At the turn-of-the-century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the
world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full
size rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on picturesque Heart Island. The
grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise.
Beginning in 1900, Boldt's family shared four glorious summers on the island
in the Alster Tower while 300 workers including stonemasons, carpenters, and
artists fashioned the six story, 120 room castle, complete with tunnels, a
powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge, and a dove cote. Not a single
detail or expense was spared.
In 1904, tragedy struck. Boldt telegraphed the island and commanded the
workers to immediately "stop all construction." Louise had died suddenly. A
broken hearted Boldt could not imagine his dream castle without his beloved.
Boldt never returned to the island, leaving behind the structure as a
monument of his love.
For 73 years, the castle and various stone structures were left to the mercy
of the wind, rain, ice, snow and vandals. When the Thousand Islands Bridge
Authority acquired the property in 1977, it was decided that through the use
of all net revenues from the castle operation it would be preserved for the
enjoyment of future generations.
Since 1977, several million dollars have been applied to rehabilitating,
restoring and improving the Heart Island structures.
Boldt Castle Visitor Information
Dates, Rates and Information:
Boldt Castle is an Official Port of Entry into the United States in
Alexandria Bay, New York with hours of operation starting at 10:00am and
running to 6:00pm. During non-operating hours there is a video phone
available for check in at the Alexandria Bay Municipal Dock for individuals
entering or returning to the United States by boat. If you have any further
questions, please call 315-482-9724.
The Castle is open daily, starting May 8th to October 3rd, from the hours of
10:00am to 6:30pm. During July and August extended hours are from 10:00am to
7:30pm, for the days of October 4th to the 11th from 10:00am to 5:30pm, and
for 16th and 17th from 11:00am to 5:30pm.
Admission Rates: Adults $7.00, Children (Ages 6-12) $4.50, US Funds**
***Pet restrictions in effect. No Pets of any kind are allowed inside the
Castle regardless of size unless the pet is a service animal.
Yacht House Dates & Rates:
The Boldt Castle Yacht House is open from May 15th to October 3rd from the
hours of 10:00am to 6:30pm.
Admission Rates: Adults $4.00, Children (Ages 6-12) $2.00, US Funds**
For information on group rates please call 1-800-847-5263, or write the
Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, Collins Landing, PO Box 428, Alexandria
Bay, New York 13607.
Special Package Rate:
Visit both Boldt Castle and the Boldt Castle Yacht House $9.00 adults and
**Canadian currency accepted at posted rate of exchange. Admission prices
are subject to change.
Getting to Boldt Castle:
Boldt Castle is located on Heart Island, in the United States, and is only
accessible by water. From both Canada and the U.S., visitors may find
transportation on either a tour boat or by personal pleasure craft.
Passengers arriving from Canada must provide proper identification. For
further information please refer to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
A shuttle from Heart Island provides access to the Boldt Castle Yacht House.
Tour Boat Operators:
From the U.S.:
• Uncle Sam Boat Tours, Alexandria Bay, New
Phone: 315.482.2611 or 1-800-253-9229
Daily Departures: every 30 minutes beginning at 10:00am
• Clayton Island Tours, Clayton, New York, USA
Please call for Schedule.
• Visit the Antique Boat Museum, Clayton, New York, USA
and see George Boldt's La Duchesse and take a speed boat ride on the St.
Around 30 miles from Hotel
For more than 150 years, the Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist has taken
visitors through the foaming waters beneath the falls. The journey
begins at the bottom of the Observation Tower, where you’ll be provided
with a souvenir rain poncho. The Maid of the Mist will then take you to
the base of the American Falls and then to the basin of Horseshoe Falls,
through the crashing waters and massive rock formations. This half-hour
Niagara Falls tour allows you to experience firsthand the power and
intensity of the falls.
The Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist® operates during the warmer months
from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. For additional Maid of the Mist®
information, call (716) 284-8897 or visit
Niagara Falls Tour Admission
Children 6 to 12 years of age
Children five and under
The Black River.
The city of Watertown was settled in 1800 by pioneers from
Hampshire, most notably Hart Massey, Henry Coffeen, and Zachariah
Butterfield, part of a large migration into New York from
England after the
Revolutionary War. These pioneers chose the area due to the Black River. The
pioneers' vision was for an industrial center that would draw power from the
Black River. All the land was rough and unclear. Elevation was also a problem.
The western end of the town was 12 to 15 feet higher than the eastern end, with
a large depression in the middle. A small stream also passed through the town.
The drop in the Black River at Watertown's location provided abundant water
power for early industry. By the mid-19th century, entrepreneurs had built paper
mills and major industries, including the first portable steam engine in 1847.
In 1851 the city was joined to the state by the railroad. Other mills rapidly
joined the business base and generated revenue to support early public works
projects like the water system and illuminating gas works in 1853, and a
telephone system in 1879.
Watertown claims that
Frank W. Woolworth conceived the idea of his mercantile chain while working
there in 1878. Woolworth, employed as a clerk in Moore's Store, set up a
successful clearance display of low-priced items. This led to his idea of a
store specializing in fixed-price, cut-rate merchandise. Woolworth left
Watertown and opened his first store in
Utica, New York in 1879.
Among the many manufacturing businesses was the Davis Sewing Machine Company,
which originated in Watertown. It was predecessor to
George P. Huffman's
(NYSE: HUF), now an American maker of bicycles and other sporting goods.
In 1805 Watertown became the
Jefferson County, New York, and it was made an incorporated Village in 1816.
In 1869, Watertown was incorporated as a city. In 1920, the city adopted a city
manager style of government. The Jefferson County Courthouse Complex is an
example of the substantial architecture of the city, and is listed on the
National Register of Historic Places. An early industrial city that earned
great wealth for many of its citizens by the turn of the 20th century, Watertown
also developed an educated professional class of doctors and lawyers.
A number of factors affected Watertown's progress. The economic center of the
country kept moving west and Chicago drew off many of its younger people for
business and professional opportunities. Industrial technology shifted and jobs
changed. In the deindustrialization of the mid-20th century, Watertown suffered
economic and population declines.
The city has been working in recent decades to redevelop its downtown and
revive the heart of the city. It is capitalizing on its rich architectural
heritage, compact and walkable retail center, and well-designed residential
Today the city serves as the commercial and financial center for a large
rural area. It is the major community closest to
Fort Drum and the post's large population. Since the city is located just 25
miles from the international boundary via the
Thousand Islands Bridge, shopping by Canadian visitors is an important part
of the local economy.
652 Arsenal Street
Watertown, NY 13601 US
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