Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year surprises and prizes! Walleye fish drop at Midnight!

As we Upstate New Yorkers know, things slow down for the winter in the North Country. The vacationers and other warm weather friends vacate our beautiful area of the Thousand Islands for now, but are sure to return come Spring time. So, naturally, news of our famous castles, etc. slows down considerably, and that has included the Singer Castle Blog & More. But we would like to keep the news flowing, so anyone out there having an interesting tale or photograph of the castles (Boldt or Singer) or other interesting St. Lawrence River area item is welcome to contact me. If I chose to run your story or photo, I just may send you a prize of my choosing. It may be a postcard, a thumb/flash drive, or who knows? (The key is that they will be all random prizes. Offer may be cancelled by yours truly at anytime without notice). At the very least you can see your interesting information online so the world may enjoy it. Oh yes, Happy New Year!
Bob
email>>> ask "at" gold-mountain "dot" com [Later update: address is now mailbox@]
Snail-Mail>>> P.O. Box 123, Jamesville NY 13078
P.S. For our diehard fishing crowd (and anybody looking for something unique), have you ever watched the live walleye fish drop in Port Clinton, OH at midnight on the web? ("Live" meaning you can see it in real-time through their webcams on the web). Hey, if you are watching the New Year's Eve ball drop down in New York City on your TV anyway, you can have this on your computer going at the same time. Yes, a very exciting life indeed!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Singer Castle - Strange smoke/fire phenomenon caught on video


An eerie rising smoke phenomenon from the roof of Singer Castle on Dark Island has been caught on video by Jeffrey Weldon. The video captures this strange event, and then explains it in under three minutes!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas lights on Singer Castle webcam

As of today, you can now see Singer Castle's Christmas lights from their webcam on Dark Island.



Saturday, November 7, 2009

News Flash! Singer Castle webcam on Dark Island now running!


Now for the first time, Singer Castle on Dark Island in the Thousand Islands has a real-time webcam! The view is from the castle itself overlooking the clock tower and over the St. Lawrence River. (Antique clock built by E. Howard Watch & Clock Company, chimes every 15 minutes with Westminster Chimes). Brought to you via Abay.com and Singer Castle. Click on Singer Castle's logo above to view the cam. Remember this is real-time, it will be dark viewing at night. You just may see a huge ship passing by, sailing vessels, yachts or other boats (especially during the warmer seasons).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

St. Lawrence Gallery - Carousel Mall - Syracuse NY

We can now experience the flavor of the Thousand Islands in central New York from now through the holidays! The famous Michael Ringer's St. Lawrence Galleries is now temporarily represented in Syracuse NY at the Carousel Mall (located on the second floor, just down the hall from Border's bookstore on the opposite side). They carry framed art, books, nautical decor, unique gifts, giclee prints, sculpture, local art, jewelry, and home furnishings.

For some shameless self-promotion, they also carry our Gold-Mountain multi-media, including the Singer Castle book (Arcadia Publishing), and our preeminently known Singer Castle documentary DVD: Dark Island's Castle of Mysteries. You can also pick up our other inspirational media such as the highly-awarded music video River-lations DVD (5 out of 5 Doves from the world famous Dove Foundation). Other books available: A Good Paddling! - To Love, Honor, and Oh Boy! - Proclaim His Praise in the Islands - as well as an assortment of other music CDs. Spot these items in the Gold-Mountain display boat, about half-way back on the left side. Gold-Mountain (comprised of Robert and Patty Mondore) is a long-time member of both the St. Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Jamesville Chamber of Commerce.

Michael Ringer is the renown artist from the North country in New York State (the Thousand Islands, as well as in the Adirondacks). Do not miss this opportunity to check it out now. It is literally like walking into a high-class museum, thanks to its talented Gallery Director: Kevin Topa, and his wife Marsha [Ringer] Topa (both pictured above; photo taken today on location by Bob Mondore).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

1906 film with Frederick G. Bourne & family on Dark Island


Some time ago (on 8/8/09) I blogged about a direct link to a Boldt Castle video at the official Boldt Castle website. It is only fitting that I now include a direct link to a Singer Castle "antique" video direct from the official Singer Castle website.


They explain the video as a: "Short film from 1906 showing the proud Fredrick G. Bourne and his family visiting their castle on Dark Island for the first time. This piece of rare footage features Singer Castle (known then as 'The Towers') and its grounds as well as images of the island and castle from the water."


It runs for 6 minutes and it is a silent film. Very interesting for those who love the history of the Thousand Islands and Dark Island in particular. Kick back and enjoy! (Click on the picture above, or on the words "direct link".)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mysterious Photo Shoot at Singer Castle

Above photo, Tom Weldon at the helm with the Mondores as cargo arriving at Singer Castle on Dark Island (Picture by Bob Mondore).

As reported in the Thousand Islands Sun (9/16/09)...
Robert and Patty Mondore, producers of Dark Island’s Castle of Mysteries DVD recently revisited Singer Castle for a photo shoot. The Mondores are working on another mysterious project hopefully to be released in the spring. They were graciously welcomed by General Manager, Tom Weldon and the Castle Historian, Judy Keeler. Tom walked the Mondores through the castle sharing his vast knowledge on recent updates and renovations done by the current owners. The Mondores were greatly impressed by all of the time, effort, financial investment and care that has gone into Singer Castle since its purchase in 2002.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Morrisania's last trip, shutting down forever.

The antique wooden boat called the Morrisania (from Morristown, NY) built in 1923 will be making its last run this Saturday, 9/19/09 to Singer Castle on Dark Island (or for a shore dinner, or a twilight cruise at Josephine's Marina and Bistro). The Morristown Boat Lines running the only antique tour boat in the Thousand Islands will completely cease all tour operations.

The Watertown Daily Times reports that manager Ron Wright attributes its closing down due to "The high cost of doing business today ... Also, the high cost of insurance, inspection fees, government regulations, drug tests, docking and storage." The article continues "He said this season was a 'good year considering the poor weather in July and the slow economy.'"

To see a news video clip of the Morrisania, click on this link... WWNY (7 NEWS, Watertown).

You must call ahead to the Morristown Boat Lines for reservations to catch a last ride on this antique beauty...315-375-8213. See my earlier blog for other boat tour information for getting to Singer Castle and Boldt Castle, as well as other destination points in the 1000 islands.

Disclaimer: This blog has no affiliation with Singer Castle or Boldt Castle or the boat lines. Absolutely check out all things with the primary parties before making any plans, decisions or actions.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Boldt Castle's First Farmers Market & Wine Festival

The magnificent Boldt Castle on Heart Island, Alexandria Bay NY (St. Lawrence River), will host its first Farmers Market and Wine Festival on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 from 11am to 4pm. Come see the best that Northern New York has to offer in its most elegant setting!

Vendors include Cross Island Farm (fresh produce from Wellesley Island), Forbes Farm (handmade goats’ milk soaps and lotions from Evans Mills), Gold Cup Farm/River Rat Cheese (cheese curd and food products from Clayton), Burnham’s Pure Maple Syrup (maple products from Adams Center) and Home Again Farm (alpacas from Theresa).

Free wine tastings and sales will be available from Coyote Moon Winery (Clayton), Otter Creek Winery (Philadelphia NY), Thousand Islands Winery (Alexandria Bay), River Myst Winery (Ogdensburg) and Yellow Barn Winery (Watertown/Sackets Harbor).

There also will be music and entertainment!

Boldt Castle: 315-482-9724

Friday, September 4, 2009

Marjorie Bourne boat fastest in its class


Picture above shows Marjorie Bourne racing her boat, the Moike (click on picture to see it enlarged).

“ONE OF THE FASTEST MOTOR BOATS IN AMERICA IN ITS CLASS”

In 1904 Marjorie Bourne, the youngest daughter of Commodore Frederick G. Bourne of Dark Island, was given her own motorboat for her fourteenth birthday. The 36 foot 9 inch boat, originally named the Eureka, was built by Charles L. Seabury & Company of Morris Heights, NY and was noted for its speed. Marjorie renamed the boat the Moike and according to the February 6, 1908 issue of The Hammond Advertiser, the first record of the boat in the 1000 Islands is from the Gold Cup Challenge Races in 1906. The article also mentions that Commodore Bourne had the boat re-powered in 1908 with a “new 40 horsepower Smalley engine making the Moike’s top speed of 27 miles per hour.”

Marjorie, like most young women of her era, kept a scrapbook and on their recent trip to Boulder, CO to visit Bourne relatives Judy Keeler and Jean Papke were able to see her scrapbook and obtain copies of several pages from the scrapbook that she began keeping in 1904. The pages contained articles from the Sunday, June 5, 1910 New York Times and the New York Herald of August 15, 1910 that described boat races in the 1000 Islands.

A New York Times article entitled “Fastest Motor Boats in America in their Classes” pictures boats owned by both Marjorie and George Bourne as well as those owned by F. K. Burnham, Alexander R. Peacock, George Hasbrouk and Mrs. A.G. Miles (Clover Boldt, daughter of George C. Boldt - of Boldt Castle fame). The names of several of the boats mentioned in the articles are recognizable by area fans of antique wooden boats and a few of them are in the collection of the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton. The boats mentioned include: the Dixie II, the Intruder, the P.D.Q., the Duquesne, the Stranger, the J.A.N. and the Moike.

During a race on August 13th, Marjorie Bourne, then 20 years old, beat them all. In an article entitled “New York Girl Steers a Motor Boat to Victory,” the New York Times said: “Miss Louise [sic] Bourne …was the cynosure of all eyes here late yesterday when in competition with the fastest motor boat of the Thousand Islands she steered the Moike to victory defeating a large field. For twenty-one miles the plucky woman held her craft in the lead. When the race was over, a round of cheers from the fashionable crowd and the din of yachting whistles greeted her as she walked down the long dock.” The New York Herald of the same day stated that the race took 52 minutes and 9 seconds to complete in perfect weather.

The members of the Bourne family, Commodore Frederick G. Bourne and his children George and Marjorie continued to participate in the summer boat races for many years and Commodore Bourne was influential in setting up the courses for many of those races. Marjorie kept the Moike in the North Boathouse at her home on Dark Island until the early 1960s but by that time the engine, the seats and the hardware had been removed. Her nephew Frederick B. Hard donated the boat to the Antique Boat Museum in 1972. The boat is stored on its original cradle in the museum’s Doebler Storage Facility.Visitors to the 1000 Islands region can tour Bourne's castle, now called Singer Castle, on Dark Island. The castle is open 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily during the summer months and weekends mid May – mid June and Labor Day – mid-October. They can also see several of the antique wooden boats that the summer residents raced and used on the St. Lawrence at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton. The ABM is open 9:00 – 5:00 daily mid-May to mid-October.

Source: Direct from Dark Island.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Singer Castle, Dark Island, under construction!



Pictured above is Singer Castle as it was originally being constructed (click on the picture to see it enlarged)!

Frederick G. Bourne’s “small hunting lodge,” known as The Towers, on Dark Island was built on a rocky bluff overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Bourne had purchased Dark Island for $5000 in December 1902 and work on the castle began in October 1903. The J.B. and R.L. Reid Construction Company of Alexandria Bay was hired for the project. They employed a large crew of men to work year round on all phases of the construction. Local folklore said that nearby neighbor, artist Frederic Remington, who had his summer home on Temagami Island (he called it Ingleneuk), found the noise generated by the project very irritating.

A June 1905 Town of Hammond (NY) census report stated that there were 116 men on the payroll performing all phases of work year round. The men lived in a floating rooming house constructed on a large scow that tied up to the island, in wooden shanties or in tent cities near the sandstone and granite quarries in Hammond and on Oak Island. During the winter months, lumber and stone were ferried from the mainland by wagon over the ice to Dark Island. Skilled stonemasons were brought from Italy to carve the marble used on the grand fireplaces in the dinning and drawing rooms. No expense was spared in the construction and the castle had its own telephone system and power plant, which functioned until the late 1960s.

Bourne purchased land in Canada and had at least 2000 loads of soil brought to Dark Island to be placed between two 20-foot high stonewalls. The walls bordered the Rose Garden area and the area known as the Castle Green where lawn tennis courts were constructed. Under the Castle Green a tunnel was built connecting to the North Boat House and a tower and bridge were constructed to connect the South Boat House to the castle.


Source: Direct from Dark Island.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Antique Singer Sewing Machines donated to Singer Castle, Dark Island.

NEW MACHINES ADDED TO SINGER CASTLE COLLECTION

Three additional Singer Sewing Machines have been added to the Singer Castle collection this year. Myron Sierson (pictured above), summer resident of Millens Bay, recently visited Singer Castle for a tour and determined that the castle would be the perfect place for the antique sewing machines that his grandmother and mother had used. Mr. Sierson’s grandmother Bertha Cusworth and then his mother Margaret Cusworth Sierson used an 1894 treadle machine with cabinet until the early 1970s. Mr. Sierson recalls his mother using the machine to sew his clothing and also sewing canvas flaps for the extension on the family’s tent used on camping trips to Cedar Island and Burnham Point State Parks. He remembers staying in that tent when hurricanes Connie and Diane hit the 1000 Islands region in 1956 and 1957. The Sierson’s tent weathered both hurricanes and remained standing without out one tear. The 1894 machine will be the oldest in the castle collection and is of particular interest to castle staff because it was manufactured in Elizabeth, NJ during Frederick Bourne’s tenure as the fifth president of the Singer Company. Mr. Sierson also donated a 1925 sewing machine with cabinet to the castle. The machine is still in perfect working condition. Earlier in the 2009 season, an Albany resident anonymously donated a 1910 machine to the castle. This 99-year old machine, manufactured in Elizabeth, New Jersey, is also in perfect working condition. The three new acquisitions will be placed on display making a total of eleven Singer Sewing Machines on display throughout the castle. Castle guests enjoy seeing the machines that remind them of those that their mothers, grandmothers and they themselves used or are still using in their homes.

Source: Direct from Dark Island.

Friday, August 14, 2009

New book inspired by Thousand Islands' Boldt Castle

The Castle on Deadman's Island is authored by Canadian author Curtis Parkinson who has roots in the Thousand Islands. Written for young adults, the author states that his book (fiction) was inspired by Boldt Castle. As the book gets into secret passageways I imagine Singer Castle on Dark Island also had some influence on the storyline. The cover picture even has a startling similarity to Singer Castle secret passageway entrances that I have passed through myself (click on the above picture to see it larger). I have not read the book, but in trying to keep my fellow 1000 Islands castle aficionados up to date I am blogging about it here.

When the owner of the castle on Deadman’s Island dies, his bizarre will leaves it to three of his friends who hate each other. Product description calls it an excellent new mystery that involves an eccentric millionaire, a woman’s disappearance, a towering castle, a secret tunnel and much more make this a compelling read.

The Kingston Whig Standard reports: “’I like setting the book in the early '40s when I was a young teenager,’ says Parkinson. ‘Canada was coming out of the Great Depression and everything was changing. The war was going on but in Canada we remained relatively innocent. And because a lot of women were out working, teenagers had a lot of freedom. And the Thousand Islands Bridge had just been built.’ In the book, Graham's Aunt Henrietta has just inherited one-third of a castle in the Thousand Islands. Unfortunately the two other beneficiaries have an intense dislike of her. When she goes missing, Graham suspects foul play. He recruits his friends and soon they are tramping around the castle -- at night of course when it's creepier -- discovering clues and secret passages and, of course, criminal activity.”

The book is available from Amazon.com. It is also reported to be available in Kingston (Canada) at Chapters, 2376 Princess St., Indigo Books, 259 Princess St., and Novel Idea, 156 Princess St. (This blogger has no ties to this book).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Official Boldt Castle video uncovered by this blog!



If you go to the Boldt Castle official website, you will see on their own Welcome page where it says to "Click here to watch a live Boldt Castle video!!" However, it doesn't work, they have programmed it with a wrong URL. You cannot get to it from any of their own links. I have discovered the actual link as it should be. Click on the following to view it for real directly from their own website: Boldt Castle Video.
8/15/09 Update. This blog makes things happen! After not working for at least a year, and perhaps for years, within days of this blog posting this problem, Boldt Castle has quickly corrected their website! Thanks for making it happen!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cornwall Bros. Museum and Antique Boat Show presentations & Flash Drive prizes.


This is an announcement of Patty Mondore's presentations over the coming week.

Patty will be showing her River-Lations inspirational music video at the Cornwall Brothers Museum in Alexandria Bay NY (36 Market St.) on Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 7 pm. The first five people who report to us (Bob or Patty) and have purchased a Gold-Mountain promoted item[s] from this museum while we are at this event will receive a free new 1 GB Flash Drive if you mention that you saw this blog to us. (The item may be purchased any time of that day, but you must be one of the first five to request the gift from Bob or Patty while we are still at the event).

On Saturday, Aug. 1st, Patty will also have a book signing at the Antique Boat Museum from 12 to 2 pm and then a historical Singer Castle power point presentation follows at 2 pm also at this famous Antique Boat Show in Clayton NY. The first five people that report to us (Bob or Patty) and have purchased from this museum a Gold-Mountain promoted item[s] while we are at these events will also receive a free new 1 GB Flash Drive if you mention that you saw this blog to us. (The item may be purchased any time of that day, but you must be one of the first five to request the gift from Bob or Patty while we are still at the event.)

The final arbiter of winners shall be this blog's author (a temporary list of winners will be kept for reference). Flash drives will be awarded on the spot.

The picture above is of Patty in concert recently at Frink Park, Clayton NY as blogged on July11th.

Examples of Gold-Mountain sponsered multimedia available from these museums (depending on stock):
Dark Island's Castle of Mysteries DVD (the preeminent and richly fascinating historical documentary of Singer Castle on Dark Island).
Singer Castle (the book - Arcadia Press - a history of Singer Castle in pictures).
River-Lations DVD (inspirational music video of the 1000 Islands, including scenes from the Antique Boat Parade in Clayton NY and of Singer Castle).
8/1/09 Post Events Note:
We had an exciting time at all of these events. We got to award many Flash/Thumb-Drive prizes. Thanks everyone for the good turn-out and for helping to support these museums. May you all enjoy our products that you purchased from these museums.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bourne family, a country music star & antique boat museum

What does a very famous country music star, the Bourne family and the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY have in common? According to the Thousand Islands Sun (7/15/09, pg. 26), the Bourne family (progeny of Frederick G. Bourne, of Dark Island fame) owned three Gar Wood Speedsters on the St. Lawrence River. Famous for racing boats in this area, Alfred S. Bourne, George Bourne, and Marjorie Bourne with her husband Alexander Thayer owned Miss Me, Miss Behave and Miss Chief. The current status of the Miss Me is unknown. Miss Behave is in the current collection of the Antique Boat Museum. And Miss Chief will be offered up for auction at the boat show in Clayton on August 1, 2009. Miss Chief was recently owned by the famous country music star, Alan Jackson (pictured above).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jorstadt Castle singers to perform in Clayton

For those who remember those wonderful Jorstadt Castle (now Singer Castle) musical days in the past, you may now see Patty Mondore and the Rev. Harvey Jones in a free concert in Frink Park, Clayton NY tomorrow (Sunday, July 12, 2009) starting at 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Riverside Theater (as part of the Sunday Sunset Series), donations are accepted but are by no means required. Come one and all for free and bring your own lawn chairs. If the weather does not permit (but so far the forecast looks great), it will be moved to the River Community Church, 38844 Bartlett Point Road in Clayton.

Patty sang her own songs solo and played the piano at the castle for many years. Harvey Jones was the pastor for many years and also sang. Both have produced their own musical CDs.

Pictured above, from left to right: Harvey's wife Flo Jones, Patty Mondore, Wanda (Lou) Wolfe , and Harvey Jones. This picture was taken in Alexandria Bay's Swan Bay Beach Club of which Wanda is the manager and chef extraordinaire (and is a friend of both families).

Post show note: despite the unseasonal cool weather with a strong wind, shouts of "more - more!" and "encore -encore!" were heard from the crowd after Patty finished singing. Harvey also had a very strong performance.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dark Island's Buoys property in Alexandria Bay NY

As blogged here earlier last week (July 20; see also April 25, 2009), Singer's Castle's newly acquired Buoys Restaurant in Alexandria Bay NY is now occupied by a new tenant. It does not have Singer Castle souvenirs as was originally thought. The new business owner states that she has contracted throughout this season with Dark Island to carry her wares. If you need a plush toy for a child, Tiny Tots toys is the place to go! It is filled with many well known brands. In addition, they also carry new and "gently used" clothes for kids.

You need to check out the beautiful new Singer Castle signs located on the front and left sides of the building. I know the Village Board has been vigorously debating about sign regulations in the town recently, but these are not just advertising signs, these are works of art! You must see them. They are an asset to the town. Location: 34 James Street. (Click on the above picture to get a better view of one of the signs.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Judy Keeler - Singer Castle historian to speak


Mark your calendars for Thursday evening of July 16, 2009 (7:00 p.m.) for Singer Castle's renown historian, Judy Keeler, to give a Gallery Presentation at Cornwall Brothers Store and Museum called "Fact, Fallacy and Folklore". It will be a talk with PowerPoint about the area's Golden Age seasonal residents, focusing on the Bournes of Dark Island. Cornwall Bros. Museum is located at 36 Market Street, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607. Call the museum for more information at 315-482-4586. (Hosted by the Alexandria Township Historical Society.)

The picture above is a vintage postcard from the time Marjorie Bourne owned the castle. Commodore Frederick G. Bourne (her father) built the castle at the turn of the century more than 100 years ago.

Ironically enough, Frederick Bourne's wife was Emma Keeler, but there is no known connection with the historian Judy Keeler.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Singer Castle's - Alexandria Bay Gift Shop Grand Opening

According to the Singer Castle notice, it looks like the Dark Island Gift Shop (my own name for it) will have its grand opening in Alexandria Bay, NY next week. We look forward to the goodies and the extra business that this operation brings to town! It's location is at the former Buoys Restaurant, 34 James Street. See my original post about it in April for a picture of the building by clicking on this blog's title. The above picture is of Singer Castle's permit on display in the window for this enterprise's signage (click on it to see it enlarged).


Saturday, June 13, 2009

New York Curiosities

Looking for unique places to visit for your next vacation or day trip? This intriguing book, New York Curiosities, by Cindy Perman, references both castles, Boldt and Singer. Included in a state by state series, this book touts being your round-trip ticket to the wildest, wackiest, most outrageous people, places and things the Empire State has to offer! It features fascinating places to visit in New York State including such places as the National Buffalo Wing Festival with its “Running of the Chickens” (i.e., people dressed as chickens) to the famous negative ions that feel so good in Niagara Falls.

Singer Castle is highlighted in the book for its labyrinth of secret passageways, a dungeon, a turret office, and high tech gadgets for the early 1900s.

Boldt Castle is touted for its haunting love story.

The author, Cindy Perman, knows New York State's fascinating sites very well. She was raised in Rochester, NY; went to Syracuse University; and now resides in New York City. A talented writer, she wrote for the Wall Street Journal for many years and continues to write through other outlets.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Frommer's Review in the New York Times

Frommer's Guide, referenced in the New York Times, has this interesting review about Singer Castle:

"this dramatic medieval castle is worth going out of your way to see. It's a stunning creation, made of the same granite used for Boldt Castle and erected at the same time in the first years of the 20th century. Unlike its sister castle, however, Singer was actually occupied, and it's still furnished with period pieces."

Of course, the above review is entirely correct. However, if I may critique the critique, the reviewer's source did get one thing slightly askew. The review related to: "... Bourne's secret passageways and peepholes used to spy on guests." That is actually a late-date myth, albeit close to the truth. The castle was actually built with hidden passages so that the servants could move unobtrusively about the castle without being a bother to the guests. They could then attend to the guests' needs without creating any disturbance. If one can define the word spy without the nefarious connotation, that will be the correct idea.

Click on this blog's title to see the entire review in the New York Times.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Alfred S. Bourne Championship Trophy - Senior PGA

This is an interesting factoid. Alfred S. Bourne would have been running around in the Singer Castle when he was a kid (as the son of its builder, Frederick G. Bourne). Himself a golfer, in 1937 Alfred donated for the creation of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy. Awarded every year to the Senior PGA champion, it is the most coveted senior golf prize. Among the golf giants that have their names inscribed as winners on the trophy are: Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Tom Watson, Gene Sarazen, and Jay Haas (see a history of these winners and their pictures by clicking on this blog's title). The Trophy is 40 inches tall, 18 inches wide and weighs 30.5 pounds.

Friday, May 22, 2009

1000 Island Images

If you haven't already seen it, I introduce you to 1000 Island Images (1000islandimages.com). It is a wonderful site for viewing an interesting selection of pictures from the 1000 Islands, including famous sites, interesting action wildlife shots of Loons, Blue Herons, etc., ships and boats. (They also have a running feed showing what the current local weather is in the Alexandria Bay area.) The images featured in that website are the original works of Paul R. Cooledge and Lillian R. Cooledge. The layout is very user friendly, just click on the small images to see them enlarged. Almost no text is found on their site, just pure picture goodness. The above Singer Castle picture with the passing ship (Algosea) is found in their catalog of images (click on it above to see it enlarged). Their images are protected by copyright law, including the above picture. (It is by their generous permission that we may view it here.) Check them out and enjoy the scenery.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Great Lake Swimmers

Some of the biggest buzz in music news blogs is about the Canadian folk/rock band called the Great Lake Swimmers. Apparently our friend, Ian Coristine (renown 1000 Islands photographer and writer), coaxed the group to the Thousand Islands area which in turn inspired them to a new album called Lost Channels. What is interesting to readers of this blog is that they recorded for their album the famous rich sounds of Singer Castle's Westminster Chimes from its 5-story clock tower. (Of course, we beat them by several years. Gold-Mountain was the first in over 100 years to release the sounds to the public in its Dark Island's Castle of Mysteries documentary. The rich sounds are also found in our newly-released award winning Thousand Islands themed music video called River-Lations. But I digress.)

In an interview with CBC Radio 3 (Canada), Tony Dekker, lead singer of the band, revealed his best and worst moments in the Thousand Islands. His favorite moment: "Recording in Singer Castle on Dark Island." His least favorite moment: "Getting up at 6 a.m. in order to catch the boat to go to Singer Castle on Dark Island." (For those of you potential visitors of Singer Castle: Do not fear, there are boats that make the cruise much later!)

Just as I was going to press on this, the Thousand Islands Life (a free but very high class, exquisite online magazine) came out with an article by Ian Coristine with more details about the band.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How do I get to Singer Castle or Boldt Castle?



"Just how can I get to Singer Castle or Boldt Castle?" is a common question, as they can only be reached by boat. Check out these sources for the answer:

Uncle Sam Boat Tours' Two Castle Tour is a popular way of getting to both castles from Alexandria Bay, NY. Call them at 800-563-8687 or click on their web link.


Schermerhorn Harbor, located at Chippewa Bay - Hammond NY, is very close to Dark Island and they can be reached at 314-324-5966.

Morristown Boat Tours, Morristown NY, offers tours to Singer Castle on their classic wood boat named the Morrisania. Call them for an appointment at 315-375-8213. (Post blog note: The Morrisania later was retired, so that service is no longer available as I have subsequently blogged.)

Rockport Boat Line (Rockport, Canada) also has a Two Castle Tour right from Canada. Call them toll-free at 800-563-8687 (or locally from there at 613-659-3402). Be sure to understand what is required to cross the border when coming from Canada. (The boat line will advise you on that).

Private boaters are also welcome to Singer Castle. Call ahead at 315-324-3275 or use your marine radio channel 16. (Note: Canadian private boaters must first check into customs at Heart Island near Alexandria Bay or in Ogdensburg. Please call ahead for more details.)

Disclaimer: This blog has no affiliation with Singer Castle or Boldt Castle or the boat lines. Absolutely check out all things with the primary parties before making any plans, decisions or actions.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Singer Castle Tours' benefit for Alzheimer's Assoc.


Singer Castle Tours has tickets up for bid on EBay to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, Central New York Chapter. Bidding ends early morning May 12, 2009, so check out this worthy cause right away by clicking on this blogs heading.

About this nonprofit charity:
The Alzheimer's Association (http://www.alzcny.org/) is a national voluntary health agency dedicated to providing leadership to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, while enhancing care and support for individuals and their families.
Description of auction:
Winning bidders receive a pair of tickets for a tour of Singer Castle in the 1000 Islands. Singer Castle sits on Dark Island, off the shores of Alexandria Bay. Local boating companies in A-Bay offer shuttles to and from the island.
Built in the early 1900s, Singer Castle is the only castle on the 1000 Islands to be completed and lived in during the turn-of-the-century heyday of the region.
NOTE: There are three pairs of tickets for bid. Each lot is worth $25.
All inquires must be though the auction webpage and not through the Singer Castle site.
Disclaimer: This notice is for informational purposes only. Blogger has no connections concerning this auction. All information per auction page.

5/12/09 Follow up note: This auction has successfully concluded. A total of 7 bids were received. Thanks Singer Castle for a good deed; and the winner received a great deal too.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jack Kemp - Rest in peace


[Buffalo, NY is on the famous St. Lawrence River Seaway Trail, which also hosts the magnificent Niagara Falls. That is the region from where our river water in the Thousand Islands flows.]

Jack Kemp is a football legend in New York State. The Buffalo Bills got him at the bargain basement price of $100 due to a waivers foul-up. "Kemp led Buffalo to the 1964 and 1965 AFL Championships, and won the league's most valuable player award in 1965. 'Pro football gave me a good perspective," he was quoted as saying. "When I entered the political arena, I had already been booed, cheered, cut, sold, traded, and hung in effigy.' " - From The Associated Press

(July 13, 1935 – May 2, 2009)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Live webcam: St. Lawrence River - Boldt Castle



Have you seen the St. Lawrence River live on the web (with the Boldt Castle area in the background) thanks to Abaycams.com? Located in Alexandria Bay, NY, see it anytime during the day from the comfort of your computer! Click on this blog's title for some contemplative or reminiscent thinking about being on the river as you see it live. (Picture above courtesy of Teresa Mitchell, Wikipedia. Click on it to see it enlarged.)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Alster Tower - Not founded upon a rock

Alster Tower (of Boldt Castle, on the edge of Heart Island, Alexandria Bay) has been experiencing roof and wall leaks for almost 100 years due to not having a proper foundation of bedrock.

The Watertown Daily Times on 4/20/09 reported the following:

"The [Thousand Islands] bridge authority spent about $155,000 to hire Robert Silman Associates, New York City, to conduct a comprehensive investigation last year. The study revealed that the tower was not built on an appropriately secure foundation. 'Part of the problem is that the stone structure was built on rubble instead of bedrock,' said Stephen C. Goodrich, Boldt Castle foreman for contracted projects. 'We're not concerned that the tower will fall. However, we would like to have it standing for another hundred, two hundred years.' "
A reconstruction project will begin about mid-May to shore up its foundation. "Shane K. Sanford, Boldt Castle operations manager, said the tower will remain open to visitors while the workers improve its foundation."

Built during the 1890s, Alster Tower (known as the "children's playhouse") is interesting because the Boldts actually occupied it before the main castle was built. The main castle was never occupied, as it was never finished. We are happy this part of history will be preserved with an improved foundation.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Buoys Restaurant

According to abaycircus.blogspot.com Singer Castle (Dark Island) has purchased the former Buoys Restaurant at 34 James Street in Alexandria Bay, NY. The news is that it will be used as a gift shop. A very exciting idea! We can't wait to check out the souvenirs! (Click on the picture to see it enlarged.)

Disclaimer: Never make any decisions without checking first with the primary parties.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Opening Day


Yes! Summer weather is just around the corner! As a harbinger for the wonderful weather that lies ahead (and fun times in the 1000 Islands), a good way to kick-off this blog is to post the opening days for both Singer Castle and Boldt Castle.

Singer Castle's opening day for this season (2009) is Saturday, May 16th.
Boldt Castle's opening day is Saturday, May 9th.

Here are all the details for the entire season:

Singer Castle:
Open Saturday and Sunday starting May 16th.
Open weekdays by appointment through June call for dates and times.
Open 7 days a week Saturday June 20th through Monday September 7th. Saturdays and Sundays September until October 12th. Open Weekdays in September and October by appointment call for dates and times.
Open 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Charter groups will be accommodated daily by reservation.

Boldt Castle:
May 9 - June 26
10:00am - 6:30pm
June 27 - Sept 6
10:00am - 7:30pm
Sept 7 - Oct 4
10:00am - 6:30pm
Oct 5 - Oct 12
10:00am - 5:30pm
Oct 17 - Oct 18
11:00am - 5:30pm
Boldt Castle Yacht
House Hours:
May 16 - Sept 27
10:30am - 6:30pm

Disclaimer: Do not make any decisions or plans based solely upon this information. Always verify everything with the primary parties before making any plans.

Friday, April 17, 2009

1000 Islands Castles and other topics.



Theme of this blog:

Singer Castle (formerly known as Jorstadt Castle) on Dark Island, St. Lawrence River, in the Thousand Islands, NY; Boldt Castle on Heart Island in Alexandria Bay, NY; The Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY, News tidbits of the Thousand Islands region; and occasionally other ruminations.

Blog author: Robert J. Mondore, producer of the popular Singer Castle documentary titled: Dark Island's Castle of Mysteries (copyright © Gold-Mountain). Owner & Producer at Gold-Mountain.com . We (Robert and Patty) also wrote the book on Singer Castle (Arcadia Publishing). [And subsequent to this blog, we have released Singer Castle Revisited which contains all new and different information/photos from the past to the present of Dark Island.]

Your participation is welcome and all submissions concerning the 1000 Islands region will be seriously considered for publication on this blog. Send photos or story to: mailbox [at] gold-mountain [dot] com

Disclaimer: This blog has no affiliation with Singer Castle nor Boldt Castle nor any other sites in the 1000 Islands. This is an independent blog. Please check all things with the primary parties before making any plans, decisions, or actions.