The 1000 Islands Bridge Authority

For 73 years Boldt Castle and the other structures on Heart Island were left at the mercy of the wind, rain, ice, snow, and vandals.
Edward John Noble, owner of the Beechnut Fruit Company and inventor of the Lifesaver candy, bought the castle in the early 1920’s after George Boldt’s death. The E.J. Noble Foundation ran it as an unimproved tourist attraction for more than 50 years. Visitors were allowed free run of the island, which explains much of the vandalism that occurred and the tens of thousands of names scrawled on the castle’s walls.

When the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property in 1977, it was in a pretty bad state of disrepair – almost to the point where it was going to be condemed and closed.
The castle was in ruins.

After assessing the entire island complex, the T.I.B.A. immediately began a stabilization/restoration program to keep Boldt Castle an attractive tourist attraction.

The safety of the tourists who visit Boldt Castle was a primary concern and was addressed at the forefront. Rails on stairways and lighting needed to be added. Work was done to repair the vast roof areas with new tiles, and stonework needed re-pointing.
Then – with copies of the original floor-plans in hand and the unfinished work and unused materials as a guide, workers began restoring the castle the way Boldt had planned to finish it. Crews continue that work today – providing another attraction to visitors who can witness the renovations firsthand for themselves.

Thirty years later, a partially restored Boldt Castle sits in the middle of the St. Lawrence River as an anchor for the regional tourism industry that now sustains the Thousand Island area. It’s the key attraction.

Last year (2000) Boldt Castle drew a record 230,000 visitors during its six-month season, and that number has been steadily climbing each year.

So far the first two floors of the castle have been renovated, complete with inlaid wooden floors and ornate plaster walls. In the summer of 2000, workers completed the grand marble staircase, on the main floor, and this past June (2001) the stained-glass dome skylight was added, helping to finish a 100-year-old dream.

Because of the ongoing renovations, there is almost always something new for visitors to see each time they visit Boldt Castle and beautiful Heart Island.

Future plans include continuing restoration and restabilization of the island’s buildings, especially Alster Tower, which shall soon see the bowling alley restored. The elevator in the Castle is in the plans for the near future, as well as ongoing research to determine original, intended placements of crated, unused original architectural elements found abandoned on the property.

You Can Learn More About The T.I.B.A. On Their Official Website

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!


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