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.