My “Love Story”
Hi, I’m sorry to disappoint any of you, but I have no real ‘story‘ to tell.
I simply thought I would comment on how much Boldt Castle has meant to me, how it’s played its role in my life, and how I arrived at building this website.
My earliest memories of Boldt Castle, are ones before the Thousand Island Bridge Authority had done any work. I remember walking through piles of debris on the floors and looking at empty rooms with falling plaster ceilings, and at the tens of thousands of hand-written names scrawled out all over the walls and ceilings, and places you wouldn’t think people could even get to. I remember abandoned, falling down buildings in various stages of dis-repair scattered across the island. And I remember the dark and dingy “caves” as I called them then. Of course, I was reffering to the underground servants tunnels, underneath the beautiful Italian Gardens.
Right then and there – somehow – something awakened inside of me and my love affair with Boldt Castle began.
I could see through all the debris and wrecked conditions of the buildings. I saw the magnificence and the splendor of the Castle and the stories echoed in my head as I tried hard over the years to absorb the various parts of this history that I heard from various sources.
I remember thinking that the only thing worse than the condition of that island and its buildings – was the sad fact that it had been so poorly neglected and abandoned.
I credit my mom for first introducing me to the 1000 Islands Region. She says we didn’t have much growing up, but I remember she always made everything we did seem special. We would go up to Gananoque on the off-season (because rates were cheaper) and spend a weekend there. We would get a package deal with the Blinkbonnie Hotel, for lodging and tickets to a live theatre performance (which we always enjoyed) and usually tickets for a boat cruise.
But the deal was for Saturday night.
So, usually we would find a place to eat a nice dinner in Alexandria Bay, drive around and see what to ‘do’, and end up finding a place to stay for the night, or spend it in the car.
On Saturday, we would take in some time browsing at the stores in town, or going into Kingston, which is nearby, and doing something there. Whatever we did it was, to me, a very special time. Those memories still occupy much of my current thoughts, and I still seek refuge in Gananoque each summer to escape the ‘rat-race life’ I lead sometimes and to relax.
Once I was introduced to Gananoque and the 1000 Island Region, I started visiting there often. As a young, restless artist, I found the peaceful, quiet atmosphere to be soothing and relaxing and I sought the opportunity to visit there as often as I could.
I went there on my honeymoon and shared it with my wife. We brought friends and they brought friends.
And so it is that Boldt Castle has been for me, a source of comfort and loving memories throughout the years.
It was in the summer of 2000 that I was asked to teach a class at my local university, at which I attend. It was a stained glass class and I needed to pick up some supplies for it. This need brought me back to a place I once worked, designing beautiful stained glass windows for churches, business’s and homes. I had worked for Brennan Stained Glass Studio, in Syracuse NY, many years ago, and had just been asked to do so again. Once more I found employment with the studio which first introduced me to the art and craft of stained glass.
During the summer I discovered that the studio had been awarded the contract to build a stained-glass dome for Boldt Castle, in the 1000 Islands!!
I was excited to ‘know’ the people who were to build such a thing, for such a place that I held very close to my own heart. Little did I know that I would actually become involved with the design, construction, and installation of it myself…
…but I did!!
I’m the guy who drew all the patterns up to full sized, working patterns, and designed the lower sections of the dome. I built the forms and transferred all the measurements to it, and helped build, transport and install the panels of glass which make up the entire dome skylight.
You can read more about the Stained Glass Dome here
or view many pictures of it here in the Stained Glass Photo Album
I guess it must have been all the excitement, and many long hours spent at the castle during this job, that re-fired my passion for Boldt Castle and beautiful Heart Island.
I started looking around on the internet to see what I could find about Heart Island or Boldt Castle itself, and didn’t find very many sites about either. Having been at the castle for so many months, I was able to take many pictures.
Now I just want to share them with you – and THAT is why i built this website.
I love going to Boldt Castle, and slowly, word is getting out about this ‘jewel’ in the 1000 Islands. I’m just offering some exposure to people who, otherwise, couldn’t make it there in person, and…
“if you can’t make it there in person – make it there online”
I hope you enjoy your visit!!
You can read more about the Stained Glass Dome here
or view many pictures of it here in the Stained Glass Photo Album.
See who is listed as a
Special Friend of Boldt Castle: a Virtual Tour
are YOU a friend?
would you like to be?
If you are interested in becoming a ‘special friend’ of Boldt Castle: a Virtual Tour, and getting your name listed on the ‘special friends’ page – get more information here. You’ll be glad that you did!