St-Alexandre Des Chenaux RC Cemetery…Clarendon Twp.

November 21, 2014
St. Alexandre Cemetery

St. Alexandre Cemetery

One of the notes on Duncan D. MacDonald’s charts about Alexander McDonell and Janet caught my eye before I headed out on my trip to Canada in September 2014.  He wrote that they were buried in Stark’s Corner.  It was on Sheet 2-A, Chart 13 of his Part IV Collection of charts book.

I was at the Quebec Family History Society in Pointe-Claire, Quebec looking at their cemetery records for Pontiac County, Quebec and the volunteer pulled this three page typed paper and I got real excited.  This society has a great collection of cemetery records for Quebec.

I have been all over the Stark’s Corner Cemetery records at the Ontario Genealogical Society and also at the Quebec Family History Society and there is no record of any McD’s in this cemetery located in Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec.  This is also not a Catholic cemetery.

Source: Stark’s Corner Community Cemetery, including Stark Family Cemetery, Stark’s Corner United Church Cemetery also known as Stark’s Corner’s Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Recorded August 1991 by Robbie Gorr, Lot 20 A Range 3.  

Here is the link to the Grave Marker Gallery for Starks Corner with tombstone pictures.  There are no McD’s listed.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/quebec/pontiac/clarendo/starksco/index.htm

Well…when the volunteer at the Quebec Family History Society pulled this manuscript, I knew it was Alexander and Janet…

Source:  St-Alexandre Des Chenaux Roman Catholic Cemetery (also known as Ste-Melanie de Clarendon Roman Catholic Cemetery). Lot 24, Range 1, Clarendon Twp., Recorded May 1992 by Robbie Gorr.  The title is: The Lone Sentinel of the Past:

Try the Grave Marker Gallery for photos:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/quebec/pontiac/clarendo/stalexan/index.htm

This is a story of neglect and abandonment.  This cemetery was abandoned and subsequent owners have plowed up the area.  It is estimated that 100 wooden crosses were once there.  There is now only this one lone sentinel, obelisk left. As far as the article indicates there are no records.  The chapel that was there did burn down but the article states that a transfer of the church and cemetery to Portage Du Fort occurred, and Hwy 303 was built bypassing the area.

These are the grandparents of Janet, who married Ronald son of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson.  This is the Lundie McDonald connection.

The east side reads of the tall stone reads:

Alex McDonell died Jan. 1, 1842 AE 88 Yrs

his wife Janet died Jan. 14, 1847 AE 84 yrs.

The south side reads:

Their Son Ranald drowned July 18, 1854 AE 68 yrs. 

This article reads:

In 1840 Alexander McDonell donated an eight acre plot of land for a Roman Catholic Chapel and cemetery to be built, the nearest at that time being at Calumet Island.”

The mission of Ste-Melanie continued to be served by the incumbents of Calumet until 1854 when Father Bouvier completed the construction of the stone church…at Portage Du Fort and opened a new cemetery. The log chapel and cemetery at Clarendon were abandoned…The chapel is said to have burned down…”

“When the chapel (finally) was built, it was alongside the road which ran from Aylmer to Portage Du Fort. That road was abandoned in favour of the present Highwy 303 which runs between Portage du Fort and Shawville, nearly a mile to the north of the chapel site, thus making the cemetery a long distance from any public road, out of sight from passerby and inaccessible on private land with the permission of the owners.

Another comment made in the article is the name was changed because of another St. Alexandre cemetery at Sandpoint?

I followed out one of the sources listed:

Lone Sentinel of the Past” by S. Wyman MacKechnie from Ottawa Branch News, Volume XIII, Numbr 1, January-February 1980.”

It is of course the magazine of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.  Family History Library had copies and I found the article in a very tightly bounded volume, FHL Book 971-384 D25o V. 13, No. 1, Jan/Feb 1980.  This is a reprint from the Shawville Equity, September 28, 1977 with minor changes by the author.

I found it interesting that in this version the Ottawa Branch News, it was a brother-in-law of Alexander’s that pooled his land with Alexander for the purpose of the chapel and cemetery, not just Alexander donating land as the 3 page manuscript suggests.  This individual received the land from his services in the Battle of Waterloo.  I would like to see the Shawville Equity Article just to see what was really written.

In 2012, when I was touring the Upper Ottawa area and driving from Renfrew city to Portage Du Fort to Shawville, I went right by there on Hwy 303 several times and could have sought out this tombstone. I was trying to identify cemeteries with McD’s in them in the area and I was all over the internet and cemetery books but this one I missed.  I have realized since I came home and did my 2nd tour of Canada that I did not extend my searches wide enough but then I didn’t have a lot of time.

Here are the other sources in the article and I have not been able to find online versions probably due to copyright:

Highways of Destiny, A History of the Diocese of Pembroke, Ottawa Valley Canada, by Rev. Wm. C. O’Dwyer, 1964.

Clarendon and Shawville, by J. Lloyd Armstrong, Dickson Enterprises, Shawville, 1980.

Lift Up Your Hearts, A History of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke, by Rev. Joseph C. Legree, 1988.

If anyone knows this cemetery, has photos and is willing to share, please contact me and leave a comment


John Mor MacDonell husband to Flora McLellan…

November 13, 2014

In past post I have shared about Ronald and his wife Janet’s story.  She is the daughter of John Mor MacDonell and Flora McLlellan and he is the son of Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson. This makes Ronald (Ranald) a great great uncle.

Here are the posts I wrote:

  • Revisiting: Ronald (Ranald) and Janet McDonell – The Lundie Family Connection!, August 26, 2014
  • The Ronald McDonell & Janet McDonell Family, September 29, 2011

Mr. Perrault who commented on my the Revisiting post told me that there was a burial for John McDonald at St. Alphonsus.  He was correct, I was so busy getting ready for my trip to Ontario and Quebec that I had tucked away the record on my computer. His comments reminded me of this and so I share it with you.  I found it the other day.  So here is a transcription of the St. Alphonsus Church record.

Burial of John McDonnell

Burial of John McDonnell

John Mor MacDonell and his 2nd wife Flora McLellan

S3 John McDonell, St. Alphonse, Allumette Island, 13 February 1861.  I the undersigned priest of this mission have interred in the cemetery of this mission the body of John McDonell aged sixty-three years died 7th inst. Husband of Flora McLellan present Samuel McDonell, and James McDonell who have not signed.  Jas C. Lynch, Priest.

You can find a shortened version of the burial information:

#1324 McDonell, John 06 Feb 1861 buried 13 Feb. 1861 63 y. h/o Flora McLellon, 89

Source:  St. Alphonsus of Liquori, Chapeau, Allumette Island, Pontiac County, Quebec. Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records, by Elaine Brown.

I visited the St. Alphonsus Cemetery (old) in 2012 and stopped by several times but I did not find a tombstone for either John nor Flora but then I was not looking for this couple. There were a lot of missing stones, broken stones and more.

http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/touring-the-upper-ottawa-river-st-alphonsus-of-liguori/

In the 1871 Canadian Census, I found a Flora McDonell living in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec with a Allan and James McDonell ages 34 and 33. She was 62 years old which means she would have been born in 1809. If she is the correct Flora she was 18 years old when she married John in 1827, this date may be in the Perth Marriages, but I have not check them as this time.  She was born in Scotland and is Roman Catholic.  I have not been able to find a Flora in other census at this time.


The Alexander & Ellen Lineage vs. the Angus and Janet Lineage

November 6, 2014

When I started researching my father’s MacDonald surname, I had quite a bit of material to use to get started.  I had two family trees done by my Great Aunt Nellie, sister to my grandfather Ronald (R.S.).  The charts were dated 1932. I had the genealogical notes done by my Aunt Miriam a sister to my father.  I had pedigree charts and my own knowledge of my family.

I started at the beginning and began building and researching my family studying the life of my grandfather Ronald, his marriage to Grace, his siblings and their lives and also the lives of his parents Archibald and Mary McDonell. I was able to build a family history back to Archie and Mary to their marriage in 1861 and the Canadian census of 1861.  I have presented my findings in this blog about the lives my great grandparents Archie and Mary McDonell.

Using Nellie’s charts I was able to find many of the people on Mary’s side of the chart.  I used the census and the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church records in Chapeau.  All of the records pointed to Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson as the parents of the individuals I have featured on this blog in past posts.  Archie’s side of the family has only revealed one brother, a John McDonell who was living in Sheenboro.  There is a chart of his side of the family done by Nellie.

Mr. Duncan Darby MacDonald’s charts on pages 721 to 735 and specifically the one on page 73A, Chart 13 Sheet 5 – The Kennedy Connection, from his book PART IV is different than Aunt Nellie’s chart. Here is the detail of that book.

A collection of genealogical charts  Part-IV, 3rd Edition, ISBN O-921133-39-1.  Much of the earlier work done by Daniel F. McDonald of Bristol, Conn and other members of his family at Bridgend (Stone Villa) Lancaster.  A second edition was published in 1988 and the 3rd in 1993.  FHL#971.37 D2, book only.  

Here is a copy of my Aunt Nellie’s chart, which I have featured in a past post, just click on the photo below and it will open. There is a series of these posts in which I discuss both sides of the family and my findings.  You can find the posts by search for Nellie’s Charts.  This is the specific post I will be discuss in here, Post dated July 21, 2011 Nellie’s Charts – Her Mother Mary McDonell’s Family!

Alex. Ban McDonell Family Chart

Alex. Ban McDonell Family Chart

Now I cannot republish Mr. MacDonald’s chart here so I will have to recreate it.  He has for Mary, Rachel and Margaret the parents as Angus and Janet McDonell. There is also a brother named Angus.  It is this man who he indicates married Janet Catherine MacDonell.  After his death, she remarried to Thomas Payne.

See this post dated October 20, 2011 – Jennette Catherine McDonell and Her Two Marriages.

Angus & Janet MacDonell

Angus & Janet MacDonell Family per Duncan D. MacDonald Chart 13, Sheet 5 Part IV

You can see my two great grandparents are the pink boxes on the right.  This means, according to Duncan D. MacDonald, that Mary was not a sister to Jennette.  It also means that she is not a sister to Ronald who married Janet, a daughter of John Mor MacDonell and Flora McLellan members of the Lundie MacDonell family.

See my post dated August 26, 2014 “Revisiting: The Ronald (Ranald) and Janet McDonell – The Lundie Family Connection!”

Here is an expanded version showing some descendants.  On the left in the 2nd row Angus, a son, married to Jennette Catherine MacDonell. On the right are my great grandparents Mary and Archibald. Unfortunately, Duncan D. MacDonald does not give any lineage for Archibald.  He does for Alexander John MacDonell and has his wife Ellen McPherson with no lineage.

Duncan MacDonald's version of the Angus & Janet Tree

Duncan MacDonald’s version of the Angus & Janet Tree

Mr. MacDonald would have the following children for Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson, just click and it will open. Remember to hit your back button to return.

Alex and Ellen as per Duncan's Chart

Alex and Ellen as per Duncan’s Chart

So what is the real story? Who is my great-grandmother Mary McDonell a daughter of?  She is a daughter of Alexander John and Ellen McPherson per her marriage record to Archibald McDonell, from the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec.

A. McDonell & M. McDonell Marriage

A. McDonell & M. McDonell Marriage

It reads as follows: .

 #M51, #1029798, The marriage of Archibald and Mary McDonell on April 9, 1861 at the St. Alphonse Church.

“St. Alphonse Allumette Island 9 April 1861 after the banns of marriage have beene once published at the prone (?) for mass in this mission between Archibald McDonell of this mission son of age of John McDonell and of Sara McDonell on the one part and Mary McDonell of this mission daughter of age of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson on the other part – a dispensation of two of the banns of marriage have been granted by us in virtue of a power accorded to us by his Lordship the Right Revd Doctor _______Bishop of Bytown and wherein no impediment have been discovered we the undersigned Priest of this mission have received their mutual consent to marriage and have giving them the mutual benediction at Saint Alphonse Allumette Island on this date aforesaids and on the presence of John McDonell and Rachael McDonell who have not signed.” [____ Lynch,] Priest.

In the 1861 Canadian Census it reads for line 37, pg 2, Allumette Twp., FHL Film #0517406, Dist. 415 through 430E,

Line 36 Allumette Twp. Rachel McDonell, born LC, Catholic, age 23, female. Line 37 Alex Jno McDonell, Farmer, born U.C., Catholic, age 66 male; line 38 Mary McDonell born U.C., Catholic, age 25, female; Line 39, Duncan McDonald, Laborer, born L.C., Catholic, age 19, male; Line 40, Finlay McDonell born L.C., Catholic, age 16, male.

So here we have a Alex Jno McDonell with Rachel, Mary, Duncan and Finlay.  This census does not show a relationship but they are grouped so we can assume some sort of connection.

Rachel died on 8 January 1881.  She is listed in the 1876 to 1886 Register of the St. Alphonse book. She is S1, Her entry reads:

S1 Rachel McDonell, St. Alphonse All. Island, 11 Aug 1881 We the undersigned [    ] have interred the body of Rachel McDonell died 8th Inst. parents were Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson, aged 40 years. Present Angus McDonell and Alexander McDonell who have not signed.  Ja. C. Lynch, Priest. 

Based on these documents, I do not think that Mary or Rachel are the daughters of Angus and Janet.  They are the daughters of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson as my Aunt Nellie has indicated in her chart.  Other names on the chart all follow the lineage to Alexander John and Ellen.

What about Margaret, well she is a daughter of Angus and Janet. Again in the St. Alphonse church records 1859 to 1876 there is an entry for a death:

Margaret McDonnell, #S52, St. Alphonse Allumette Island, Dec, 23, 1862. We the undersigned priest of this mission have interred in the cemetery of this mission the body of Margaret died yesterday, aged 20 years daughter of Angus McDonell and Genet McDonell.  Present John Connoly & Donald McDonell who have not signed.  J.A. Lynch, Priest. 

I looks like Angus and Margaret were siblings and children of Angus and Janet/Genet.

From the book by Elaine Brown on the St. Alphonse Church there is these entries we see that Angus J. McDonald died in 1866 and the children above are not listed with an Angus, but with Alexander Jno. McDonell.

#A76, Row 3, pg. 4 Cemetery Inscriptions: Payne McDonald, 1) Janet C./McDonald/wife of/Thomas/Payne/died Sep 2, 1916/aged 84 y’rs/rest in peace/PAYNE; 2) Angus J/McDonald/died/July 15, 1866/aged 37 y”rs/rest in peace/

In my post dated March 23, 2010 The Records of the St. Alphonse Church. When I did the research on my family these records were not yet online at Ancestry.com and Family Search and even though the search engine is there it would not give me Angus and Jeanette’s marriage, I had to do it the hard way scrolling through the pages on Ancestry.  I knew the film number and the date so that helped.  Here is their marriage.

Baptisms, Marrriages & Burial Registers of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church FHL#1029797, 1846-1858 with an additional index 1846-1876,  #M10, FHL#1029797. 

St. Liguoris, Allumette Island, September 26, 1851 after the banns of marriage have been twice published at the [       ] in this mission between Angus J. McDonell of this mission, son of age of Angus McDonell and Janet McDonell on the one part and Jennette McDonell daughter of age of  [  ] John McDonell and Ellen McPherson on the other part. A dispensation of the banns of marriage have been given by us in [     ] of a power accorded to us by his lordship the Right Rev. Doctor Guigues Bishop of Bytown and whereas no impediment having been discovered we the undersigned priest of this mission have received their mutual consent to the marriage and given the nuptial benediction at Liguori Allumette Island on the day of the date above mentioned and in the presence of Thomas McDonell, William McDonell and Catherine McDonell who have not signed.  Jas. Lynch, Priest. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Duncan D. MacDonald does not give sources and if he does only in some places on his charts. I am glad that I have found this information and can now study it and do more digging into the records.

I think I will continue to believe that my Great Aunt Nellie’s chart is correct.

 


New York Wanderings: Heading Home…

October 8, 2014

After my tour of Boldt Castle and the shuttle back to Alexandria Bay and the pier, I headed to my lodging at Bonnie Castle.  They had huge signs for Bonnie Castle but I didn’t see any mention of the office so turn to the left of the sign as you enter.  I parked and went in.  It took a good 20 minutes to get to the desk and get checked in, it was crowded with people.  Getting to my room was not easy at Bonnie Castle.  I was to park at the rock wall near the entrance to the pub and restaurant.  Turn to the right and up some short steps through a door, down a hallway to another door, turn right through another door to a courtyard and then up some short steps to another door and my room was 2nd on the left.  Needless to say I didn’t bring all my stuff into the room.  I did do two loads but mixed it up with dinner.

My room was awesome!  It was roomy, with a desk, large bed, two chairs and table, a kitchenette with a refrigerator but I don’t remember a microwave.  The bathroom was huge except the door blocked the toilet.

Mostly importantly, I had a great view of Boldt Castle, and the St. Lawrence River and a door to a small lanai with two chairs.

Boldt Castle in the distance

Boldt Castle in the distance

The lighthouse

The lighthouse

DSC09828

A brave boatman

The St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River

Sunsets at Boldt Castle

Sunsets at Boldt Castle and one last tourist boat…

Bonnie Castle has several restaurants but the main one does not open till 5 pm.  So I headed to the pub.  I settled in at the bar and got a hamburger. It was fun to sit there and enjoy the view through the window of the river and the castle.  There was a lot of activity in the pub because it was the only place where there was food.  They let me take a glass of wine back to my room so I could enjoy the lanai.  Lovely…

Morning came to Alexandria Bay and I noticed they had turned the lights out on the Castle.  They did have them on into the night.

Morning - Boldt Castle

Morning – Boldt Castle main restaurant view

It was Saturday, September 27th and time to head to Buffalo.  My flight to Seattle was the next day so I had some traveling to do.

Breakfast was served in the main restaurant at 7 am of Bonnie Castle so I headed through the labyrinth of hallways to the main area and with locked doors I had to find a new route.  Breakfast was a buffet and the room was not busy at all. I settled in to just eat, enjoy the view and the sun rising over the St. Lawrence River.  Breakfast is not included in the room and was good and not bad at $13.00.  I’ve paid more.

I gathered my things and packed up the car and headed out in search of a gas station.  It was not to hard to find and I was soon on my way and back on I-81. The drive south on this highway was pretty easy being early in the morning and having done it the day before. I stopped again at the restaurant I had been to before at Exit #32.  I needed to take a break because I would be on I-90 west for quite a while.  It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Exit #32, not bad.  The restaurant was Good Golly..something like that!  Sort of like a Denny’s but a little nicer.

I have traveled down the eastern side of the state of New York through the Adirondacks and up and down the western side which is very different.  I would be driving to Buffalo on I-90 west which is slightly above the middle of the state.  I mostly in the upper area of New York State.

I have never been to New York City. I have seen New York City from the New Jersey airport and that is the closest I have gotten.  I have always wanted to attend a Broadway show, sit in at the Rachel Ray TV show, and dangle my feet at the New York Public Library.  I had forgotten that I had poked around some in New York City genealogy for a friend of the family and was looking at immigration records in the early 1900’s.  I suppose I should add the Statue of Liberty on my list and Ellis Island as well and the Empire State Building.  I would not be going anywhere near NYC this trip.

In 1985 I gave to the Ellis Island Centennial Commission.  It was not much but they sent me a certificate of Charter Membership which was supposedly signed by Gerald Ford?  I got a membership card as well. A nice letter signed by Lee A. Iacocca, Chairman.  I occasionally go online to see if there is anything of interest in the records, but my family all came over so early that I rarely do.  http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/genealogy  It is probably time to donate again.

New York Counties

New York Counties

I-81 would take me to Syracuse and I really didn’t want to go through and deal with traffic in that city.  It turned out good because Exit 25A came up really quick and the lanes had gone from 2 to 3.  I turned off and came up to the toll booth, moving left to get into the correct lane and not the EZ pass lane. The man handed me a ticket and said “Have a good one.

I-90 is pretty straight and the only thing of real interest is the signage telling you what exit it is and where the service areas are.  It was very busy however, and that made it difficult to get around slower moving vehicles. Looking back in the rearview mirror and side mirror you would see a long line of cars trying to get around you.  I had a few bumper drivers on me and it was so odd because they had plenty of time to go around me but wouldn’t do it.  http://www.thruway.ny.gov/index.shtml  This is a 4 lane highway two lanes on each side with plenty of time to pass.

From Syracuse to Buffalo it was 130 miles.  I was not going into Buffalo but only to the eastern side of the airport at Exit 49.  I figured that meant I would only have 110 miles to go. Again the exits are far apart anywhere from 10 to 13 miles in between.  I came up to Exit 48 A & B and thought I would next get to Exit 49 but no I had the Ontario Service area to drive to and beyond.  I was getting impatient.

Finally, Exit 49 came and I turned off I-90…happily. I paid my $6.50 cents which surprised me and then had to get into the right lane but this red sport car was blocking me.  I wanted to go south on #78 to Genessee St. in Cheektowaga.  Yup I was in Cheektowaga!  Their website has some interesting links to a 1812 cemetery?

I stopped to fill up the car per the rental agreement and again tried to get the gooey stuff off the right side of the car to no luck.  This happened in Toronto at the Super 8.  Someone had put their milkshake or something gooey on my car and it fell and spilled all over.  It was mess.

Oh, one thing I did not mention, the Check Engine light had been on since Cornwall.  I had called the car rental company and they said I had about 1000 miles but they would spring for an oil change if needed.  If the light was steady and not flashing then I was okay?  So I had checked the oil several times and watched for overheating.  This is the second time this has happened and I really am not thrilled.  So far I have not had a flat or problems with a rental car.  The travel gods have been very kind.

I found the Quality Inn next to the Garden Hilton.  It was a funny designed Quality Inn and a little difficult to find among the other hotels.  They put me on the 3rd floor and the stairs were very steep. I was not happy but I walked over to the McDonald’s and had lunch. Food usually helps with the patience factor and on the way back to the hotel I stopped and asked for a lower floor and I got it. YIPPEE! So I moved the car, emptied it of my stuff which was a big job and had to re-pack all my things to fly home.  The room was a mess I had both beds covered but I got it all in.

Later I went over to the Garden Hilton and they had this nice restaurant in the lobby area.  This was my celebration dinner marking the end of my trip. It was a very nice steak and good.

Morning came quickly and breakfast at this Quality Inn had hot food so I was very happy.  They have a nice lobby and breakfast area.

Getting the rental car to the airport was not too bad.  The receptionist at the hotel said I could go either way when I left the hotel, left or right on Genessee.  I went left so I could turn right into the airport and followed it along. I was back at the car rental building which is on the airport grounds.

Buffalo Airport

Buffalo Airport the hotels are visible on the south side

I turned in the rental car and said goodbye to it!  I found the United counter and checked my bags.  Security was easy because I am Premier on United and so I get to go ahead.  I found the gate and settled in.  My flight was two hours away.  I had read about 3 novels this trip.  My Nook Ap and Nookcolor Reader store the books so I can reread a novel if I want.  I was content.

The flight out of Buffalo was very late and I was certain I would not make my connection in Chicago.  After landing at O’Hare, I found the Red Carpet Club for United and they told me about the Customer Service area which was down the F concourse so I stopped there and the man said “Can you walk fast you have 3 minutes.”  So I followed his instructions and once I started to recognize things I was okay.  I was moving really fast and Chicago O’Hare is not an easy airport to get from concourse to concourse.  I found B concourse and they were still loading thank goodness.  The Customer service man called to tell them I was coming.  I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the gate. I made it to my seat and I was so happy.  The question is did my luggage, it did!  I am liking this Premier thing!

It was EPIC my trip.  My miles were 2011 the first time to Canada in 2012. This trip the total was 1964 miles.  It was a whole 47 miles less!  Still I think it was EPIC.  HA!

I was home and I was glad.  It was nice to see my hubby, my car, my cats and be in familiar territory.


New York Wanderings: Boldt Castle the grounds and the view!

October 7, 2014

Apparently, Louise Boldt found the Thousand Islands to be a place where she could relax from the stress of living in New York City and her husband’s career as a hotel man.   He managed the Philadelphia Club and later the Bellevue, and later the Bellevue Stratford Hotel.  Astor built the Waldorf Astoria and Boldt was its proprietor.  I guess George had to mediate a hotel war with the Astor brothers.  The Empire State building now occupies the site of this hotel.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Boldt

Boldt Castle rises out of the island and is surrounded by lovely landscaping and great views.  You can get right down to the water.  The pictures will show the Castle and the other structures on the island:  The Power House at the east end of the island, the Italian Garden, Alster Tower the whimsical tower, the archway, the Tower and the gazebo, views of Alexandria Bay, the Boathouse across from Heart Island.  I spent a happy 3 hours on the island.

This is a slide show so click on one of the photos and it will open, then go to the upper left corner find the x and click that to close otherwise you will close it all out and have to come back.

 


New York Wanderings: Boldt Castle…a sad story!

October 7, 2014

Why is it that a wealthy person builds something so amazing like Boldt Castle and never really gets to enjoy it?

George Boldt built the castle for his wife Louise Kehrer Boldt.  She died in 1904 and he abandoned it unfinished.  They think he never went back to the island.  So it sat exposed to the elements until 197 7 when it was purchased by the Thousand Island Bridge Authority and then they started to restore it.  They were not planning to finish it just restore it back to when George had abandoned it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boldt_Castle

Here are two more links to explore:

http://www.boldtcastle.com/visitorinfo/ and it is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoldtCastle

George Boldt was a wealthy hotel man who knew the Astors, Vanderbilts and all the wealthy influential people of the time.  He liked the Rhineland Castles designs and that gives the style.  I thought it also had some whimsy to it and even felt like I might run into a troll or fairy if I was not careful. He and his wife had vacationed in the Thousand Island area and decided they like it there so it was a joint decision to build there.  He purchased the island changing the spelling from Hart to Heart.  If you look closely you will see a theme of hearts through the island.

This is not the only time I have been to a castle.  My hubby and I took all the tours at Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. I have them on my Facebook.  I probably should put them out on the web they are very cool.  George Vanderbilt built Biltmore as his home and he did get to live it in a while but not long.  He basically took a very destroyed piece of land and redesigned it with the help of the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.  I also toured the castle in Trieste, Italy called Miramare and it has a sad story.  Ferdinand went to Mexico to be their king but was shot by the Mexicans.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miramare_Castle

When you visit a home like Boldt  Castle you do have to read about the history of the persons who created it and the area around it.  I knew nothing about the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence River when I toured in 2012.  It was a big surprise to see the all the different sizes of the islands, some with houses and docks.  To find out that someone built this castle on one of them was too good to pass up.

On the 2nd floor of the castle up the grand staircase is a room with a movie that gives an overview of the castle history and of George and Louisa’s life. It was good, a little hokey, but worth sitting for about 10-15 minutes.

The following pictures are of the interior of the castle.  You will see the entrance, staircase, living room, dining room with original furniture, bedrooms, some unfinished areas on the upper floors and the roof area from a veranda.  The roof is very complicated.  This castle will never be finished because it was abandoned so you do get to see the structure of it.  Do notice the colors of the wall paint, one room is a vivid rosy color.

Just click on one of the photos and the slide show will open for you to scroll through.  To close look to the left upper corner for the X and use that to close the show otherwise you may close out totally.  Of course, you can stop by the gift shop at the entrance of Boldt Castle and by videos and books about Boldt Castle which would give you much more detail and professional photos…of do a Google search and click on images…

 

 

 

 


New York Wanderings: Getting To Boldt Castle

October 6, 2014

It was now about 1 pm and I had my boat shuttle ticket and was ready.  I had parked my car in a gravel parking area behind the main part of the town. There are signs for parking.  I had loaded myself up with cameras so I could just have fun.  The ticket booth for the shuttle boat to the castle was at the far end of James Street.  Notice anything?  NO FOG!

The Marina and Boats

The Marina and Boats

Docked Boats

Docked Boats

Well I least I knew where my lodging was going to be that evening.  Bonnie Castle was right across the bay.  This whole trip to see Boldt Castle was just a bit of whimsy on my part.  I had booked a riverside view room so it was not cheap but it was great!  Oh, they take your money when you reserve so be aware of that fact!

Bonnie Castle across the bay

Bonnie Castle across the bay

The shuttle boat on the right and some another tourist boat on the left.  You can do other tours, I just wanted to shuttle directly to Heart Island and back.  I was seated in the front of the shuttle boat on the right so I had a great view.  The bigger boat was very quick, it actually came back twice and moored for just a few minutes?

Shuttle Boat & Tourist Boat

Shuttle Boat to the right & Tourist Boat on the left

Heart Island is right across the St. Lawrence from Alexandria Bay.  If you lean a little over the wharf and around the building you could see it in the distance.

Heart Island & Boldt Castle

Heart Island & Boldt Castle

Heart Island Coming Up

Heart Island Coming Up – I believe this is the Powerhouse!

The shuttle boat takes you around the island going to the east.  On the north side of the island are the docks and Welcome Center.  It departs going to the west around the island.  This means you get a whole tour of the island on the water by the time your done.  Very lovely.

Tour boat is moored at the island.

Tour boat is moored at the island.

Boldt Castle rises above

Boldt Castle rises above

The welcome area

The Welcome area

 The Shuttle Boat

The Shuttle Boat

The Uncle Sam’s shuttle boat took about 10 minutes to cross from Alexandria Bay.  You spend more time waiting to get on it.  Here is the Entrance where you pay for a tour of the castle $8.50 and get hand stamped and they also have restrooms, a concession stand and a gift shop…of course!  I am a senior so I may be getting a discount.

The Entrance

The Entrance

Now for a tour of the castle and would you believe, you can take pictures!  http://www.boldtcastle.com/visitorinfo/

Note:  I have followed the St. Lawrence from Kingston to Montreal on the Canadian side 2012 and 2014.  I have been over the St. Lawrence (Champlain Bridge Montreal) and now on the St. Lawrence at Alexandria Bay in a boat. HA!  I have followed the Ottawa River on both sides in Pontiac and Renfrew County in 2012.  I have crossed over it at Pont Tachereau on my way to Montreal.  I followed the Ottawa River from Hawkesbury, Ontario to Ottawa.


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