Monday, July 4, 2011

Floating Castle

On Friday, with the long weekend ahead of us, and beautiful summer weather predicted, I suggested a quick trip to the 1,000 Islands to my husband, Dave. So, yesterday, after a two-hour drive, camera, and tickets in hand, we boarded the three and one-half hour tour from Alexandria Bay to Dark Island, and Singer Castle, the 'hunting lodge' of Commodore Frederick Bourne, the 5th President of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. (You knew, there was going to be some connection to sewing, didn't you?) 

Dark Island ahead
We passed a small handful of the 1,800 Islands dotting the St. Lawrence Seaway to reach our destination. As you approach the island you certainly get the feel of living on a grand scale.
Singer Castle on Dark Island

Four bells, complete with Westminster Chimes.
The mansion, built in the early 1900's, maintains many of its original furnishings and displays several full suits of armor, well-kept antiques, and beautiful furnishings in a stone castle built in medieval style.
The Breakfast Room, surrounded by windows.

Vintage Singer Sewing Machines, many of them treadle machines,  are on display throughout the mansion. Large windows offer splendid views and let in refreshing river breezes and sunlight.

A classic


Ornate detail
It's easy to imagine transporting yourself to a different era on these grounds.

Turret office. Small but functional.
Turret Office. Is that an iPad?

Entrance to Swan Pond on Heart Island
And, of course, on the return trip to Alex Bay, we made a quick stop at Heart Island the location of the famed Boldt Castle. Work began on the castle in the late 1800's/early 1900s by George Boldt, dedicated to his wife Louise. Work stopped when Louise died suddenly, and the castle was and still is incomplete. In the mid-1970s, the Thousand Island Bridge Authority became owner, and began restoring and finishing parts of the castle according to original plans. Much of the main floor is now finished, with carved wood paneling, marble stairway, and leaded-glass domed ceiling.
Bedroom on second floor. Move me in!

Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour.

Happy 4th of July!