Some of the world’s most beautiful places are there in whole or in part due to a love story. The Taj Mahal is one example of this. Boldt Castle is another.
In sixth grade, I took a simple reading class as an elective. The class basically consisted of a bunch of kids lying around reading books of our choice and occasionally doing a brief project on what we’d read. Needless to say, it was my favorite class. At the end of the year, the teacher let us choose books to take home from a huge bin of old discards from the library. One of the books I picked was a 1969 children’s mystery paperback, Secret Castle by Anne Colver. The fictional story took place in the real-life setting of the Thousand Islands archipelago in the Northern United States and Canada. The “secret castle” in question is Boldt Castle. The real-life story behind it is mentioned in the book and it’s quite the tearjerker (or at least I think so!). George Boldt, then the owner of a couple of famous hotels (including the Waldorf-Astoria), began construction on a castle on the heart-shaped Heart Island in 1900. The castle was to be a glorious symbol of his love for his wife, Louise. But then tragedy struck in 1904:
“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.”
-Retrieved from “History” at the Official Boldt Castle website: link
This terribly sad story has left behind one gorgeous landmark in Alexandria Bay, New York. I would love to see it someday. If you are interested in learning more about Boldt Castle, check out the official website, which offers pictures and descriptions, history, a virtual tour, and plenty of visitor info for planning a trip: Official Boldt Castle Website: Alexandria Bay, NY in the Heart of the Thousand Islands.