Friday, February 26, 2010

Who owns these lands?

This Canadian video is very timely. While our State of New York debates the closing of its State parks (as the State drowns in taxes and debt), this video asks the question...who owns the park lands?

The last scenic clip (with the little girl and canoe) is of the St. Lawrence River, which we know is the home of Boldt Castle on Heart Island and Singer Castle on Dark Island and so many other wonderful sites in the Thousand Islands and beyond.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine's Day / Boldt Castle Love Story on Heart Island

Clover Boldt Baird, granddaughter of George C. Boldt wrote "The Love Story of Boldt Castle" in 1978. She wrote some interesting things apropos to Valentine's day. Boldt's wife, Louise, loved the Thousand Islands and her birthday happened to be on Valentine's day (Feb. 14th). As Clover tells it, George would make a castle for Louise that would be a double gift, a birthday present as well as a Valentine's gift.

"...George noticed that his island had a somewhat heart-like shape. Valentines Day, a 'gift of love,' Hart Island... 'I'll make it a REAL heart,' he promised himself. Soon after, he imported hundreds of workmen to change the outline of the island into the desired shape ... reworked until the land became a giant valentine, which George promptly named 'Heart Island.'"

But sadly ending like a Greek tragedy, Louise died unexpectedly at only 42, and George, inconsolable, immediately stopped all work on the castle and he never returned to it. Not to end on this note, Boldt Castle on Heart Island became one of the most visited tourist destinations, as well as a very popular host of weddings.

(Most of these factoids and excerpts are from Clover's booklet. The classic aerial-view post card which I have is dated from 1962. Click on the headline to read on Wikipedia about the surprisingly actual St. Valentines who were martyred for their beliefs).