When we think of castles we think of places like Ireland or Transylvania. Did you ever consider there are real castles here in the US? Well, there are and in the most unexpected places. One ancient castle we have is in the state of New York.
The castle is called Boldt Castle named after the owner and is on “1 Heart Island.” It is called this because the island is in the shape of the heart. The island stands in the Alexandria Bay, NY.
George C. Boldt was a Prussian immigrant who started as a kitchen worker. He worked his way to the top of the hotel chain and specialized in hotel service. He is known to be the one behind the phrase “The customer is always right.”
The Castle Then
He was married to a woman named Louise and they had two children together. They traveled frequently and one summer they visited the Thousand Island region. They both fell in love with the area and decided they wanted to have a vacation home there.
George decided to make their dream home into a castle to show his love for his wife. Construction began in 1900 with the plan to build 120 rooms and six stories.
In 1904 his beloved wife, Louise, died suddenly from heart failure just months before it was finished.
George was entirely and wholly heartbroken. He could not have a dream castle without his queen. He sent a message urging all the workers to stop construction immediately. He never returned to the island again.
George joined his wife in 1916 and left the castle empty and unloved for 73 years.
In 1977 the Island Bridge Authorities took over the building and has been restoring, reserving, and recreating it ever since.
The Castle Now
Now the castle is a widely known tourist attraction. You can not stay at the castle, but you can tour it. The views are breathtaking as the castle is surrounded by water and beautiful gardens.
Island Bridge Authorities have spent millions of dollars expanding and restoring this beautiful historic castle.
You can tour the grounds for costs are inexpensive, the price can range from $5-$13.
There are six places you can tour on the island:
· The Castle
· The Powerhouse
· The Alster Tower
· The Hennery
· The Arch
· The Stone Gazebo
They let the love continue-on Heart Island as they allow wedding receptions to be held there. Getting married in a real-life castle is the ultimate dream for some people.
Getting married or just visiting for the day, this castle is a must-see. If you’re near New York, fit the Boldt Castle in your itinerary; the stop will be worth it!