Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Monument to love


















George Boldt was a wealthy entrepreneur, who made his fortune in the hotel business. He and his much younger wife Louise had become enchanted with the thousand islands and by 1900 had spent a number of summers in the region on his yachts and mansions. He purchased Heart Island and several other islands in the area and in 1900 began construction on a landmark castle in the German style. It was to be six stories with 120 rooms, a powerhouse, huge tunnels, swimming pool, boat house on a nearby island, and the list goes on. This was to be a monument to his love for his wife.

Three hundred workers were used in the construction. The tower building called the Alster Tower, which resembles a defense/watch tower on the Rhine River, was their home while they were on the site. The construction continued for four years until disaster struck. Louise died suddenly at the age of 41 in 1904. George Boldt sent a telegram to the work site ordering work be stopped on the project. He never returned to Heart Island and left the unfinished castle as a mark of his love for his wife.

The castle was left abandoned for 72 years to the weather and casual use by others. It suffered a great deal of damage and decay during these years of neglect and vandalism.

Finally, the properties were turned over to the Thousands Islands Bridge Authority, on the condition that all monies obtained from the use of the property was to be used for restoration.

After over 100 years of history, the castle and grounds have never actually been lived in except for the brief periods that Boldt and his wife stayed in the Tower during those four years.

It is a sad monument to his love for his wife.

10 comments:

Rick and Paulette said...

Quite the story, thanks for posting this along with the incredible photos of this castle. With all their money guys like Boldt and W.R. Hearst never did find much happiness in life.

Diana said...

Great shots of a place I've never been - need to add it to my list...

Karen and Al said...

How sad that she died so young. What an amazing castle he built for his wife.

Judy and Emma said...

I guess money can't buy everything..

Gail and Rick (Gypsy Turtles) said...

Quite the story. Although I sure can't identify with a tribute of that financial magnitude, it's obvious he truly loved her and was heartbroken. Now I'll have to research him and see where his life went after this :)

Jerry and Suzy said...

That would be a great place to visit some day. Thanks for sharing.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

Never been up to the Thousand Islands area, now we're chaffing at the bit to go there.

Great pictures and an interesting story to boot.

Jeff & Barbie said...

Those Boldt's must be distant relatives of mine-problem is I don't know it. Have run into dead ends trying to find out. :-(( Great story though....

E Squared and Mui said...

Thanks for sharing the story ... in some ways it reminds me of Water Castle in Germany. Too bad the couple could not enjoy it.

Luci & Loree said...

Those are great pictures!!! Is there ever flooding there? Do all those houses on the water worry about that?