*** Tragedy & Vandalism ***

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thanks for all your comments on yesterday's blog. I am glad you liked it. Today is going ok. My DH and I had some arguements this morning. We had to decide whether we wanted the lawn mower or groceries. So he is going to have the repair place hold off until next week. I asked him starting with "don't get upset.." and he did. Men!
After he blew up I told him if he isn't going to be actually mowing grass why not wait. He did get a gardening job. He is planting a garden for a friends daughter, who just got a house.

We did get some food at the pantry we got pasta, pasta and more pasta. Ha! Oh and I can't forget the cherry pie and sticky buns. NO! I wasn't bad. DH is eating all that stuff himself. I did get some frozen blueberries and I am going to have that for me with a little splenda on them. The produce truck never came in so no fresh food. We are out of all paper products. Unfortunately we have to have them. We are going to get some eggs to help stretch the meals a bit. Hoping to get some meat next week.

As promised here is other information about the Castle's history. I have also included some statics as well as some fun facts. Enjoy!

*** Tragedy & Vandalism ***

In 1904, tragedy struck when Louise Boldt suddenly died. George Boldt telegrammed the island and ordered an immediate halt to construction. The island fell silent. Boldt never finished it and right up until his death, in 1916, he never again stepped foot on Heart Island.

In 1918, a decision was made to open up Boldt Castle to the public. This was to be the beginning of 75 years of slow deterioration and destruction of the island buildings. Years of neglect and abandonment took its toll on the island structures, as one-by-one each fell into a state of dis-repair. Alster Tower deteriorated so badly from water penetration that the structural integrity of the building was threatened. The Hennery roof collapsed and slowly some of the outter walls caved-in.

Fireplaces and mantles, as well as ornate plaster ceilings, costing thousands of dollars, cracked and in some places, fell away entirely, exposing wires and bricks. Today, everywhere you look, grafitti scrawled all over the walls and ceilings, bear witness to the numbers of vandals the castle has attracted over the years, some of which walked away with things they shouldn't have. Almost anything of any value on the island was carried off by thieves. Including the plumbing fixtures.

The advanced state of deterioration was aided when, in October of 1942, workers removed tons of scrap iron and steel from the buildings and from Boldt Castle itself. This was all done to ¡®meet the need of the nation for metal to carry on the war. Workers stripped the castle of radiators, two large boilers, and thousands of feet of pipe which conducted steam heat from the main structure to the other outbuildings. They salvaged two large tanks which were intended for water reservoirs, and took all the decorative ironwork and elaborate heating systems.

So¡­ time and the elements coupled with neglect and vandalism left their marks around the island. On August 1, 1923, an old ice-house on Heart Island was ignited by unknown cause. The loss was estimated at only a few hundred dollars, as it was able to be restricted to that one building, but a number of shade trees and bushes were destroyed.

Tragedy loomed over Heart Island once again when, in 1939, the roof of the Power-House, Clock and Chimes Tower caught fire and completely burned down. A stray spark from a fireworks display landed on the roof of one of the turrets and ignited it, completely destroying the rooftop.
Years of sitting roofless and empty, the solid-stone walls slowly gave way and fell into the waters of the St.Lawrence River below.


Date of construction: 1900-1904

Cost: 2.5 million dollars: (1904)

Dimensions: 170 feet long by 160 feet wide

Materials: native reddish-gray granite quarried on nearby oak island, mortar and steel
150 men quarried stone from george boldt's own oak island, to supply materials for construction of the castle.

Woods: light oak, dark mahogany and walnut imported from europe
marble: pinkish-white marble imported from italy

Roof tile: original tiles were cement. current ones are red clay
30,000 square feet of roof tile is required to cover the roof

Ppower: electricity was generated on the island in the adjascent power house
hot and cold running water was supplied to the castle from the power house
castle rises six stories, from the foundation level of the indoor swimming pool, to the highest tower room (the water tower)

Contains 127 rooms with 30 bathrooms, 16 fireplaces and 365 windows
Walls are 2-feet thick and completely fireproof
door and window sills are constructed of red potsdam sandstone

Castle includes four small towers 40 feet high, two towers 60 feet high, and the larger (water) tower rises to 75 feet

Slabs of granite measuring 8 feet by 14 feet by 8 inches were cut and used in the construction of the castle. slabs 20 feet long were cut for steps. Dome: opalescent stained glass colored green, pink, and light blue. hangs 80-100 feet above the floor. Over 300 stonemasons, carpenters and artisans worked to construct boldt castle

Over $14 million dollars have been spent so far, in continuing restoration and rehabilitation efforts Over 230,000 visitors tour boldt castle and heart island during it's six-month season. They use the money from the tours to help restore the castle.

** Fun Facts **

George Boldt did not believe luck played a part in a persons success or failure in life. To emphasis this conviction, he deliberately flaunted such alleged portenders of woe as the number #13. He used it constantly throughout his life. George Boldt was 13 when he came to the U.S. The Boldt's home was 1313 Locust Street. His office during construction of the Waldorf Hotel was #13 W. Thirty Third Street. The Waldorf was 13 stories high, he included in his roster 13 busboys, waiters, and bellhops. He also had a thirteenth floor ( a custom often omitted by other hotel builders.) In addition he saw to it that the Waldorf had 13 entrances and 13 elevators. His own suite of rooms was number 1313 on the 13th level. His daughter was born in room #13 in Berkeley, New Jersey

The term"1000 islands" is not quite accurate. There are actually 1,864 islands and 3,000 shoals extending along an approximate 80-mile stretch in the St. Lawrence River between New York State and Ontario, Canada. The highest concentration of islands are clustered near the 1000 Islands Bridge between Alexandria Bay, New York and Ivy Lea, Ontario. In fact, one of the islands, called Lounge Island is artificial. The owner filled in the area between two shoals and built his house on it. To become an official part of the count, an island must meet two criteria: it must be above water 365 days a year and it must support two living trees.

Tomorrow I have more to come.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Willowwinds, you would have been a great teacher, you definitely have a talent with your blogs.
    I hate to see places like this deteriorate, but when you consider the cost to fix them up, most don't have that kind of money either.
    I was online yesterday looking at places my grandfather owned and yet his house that Mom grew up in was sold at a sheriff's sale. I don't understand how he bought what he did. There is a conflicting story that the house Mom grew up in, burned in a fire. Now her family are in nursing homes, so I guess I won't be able to solve the mystery.
    3904 days ago
    What a shame that such a beautiful thing should be destroyed and vandalized.It would make a beautiful resort if fixed back up. The island is gorgeous.Imagine what a stay would be like, but without the normal livestock living inside with you.I could picture myself wandering around on a spring day . emoticon Take care of yourself and DH.
    3904 days ago
    very cool info thanks.

    3904 days ago
    Heartbreaking treatment of a building that should be declared a heritage site and protected.

    As for home, keep one thing in mind. You're both working toward the same goal, just maybe not in the same way. Remember why you call him "dear husband"...it helps when life is getting difficult. I have to do it every day, hahaha.

    Men think different. They just do and get it over with...women discuss options and try to select the best possible solution from the ones offered in the discussion. If you remember this little bit of thinking, it will help when dealing with men in general, loved ones especially.

    Things will get better, m'love...stick with it and you'll see results. I've been in your shoes...and the fit does improve with time and a little work.

    3904 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2244005
    Hope your day improves! This has been an interesting story! I wonder why the Boldt children did nothing to preserve the island buildings? And who is doing the tours and restorations? Hope we find that out tomorrow!

    Have a great day!
    3904 days ago
    I hope your day improves!!! Dh gets in better mood. Hope you get more food from the pantry. Interesting about the castle!! Have a great day!!
    Yesterday the computer wouldn't turn on. Today it did!! Hope it keeps working!!! emoticon emoticon
    3904 days ago
    No drama today, but still a VERY interesting array of facts and history.

    'Till tomorrow!.....
    3904 days ago
    I'm with George- I was born Dec. 13 and think of it as my "lucky" number! Another interesting blog. Thanks.
    3905 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4653029
    I missed this yesterday but went back and read it! I love romance, princesses and mystery! Can't wait for the next chapter. Lee
    3905 days ago
  • MSJAP1
    emoticon So fascinating, especially about the #13! Already of historical interest because of Boldt Castle, he also had an amazing idosyncrasy!
    3905 days ago
    Quite the history lesson-thank you!
    3905 days ago
    Sorry that your hubby was upset about the lawnmower. Glad that you got some food from the pantry. Interesting article about the castle. Have a great day my friend. Love, Dawn
    3905 days ago
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