Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, May 30, 2011 (the last Monday of every May), we remember those who gave up everything for us.

Above is a memorial located in Alexandria Bay, NY overlooking the St. Lawrence River and Boldt Castle on Heart Island. The memorial is a testament to PFC Jack T. Sweet, a soldier who gave his life on Feb. 8, 2008 in Iraq at the age of 19 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jack Sweet was from Alexandria Bay and his home base was Fort Drum in Watertown, NY (10th Mountain Division).

Photos by Bob Mondore

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Quick Taste: History of Singer Castle.

 Commodore Frederick G. Bourne and his wife Emma are the couple in the center of the gathering. Click on the photo to see it larger.

Singer Castle – A Family Place

The five-story red roofed castle on Dark Island was built in the early 1900s as a "small hunting lodge" for Frederick Bourne who was the President of the Singer Sewing Machine Company from 1889-1905. Bourne and his family loved spending time at "The Towers" in the 1000 Islands and enjoyed the many activities that were available to residents and visitors alike. Boating, sailing, racing, tennis and golf were popular with the family in the summer and in the fall Bourne and his friends came for the duck hunting. After Bourne’s death in 1919 his youngest daughter Marjorie and her sister, May Bourne Strassburger purchased the castle from the estate. Marjorie Bourne and her husband Alexander Thayer continued to use and enjoy the castle with friends and family until the early 1960s.

From the mid-1960s to 2001 the castle, then called Jorstadt Castle was owned by the Dr. Harold Martin Evangelical Association and used for religious retreats and services. During those years families came to the castle for Sunday worship during the summer months.

In 2002 Dark Island was purchased by a group of island and castle enthusiasts who opened the castle for guided tours, overnight stays and weddings and special events. Now called Singer Castle after the source of much of Frederick Bourne’s fortune, it is once again a family place. Visitors of all ages enjoy coming to tour the fully furnished building and hearing about time gone by in the 1000 Islands. Overnight guests can pretend that they are the Kings and Queens or Princes and Princesses of the castle and Brides and Grooms can have their own Royal Wedding.

After visiting friends and "family," you can now keep track of the castle by visiting us on facebook, or by checking out the following websites:,, and

The castle is also featured in several recently published books and magazines including Bob and Patty Mondore’s Singer Castle Revisited, Patty Mondore’s River-Lations: Inspirational Stories and Photos of the 1000 Islands, Ian Corstine’s The very best of Ian Corstine’s 1000 Islands, Kathleen Quigley’s The Summer Cottage: Retreats of the 1000 Islands, Scott Ian Barry’s The Castles of New York, Mike Harwood’s The St. Lawrence River Rats and The Mystery of Singer Castle, Island Life Magazine published by Kim Lunman. Wealth TV has produced a feature on Singer Castle as part of a series entitled "Palatial Passport" and PBS continues to air its feature on Singer Castle.

Call 1-877-327-5475 for more information on Singer Castle.

The above dispatch and photo were received this day directly from Dark Island's president, Tom Weldon.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Singer Castle opens this Saturday! Boldt Castle already open. Welcome to the Islands!

Picture: President of Singer Castle Tom Weldon on the left side in the light shirt, Bob and Patty Mondore on the right side as guests of the castle, the friendly castle staff in maroon shirts. Click on the photo to see it larger.

The long awaited reopening of Singer Castle on Dark Island and Boldt Castle on Heart Island in the 1000 Islands after the long winter seige is upon us. Here are the schedules...

Singer Castle will open for the 2011 season on May 21 and will be open Saturdays and Sundays thru June 18.Open daily June 18 - Labor Day
Open Saturdays and Sundays Labor Day - October 9


2011 Boldt Castle Hours of Operation:

May 7 - June 24: 10:00am - 6:30pm
June 25 - Sept 4: 10:00am - 7:30pm
Sept 5 - Oct 2: 10:00am - 6:30pm
Oct 3 - Oct 10: 10:00am - 5:30pm
Oct 15 - Oct 16: 11:00am - 5:30pm
This information provided by original sources at the time of blogging for your convenience. Always check ahead with them before making any plans or trips for any notices or changes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Not your usual Tour of the 1000 Islands - Wild Cat!

There is something new in the Thousand Islands, and it is a wild, high speed adventure cruise! It is like taking a tour and a circus ride at the same time. It is the Wild Cat ride/boat that takes you on a tour of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River. The 1000 Islands & Seaway Cruises (in Brockville, Canada) has put together an awesome 3 minute tour on video that is a must see. See fantastic shots of Singer Castle on Dark Island (at 1:00) as well as Boldt Castle on Heart Island (at 1:43), exotic looking wildlife, light houses (including Sister Island Lighthouse near Dark Island), huge ships...and the spectular ride itself with 1,400 horsepower! The tour covers 38 nautical miles in less than 2 hours at speeds up to 40 knots (on the water, that is really moving). Not your typical boat tour! Get a taste of the exciting ride now by seeing the video below.