George C. Boldt was born April 25, 1851 on the island of Bergen auf Rügen, Germany, on the Baltic Sea coast. He immigrated to the United States in 1864 and became a self made millionaire in the hotel industry.
In 1900millionaire Boldt bought an island in the 1000 island area of New York, which he named Heart Island. He set out to build a full-sized Rhineland Castle on this island. The Grandiose structure was for his wife Louise. Over the next 4 years, 300 workers fashioned the six story, 120 room castle, complete with playhouse, powerhouse, Italian Gardens, a drawbridge, and a dovecote.
Not a single detail or expense was spared. Unfortunately in 1904, just months before it’s completion, Louise died. Boldt, who had also purchased 3 or 4 other islands, plus had homes in other states, ordered all the workers to lay down their tools and leave the island. He never again stepped foot on this island, and for 73 years it remained vacant and abandoned. In 1977 The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority assumed ownership and has spend in excess of 30 million dollars to restore the dilapidated castle. We strolled through the Castle as well as the playhouse, a neat arch, stone gazebo, flower gardens, and Tower.
We could not go in the powerhouse as it was underwater.