Sunday, August 21, 2011


This weekend My Husband and I went to Gananoque and did a tour of the 1000 Islands. It was our first time in that area. The weather was beautiful and it was a great way to decompress after a particularly stressful week. I can't remember the last time I was on a boat and the sound of the water was comforting.

Cormorants and Osprey nest

I had no idea how hardcore cottage country this area was!! I know....I must be living under a rock. :-) Cottages are perched on the smallest pieces of land out in the middle of the water while others are sprawling summer homes.

I laughed when I saw this. This cottage was right up against the bridge.

The tour we were on took us to Boldt Castle. The history behind Boldt Castle is a rags to riches story that includes love and tragedy. George Boldt was an immigrant and a self-made millionaire. Boldt Castle was to be the summer home of George and his wife Louise. When she suddenly died, all construction stopped and it sat unfinished for decades and decades.

Our destination, Boldt Castle.

Looking up from the front stair case.

Dining room


Front sitting room

The floors amazed me. Each room on the main floor had a different pattern.

The moldings were also different in each room.

Mr. Boldt's bedroom. It opened out on to a balcony overlooking the water.

Mrs. Boldt's bedroom, next door. I believe they shared a balcony. Mrs. Boldt had two huge double closets for her clothing.

Their ensuite. :-)

The guest rooms on the 3rd floor were unfinished. This is a closet in the one of the rooms. Note how tall it is compared to the door on the left - to accommodate long dresses and big hats?? That door led into a little sitting room.

Indoor pool!!

One of the back halls that would have been used by servants. I liked the tile.

Servants quarters on the 4th and 5th floor were small and had very small fireplaces and windows. It was sad to see the graffiti on the walls.

This is the boat/yacht house for Boldt Castle. It has been designated a historical site.

Underneath the castle was really fascinating. There were all sorts of hallways and storage rooms. You could almost hear and feel what it would have been like with staff running around.....

The grounds included an aviary and Alster Tower (used for entertainment), both shaped like castles. Well, what's a horse blog without something about horses! :-) I saw this picture in one of the displays. I wonder what kind of horses they are riding....

I love traveling back in time and seeing how lives were lived a century ago. It was a great weekend getaway and I appreciated the break. :-) You need to have these little breaks every once and a while to refresh yourself. I am looking forward to seeing my handsome boy though and can't wait for lesson on Tuesday!


  1. What a unique area. I clicked on the links you provided and found an ambundance of interesting things about The Castle and it's surroundings. I keep wondering, does the river ever flood those home on the various islands. I didn't find anything to answer my questions, so I am assuming it doesn't. I couldn't imagine having a "summer home" like that, those were very interesting times. Wow, thank you for sharing!

  2. Glad you got away for a while. We visited Boldt Castle on Hart Island many years ago. It's a shame they never finished it. I was sad to see the graffiti also. But you can just imagine what the whole estate would have been had it been finished. Imagine having that kind of money to be able to build a castle.

  3. Mary - St. Lawrence is the output for Lake Ontario and empties into the Atlantic, so as far as I know it never floods. Cool, eh? Gorgeous area steeped in history, money and scandal!

    GHM - Even with the castle being unfinished, you certainly could get a flavour of how it was back then. I would certainly like to experience what having that kind of money would be like!!! ;-)

  4. Great pictures - it would be awesome to see a place like that.

  5. Thanks for the tour. I had never heard of it - what a magnificent building and such a sad story!
    I enjoy visiting old buildings. I really get lost in the feel of the space and apparently you do the same; imagining the people who had worked and lived there. My thoughts often haunt me for days after a visit.

  6. Nothing like a relaxing break :D Thanks for sharing your pix & giving us a tour. Those cottages are just fab, how wonderful to live that close to the sea.

    Such a gorgeous place but such a sad story. I love old buildings too, bet that one has a great atmosphere. Quite liked the bathtub. The horses looked almost 'regal' & so did she, sitting side-saddle (always impresses me!)

    Bet your handsome boy can't wait to see you either! Joy xx

  7. I love me a good historic castle/mansion! Heck I love any historical site! Such a beautiful place!

  8. I enjoyed looking at the photos too. And this is going to sound a little cynical, but I also enjoyed getting a reminder about the tragedy of trying to "save up" to enjoy something later (Mr. Boldt building the castle for his wife).

    All any of us really have is today.

  9. That is so cool! I've never really been to cottage country, drove through it once when I was really young but that was it.

    That castle is beautiful! I love visiting places like that, but unfortuantly, we don't really have any castles out west. The pictures are beautiful but that story is really sad.

    It's so beautiful there!

  10. Those cottages are a long shot from what we call cottages over here! (Think 2 rooms and a fireplace)

  11. Ruffles – Glad you enjoyed them!

    Dreaming – I love visiting places like this. When I visited Scotland and England I was in my element. I couldn’t get enough of visiting castles!

    Joy – A very sad story. I am still curious as to what kind of horses they were riding…Walkers, perhaps?? Side-saddle impresses me too!

    GTTR – It was a gorgeous area. Some of the other summer homes were just as fascinating and also had history.

    Fetlock – You are so right about saving up for “later”. My father has always said to save a little, but not to the point of denying enjoying today. You may not be around to enjoy it “later”.

    Cjay – It was such a nice area….the relaxed cottage mentality seeped over into us. :-)

    Twohorses – I wouldn’t call a lot of these places “cottages” either! My idea of a cottage is more along the lines of what you are describing. :-)

  12. Hey, I've been to Boldt Castle too! It's only 2.5 hours north of me. I loved the animal sculptures out by the "front" gate.

  13. Hi Shannon! I loved the area. Yes, the front gate is beautiful. We couldn't decide if it was deer or elk on the top of it. I think they are deer.

  14. It is very nice on this part of the river for a cruise - I have done several lunch time ones. Some of the homes are quite impressive.