Boldt Castle stands today as a tribute to the love story of famed Gilded Age hotelier, George Charles Boldt.
George Boldt lived one of America’s greatest rags-to-riches stories. He was only 13 when he immigrated to America from the small Prussian Isle of Rügen. Boldt started at the bottom, working in hotel kitchens throughout New York City. With ambition and a gift for diplomacy, George Boldt became the millionaire proprietor of New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria and owner the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia.
In the 1890s, George and his wife Louise began vacationing in the 1000 Islands region of northern NY State. It was there that George purchased the now famous Heart Island, a property he planned to transform into the ultimate gift of love for his darling wife. In 1900, George Boldt hired the most skilled masons and architects money could buy to create his own version of a Rhineland Castle.
Construction of Boldt Castle was well underway when tragedy struck. In January 1904, George sent his workers a telegram saying, “Stop all work, Louise has died.” Heartbroken, he never returned to Heart Island again.
For 73 years Boldt Castle was abandoned to the elements and vandals. It was not until 1977 that the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority was gifted the historic Boldt properties. Since then the TI Bridge has accomplished the remarkable feat of transforming the ruins of Boldt Castle into one of the premier attractions in the 1000 Islands International Region. With thousands of visitors annually, the ever-evolving and improving Boldt Castle is an absolute must see!