The Hart House
(also known as the summer cottage)
Once upon a time, before Boldt Castle was even a wisp of a dream, a grand summer cottage, known as Hart House, brought great prominence to the 1000 Islands as the rich and famous discovered this treasured vacation paradise. In 1872 Elizur Hart spent alot of time and money beautifying the grounds, and invested $10,000 to have a summer ‘cottage’ built on the island. The word ‘cottage’ is perhaps misleading – Mr. Hart’s summer ‘cottage’ was 84 feet long and 76 feet wide, contained 80 rooms and had a tower and a high sleeping porch attached for spectacular viewing of the St. Lawrence River.
This probably is what George and Louise Boldt found when they first visited Hart Island. Like George Boldt, the gentlemen seated on the rock has a beard. Boldt never was so stout, however, so this probably is Congressman E. Kirk Hart. This rare photograph is of exceptional interest as perhaps the only view of the original summer cottage at close range.
In 1899 Hart House was slipped across the frozen St. Lawrence River to Wellesley Island as a part of the very exclusive Thousand Islands Club: private domain for the incredibly wealthy. With an initiation fee of $100,000 and $10,000 yearly dues, in turn-of-the-century dollars, that was “a lot” of money!
They could watch polo from the promenade porch, race their supercharged cars across the road, land their private planes only a few hundred yards away. This truly was a rich and famous resort.
The Hart House Bed & Breakfast
Then over the years Hart House lost its identity, referred to only as the Golf House. But today, nearly 100 years later, Hart House is receiving guests in the grand manner. It is a casual kind of elegance that is blossoming as the innkeepers execute a very loving restoration to this remarkable property. A growing number of friends have given thousands of talented work-hours to launch this dream Bed & Breakfast.
Rekindle tender romance with your spouse. Learn to communicate again over soft music or in the peacefulness that pervades this fantastic old river cottage. Feel the warmth of romantic fireplaces in the luxurious rooms that millionaires once called their summer home.
Come the dawn, thrill to see deer, geese, wild turkey, or possibly the dramatic tail of a red fox from your suite’s window. Take a stroll before your breakfast, served in the finest of European tradition.
Hart House has become a popular place for weddings. Their spacious living room and adjacent enclosed porches offer a perfect setting for a memorable reception, and there are caterers of excellence in the region who can accommodate your every desire.
Their Summer Great Room is touched by an art decco theme with a wonderful eclectic collection of fine furniture. A decorator’s delight. It’s a perfect place to relax, read a book, or listen to CDs. It also serves as a more formal setting for a wedding or anniversary reception.
Their main dining room overlooks the third hole of the Thousand Islands Golf Course. If golf is not your sport, perhaps boating is. they are a short strolle from the waterfront of the 1000 Islands Yacht Club.
Wellesley Island, NY 13640
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