/summer cottage. It was a four year project to build the castle, which was a replica of one he remembered from his youth in Prussia. Three hundred craftsmen worked for over three years building his dream home for his wife Louisa.
In 1904 tragedy struck. Louisa died at the age of forty-four, possibly from a weak heart. George immediately telegraphed the project foreman to stop work. He had spent over 2.5 million dollars on their home. He never returned to Heart Island and left the structure as a monument to his love for his wife. For 75 years the castle sat unfinished and deteriorating.
In 1977 the castle was willed to the Thousand Island Bridge Authority. They have invested several million dollars in restoration projects in the castle. The main floor has been restored, as well as several out buildings. The roofs of all buildings have been repaired to prevent further deterioration. The castle was well worth the visit.
We moved on to Massena, New York to the Massena International Kampground and met up with several members of our Canadian Carriage family. Glenna has always wanted to take a cruise. If I can get some pictures uploaded, you will see Glenna enjoying our first cruise. (OMG) says me (G) he is the WORST tease on the planet!!!!!!!