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Boldt Castle

Boldt Castle

At the turn-of-the-century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full size rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on picturesque Heart Island.  The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise.

Beginning in 1900, Boldt's family shared four glorious summers on the island in the Alster Tower while 300 workers including stonemasons, carpenters, and artists fashioned the six story, 120 room castle, complete with tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge, and a dove cote. Not a single detail or expense was spared.

In 1904, tragedy struck. Boldt telegraphed the island and commanded the workers to immediately "stop all construction." Louise had died suddenly. A broken hearted Boldt could not imagine his dream castle without his beloved. Boldt never returned to the island, leaving behind the structure as a monument of his love.

For 73 years, the castle and various stone structures were left to the mercy of the wind, rain, ice, snow and vandals. When the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property in 1977, it was decided that through the use of all net revenues from the castle operation it would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.

Since 1977, several million dollars have been applied to rehabilitating, restoring and improving the Heart Island structures.

George Boldt

George Boldt was born April 25, 1851, in Prussia.  When George was 13, he left Germany for the New World.
He first worked in restaurants and hotels in New York City, but later left to take up farming in Texas. Farming didn't work  for him,  in 1871 he moved to NY.

After working in New York for a while, he moved to Philadelphia where he met Louise Kehrer.  They  married on June 14, 1877.  Two children were born, George Charles Jr. born 1879 and Louise "Clover", born 1883.

George became more successful in the hotel business, eventually managing several hotels, including the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia.

George Boldt died December 5, 1916, in New York City.

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