The Breathtaking 19th Century Castle Only Two Hours Away From Ottawa
The story of Boldt Castle is like one you would only read in a fairytale. Construction first began in 1900, after George C. Boldt, an extremely successful self-made businessman, bought the island to build a summer dream home for his wife, Louise Augusta Kehrer. It is said that George always thought of his wife as a princess and intended to prove his love for her by building her this stunning castle.
The castle was built along the St. Lawrence Rivers’ 1000 Islands, near Alexandria Bay, New York. Upon gaining possession of the island, George had it re-shaped using seawalls to form the shape of a heart and named it ‘Heart Island’. He had planned to present the castle to his wife in 1904 on her birthday, which also happened to be Valentines Day.
Sadly, Louise never lived to see the castle her husband had built just for her. She passed away a month prior to the day George wanted to present her with the treasured summer home. Upon her death, George immediately ceased construction and never stepped foot onto the island again, leaving the castle to sit empty and unfinished for several years. After the passing of George Boldt, the property was bought by Edward Noble, inventor of the Lifesaver Candy. Noble operated the island as a tourist attraction for over 50 years before the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority obtained the property in 1977.
Located just two hours away from Ottawa and only accessible by boat, this astonishing castle is almost like a utopia you would only ever dream of. The island features not only the breathtaking castle itself, but also a beautiful Yacht House and a triumphal stone arch, which George originally intended to be the entrance way for boats visiting the island. The grounds of the island are filled with gardens growing thousands of flowers, and other stunning stone structures such as the Alster Tower, Dove Cote, and the Powerhouse.
Boldt Castle has become an extremely popular destination spot for couples and is unquestionably one of the most longed-for wedding venues in New York. The combination of the stunning 19th century architecture, the courtyard overlooking the St. Lawrence River from three directions and the love story upon which it was all built truly makes you feel like you are in a fairytale.
The public is welcome to visit the island seasonally throughout the warmer months. Complete visitor information, including rates, hours of operation and regulations are available here.
Cover photo by boldtcastle.com
By Julia Solimine