Discovering America…Part 1 (A Predmore Family Vacation Adventure)

DSC_0432Once again, the Predmore family spent a couple of weeks exploring this beautiful country. Our trip took us across the Bible belt on I-40 to Tennessee, and then on to Kentucky and Ohio. From there, we headed northeast to upper state New York where we spent a week on Sandy Pond. Sandy Pond is a “pond” (larger than most lakes) that is a run off of Lake Ontario right on the US/Canada border.
During our stay in New York, we had the opportunity to take the Thousand Islands tour across the Saint Lawrence River that separates our country from Canada. This riverboat tour highlights many of the thousands of little islands that are nestled among the borders, and the luxurious homes that sit on these islands. From tiny little cottages to multi-million dollar homes, these islands are the summer get-aways for water-loving people from across the globe.
Once such home is Boldt Castle. The construction of this castle began in 1900 by George C. Boldt, who wanted to build a dream house as a display of love for his much-adored wife, Louise. Mr. Boldt was a millionaire who gained his fortune as the proprietor of the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. His family vacationed at 1000 Islands at their Wellesley House. Construction included a six story, 120 room castle, complete with tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge, alster tower, and a dove cote. He spared no expense as he employed over 300 workers to build this dream home.
In 1904, Boldt received word that his beloved Louise had died of a heart condition while traveling in Europe. He immediately telegraphed the island and ordered that all construction be halted immediately. He was broken hearted at the loss of his precious Louise, and could not bear the thought returning to the island or the castle without his wife. He left the structure standing as it was as a monument of his love for Louise.
The castle stood like that for 73 years. The wind, rain, ice, and snow took its toll, as did vandals. The property was acquired in 1977 by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. Since then, several million dollars has been applied to rehabilitating and restoring this structure. No additions have been or will be made to the original plans. The purpose of this restoration is so that it could be preserved for the enjoyment of generations to come.
This was a magnificent site to see. The story behind the castle is one that is heart-touching and memorable.