Most people familiar with the 1,000 Islands region know about Boldt Castle, located on Heart Island in the Alexandria Bay area, but there’s another castle that open to the public in the region: Singer Castle, located in the Chippewa Bay on Dark Island. The Buffalo Travel Examiner recently checked out both castles on a trip to the Alexandria Bay area.
Boldt Castle was left in a state of incompletion after three years of construction upon the death of George Boldt’s wife Louise in January 1904. The structures in various phases of completion were left to the elements until 1977, when the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property and began rehabilitating, restoring and completing the castle and the other associated structures. As of September 2013, much of the castle’s lower levels are close to completion, and the structures upper levels are open to the public for exploration.
Singer Castle, on the other hand, was not only completed but lived in for many years since its construction began in 1905. Originally a “hunting retreat” for Frederick Bourne, then-Director and President of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, the four-story, 28-room castle was designed by American architect Ernest Flagg, with inspiration from the Sir Walter Scott novel about Woodstock Castle in Scotland. The castle stayed in the Bourne family into the mid-1960s.
While the tourist season for both castles is near its end (Singer Castle closes on October 13th, Boldt Castle on October 20th), add these unique places to your list of places to visit in 2014 – the season at both castles begins in mid-May. For exact dates, visit the following websites early next year:
· Boldt Castle – www.boldtcastle.com
· Singer Castle – www.singercastle.com
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