Monday, August 22, 2011

1,000 Island State Park

Early in the trip, a man recommended we visit 1,000 Island State Park located in the northern part of NY on the Canadian border. The state park is located where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The park was a 100 miles off our tentative route but we decided it could be worth it.

Boy, were we glad we did.

Thousand Island (actually there are more than 1,800 islands) State Park is a gem. The islands are simply beautiful and during the gilded age, the tycoons of industry built opulent homes on the islands. The Bolt Castle being the most prominent.
It is akin to building Hearst Castle on a small island.

We took a 2 hour boat tour of the islands which takes you by many of the magnificent homes. Not all the homes are ostentatious. Some are quite small and are built on tiny islands, some not much bigger then a large rock.

We hit the islands on a beautiful warm day and the Seaway was bustling with speed boats, sailboats, and tour boats.

Taking a tour on a stern wheeler

A splendid day so we took the upper deck

Passing an island park

One of the more modest mansions

Do you believe this is a Coast Guard Station? Talk about a tough assignment.

More grand homes

Looks like a Frank Geary designed house at first glance.

The snow loads are quite heavy here. A structural engineer really screwed up.

Abby Wambach's (US soccer superstar) parent's vacation home

The Peace Bridge connecting US with Canada

Great day off the bike

The Bolt Castle

The 8-story castle started construction in 1900 on Heart Island by George Bolt, owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC. He was building the Castle for his wife Louise.

She died suddenly in 1904 and construction was abruptly stopped. The castle laid abandoned for 73 years until the 1,000 Island Bridge Authority acquired it for $1.00 in 1977.

The agreement with the Trust was to rehab the Castle and make it available to the general public. The Castle has been partially restored and is a work-in-progress with restoration an on-going process.

The Bolt Castle Boathouse

Arched Gateway

Children's Playhouse

The powerhouse

Taking a tour of the Castle

Dining room

Watching a tanker go by from the balcony of the Castle (above and below)

The Heart Island garden

The powerhouse (above and below)

Bolt had a tower fetish

Scroll down or click on "older posts" to continue tour

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