Boldt Castle & 1000 Islands


We cruised from Kingston to Alexandria Bay, NY on Sunday, mixing it up with LOTS of boaters out for the long holiday weekend that straddles the US-Canadian border. Canada Day to the north, Independence Day in the US. Warm, sunny weather that’s perfect for boating, and EVERYONE who owns a boat in the 1000 Islands had it out on the water. Beautiful cruising!  We could spend a whole month here and never think twice!


Heart Island is the site of Boldt Castle, built by Waldorf & Astoria magnate George Bolt as a gift to his wife Louise. The Castle was to be their dream vacation cottage, and no expense was spared in its construction. However tragedy struck in 1904 and Louise died unexpectedly. Construction was immediately halted on the island, and a devastated George Boldt never returned to the Castle. The Castle fell into disrepair, victim of neglect, the elements and vandals. The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired Heart Island and the nearby yacht house in 1977, for one dollar, under the agreement that all revenues obtained from the castle operation would be applied towards restoration, so that the island would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. In the two decades after acquiring the property, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority spent some fifteen million dollars for restoration and improvements here, and work continues annually. The initial goal of the restoration of Heart Island was not to finish what had not been completed, but to restore the island to the state it was in when construction was halted. Renovations utilize modern materials and construction methods, but the appearance is for the most part, true to the original plans. The island is only accessible by water (doh, it’s an island) and a great destination for cruisers since there is free day dockage available with adequate depth for even our 5 ft. requirement.


Our initial plan was to visit the Castle Sunday, we arrived there after noon but our lack of local knowledge put us in skinny water, and with the hubbub of all the holiday activity, we opted to head back to the Canadian side to spend the night at Ivy Lea and visit the Castle Monday morning. A call to the Castle staff in the morning assured us there would be adequate space and draft for us to tie up. We arrived around 11, and after waiting for the US Customs folks to check us in, we were off to enjoy the Castle, the Yacht House and grounds.


We shoved off from Heart Island around 4PM bound for Brockville. We passed a few lake freighters on the way, one of which, the Algobay was hard aground about 1000 feet off the channel. Reports stated that the 740 ft. ship lost power and drifted out of the channel and ran up on the shoal and rocks.
We arrived at Brockville around 7PM, and tied to the bulkhead at the municipal marina, taking advantage of power to run the A/C overnight! Hazy, hot & humid!!

2 Responses to “Boldt Castle & 1000 Islands”

  1. bill and eleanor on 08 Jul 2010 at 8:29 PM #

    Hey, how are you guys doing? How was the trip to Montreal? Our trip home was the usual: good until Toronto. It was the usual group of a$$##@holes. We also just missed a deer that was i the centre lane. Luckily I went left and he went right! We just wanted too tell you guys what a great time we had and to thank you for your kindness and for your continued friendship! We couldn’t ask for better friends! Good luck and good cruising!

    Bill and Eleanor

  2. Steve on 08 Jul 2010 at 9:25 PM #

    Somebody’s been reading the blog….

    We arrived in Montreal about 8PM. 12 hrs on the water. HOT HOT HOT!!!!

    Glad to hear your trip home was so exciting, cruising pales in comparison to driving the 401! Too bad you didn’t stay on for Montreal, so far pretty cool although we only had a short walkabout. Up & at ’em tomorrow morning! Glad you were able to join us for a few days. As always, great fun. You’re welcome to join us any time.

    We’ll keep you posted, give our best to Kristen, tell her the next time to set up a random number generator next time they print out the parking permits!

    All our best,
    Your cruise staff.