Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fun Day Off

Last Monday we went to the 1000 Islands with the year around temple missionaries.  This is an area where the St. Lawrence Seaway leaves Lake Ontario.  There is supposedly around 1800 islands in this area that is about 30 miles long on the the seaway.  It is a famous area for summer vacations and tourists.

Hint: To be called an island it has to be out of the water year around, be at least 3 ft square, and have at least 1 tree and 1 other form of vegetation.  Most of the islands are on the Canadian half of the seaway.  Most of the larger islands are on the USA side making the land area about equal.  Many of the islands have homes on them.  It is amazing how small an island can have a home on it.  We saw one with about a 150 sq. ft. home on about a 160 sq. ft. island. 

We went on a boat tour of these islands.  We saw many islands with their homes but most of the time was spent on two islands looking at two "Castles".  One was Dark Island with Singer Castle.  The other Heart Island with Boldt Castle.  Both were build around 1900.   
Singer Castle

Singer Castle

Singer Castle was built by the 5th President of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.  He called it a "Hunting Lodge".  It has the feel of a medeval castle and is loaded with secret passageways for servants to use. 

Singer Castle with boathouse

Singer Castle Breakfast Room
This was Susan's favorite room.  Magnificant arched windows on three sides of the room looked out over the water. 

Singer Castle Light Sweat Cabinet
This was their version of a tanning bed.  Notice the light bulbs all around the sides and bare wiring that you could touch and get burned or shocked.  This would be an OSHA nightmare.  You sat on the stool and closed the doors.  The mirrors all around reflected the light onto your body.  Your head stuck up out of the hole on the top.  This was located in the massage room.

Hidden Passageway behind bookcase
Servants were looking out from these secret passageways ready to step out and provide whatever service was needed such as refilling a glass, etc.  They would then quickly dissappear again.  The only exception was in the ladies lounge area where his wife did not want anybody to observe them.  Servants could only come when they were called for.
Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle was built by some guy named Boldt who was building it for a summer home for his wife.  He was the proprieter for the Walsorf-Astoria hotel in NYC.  His wife died before it was finished and he stopped all work on it.  It remained vacant for over 50 years, and had much vandalism.  It is now owned by the St. Lawrence Seaway authority.  They are constantly trying to finish the original design but have committed to never finish it completely.  Boldt said his wife didn't get to see it completed so no one will.  The first floor is now completed and furnished.  The families bedrooms on the 2nd floor are completed.  Nothing has been done yet on the 3rd and 4th floors.
Boldt Castle Power House
This was on one end of the island and was to contain the large generators that would provide electricity to the island.
Boldt Castle grand staircase and balcony
Boldt Castle above the grand staircase
This is a view of the ceiling 4 levels above the main floor showing the stain glass sky light. You can see there was balconies all round overlooking the grand staircase.

Boldt Castle Master Bedroom
This bedroom on the 2nd floor is a rounded room in a corner.  Even the windows and glass were curved.

Boldt Castle Children's Playhouse and Tower
This was the children's playhouse and tower.  They are working on it so it is blocked off.  You can see the workman on top.  Can you imagine having a playhouse like this when you were a kid?  You could really feel like a knight or a princess.
 Other Islands
These are some other islands.

Boldt Castle Boathouse on Wellesley Island

Three Sisters Lighthouse
This is actually three islands connected by stone walkways. The lighthouse was actually in use.

This is a small island with a home on it.
 We had a delightfull day with the other missionaries.  We are not going to say anything about the sunburns we had the next day.  We should have know better then to spend the day on the water without sunscreen or hats. 
Have a great week.  We love you all.


Tami said...

A 150 sq. ft. home on a 160 sq. ft. island?!? I hope they have flood insurance!

Sounds like you had a wonderful day.

Rach said...

Great pictures!! I agree with Mom, I love that breakfast room with the arched windows. What a fun day!