August 18, 2019 - The Boldt Castle was built by George Boldt in the early 1900's as a tribute to his wife that he loved deeply. The BassMasters were in Waddington with a big fishing tournament. We are fishers of men (and women) - they were all out fishing for small bass fish this week. Branch Member Billy and his grandson Thomas are avid stock car racers - at 75 Billy has been racing for 50 years. Thomas at 20 has already been racing since he was 13. Grandpa admits that his grandson has already overtaken him. Billy has slowed down to only racing 2 times a week instead of 3!!! Age is only a number - keep it up Billy!!! We had a big group (18 of us) at shake night and had some fun playing the name game, a sweet message from the Sister Missionaries and a beautiful song.
Shakespear's Shake Night - we had 18 people over and everyone enjoyed yummy shakes, a great lesson from the Sister Missionaries, a musical number and games. Pictured: Rozani, Janet, Dick, Craig, Rebekah, Chris
Sister Wiese shared a beautiful musical number that set the tone for a great message about turning to the Savior for help in our lives.
Then, the Sisters shared a video by Elder Richard G Scott: "A Secure Anchor". Just like rock climbing alone can be dangerous, living your life without the help of the Savior can have disastrous consequences.
VIDEO The name game wining team. Pictured: Brandi, Rita, Karen C, Zach & Karen The 2019 Berkley Bassmaster Elite was held on St. Lawrence River at Waddington which is in our branch - it's about 10 miles away. That's one BIG outboard motor!!! We had to drive through to go to Odgensburg to touch up a Senior Missionary home that has sat vacant for several months - a new couple is coming Tuesday. Micah Frazier - Tournament Winner - 75 Fisherman started out and fished the first two days. Each day, each fisherman gets to keep 5 small mouth bass which are weighed. The third day is narrowed to the top 35 fishermen and the final day is narrowed to the top 10 fishermen. They all start at 9am and fish until 5pm and then come in for weigh in. They release any fish that is smaller than what they have once they get to five. A real good day is about 21-25 pounds. Micah won with a total of 87lbs - 4oz for the four days. This is a really big for small town Waddington. District Council meeting is held every Wednesday at 11am for one and a half hours. We get together for training, setting goals and counseling with each other about challenges each companionship had encountered. We alternate going to Potsdam and Ogdensburg. This is the field next to the Potsdam Chapel. We often see deer in the field when we come for our meeting. Karen, Sisters Oleson & Wiese. This is the parking lot at Arby's - nice assortment of cattails and other flowers - not to mention 3 beautiful sister missionaries! We stopped for a quick bite after District Council Meeting. Nature Nuts at the Nature Center studied foxes this week.
The Nature Center also had a robot making activity. You could make a Table Top Crab Robot. This cute 6 year old made one and wanted to share her accomplishment with us.
VIDEO Karen and Martha at the Mohawk International Raceway. Martha's husband, Billy, and her grandson, Thomas, both race. They invited us to come watch so we went to the races! The cars raced on a dirt track. Billy is car number 70 - red car with white numbers. Billy is ready to take the track on his heat. Billy ended up having some car trouble and finished last in the Feature race. Better luck next time. This black and red blur is Thomas' car number 35. Thomas ended up taking 5th in the Feature Race. You can see Thomas in number 35 in the left part of the photo. Racing at its best - the cars were bunched up and heading for the finish line.
The racing was LOUD and on a windy night it gets very DUSTY. (We were lucky, there was no wind.) Check it out and watch the video.
VIDEO On preparation day we went on the 1000 Islands Tour from Alexandria Bay. Cruises include trips past dozens of islands, fairytale castles, lighthouses, island mansions and wildlife all accompanied by true tales of pirates, bootleggers and the Gilded Age rich and famous who all spent time here. Sister Whetstone, Karen, a "real pirate", Mark, and Elder Whetstone. The Whetstones served in Ogdensburg for a few months while we were in Massena - about 50 minutes apart. They are currently serving at the Joseph Knight, Sr Historical Site. They came back up to go with us on the tour. We were there during pirate days and were fortunate to have our picture taken with a real pirate! This is our tour boat as it pulled into the dock at Boldt Castle. Notice the working water wheel - meaning it spins and give some nice ambiance - it doesn't really do anything. There are some incredible mansions built on the shore of the river. Mansion on the St Lawrence River The homes that you can see on the Canadian side are newer and more modern. The mansions on the USA are older and more majestic. Another Canadian Mansion A not so big "mansion" - they build on all sizes of islands. And no, I'm sure that you can't even afford this one! This guy bought two islands next to each other. The island to the left is in Canada, the island on the right is in the USA. He has his own international bridge - the shortest one in existence! Elder & Sister Whetstone and Karen on top of the tour boat. It was a beautiful summer day. Sister Whetstone and Karen enjoying the sun and views from the back of the top deck. Elder & Sister Whetstone and Karen - the breeze was wonderful and kept us cool. The Boldt Castle. At the turn-of-the-century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full size rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on picturesque Heart Island. The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise. The Boldt Yacht House. Beginning in 1900, the Boldt family spent summers in the 1000 Islands area while 300 workers including stonemasons, carpenters, and artists fashioned the castle which was to be six stories tall, with 127 rooms, and approximately 60,000 square feet large; the yacht house alone covered 35,000 square feet. The castle was complete with tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge, alster tower (children’s playhouse which was complete with a basement bowling alley, ballroom, billiard parlor, library, café, grill and kitchen), and dove cote. Not a single detail or expense was spared. The island that the Boldt Castle was built on was originally named Hart Island. George Boldt renamed it to Heart Island and actually reshaped the island to resemble a heart - all to express his love to his wife. There are hearts integrated into the landscaping and architecture all throughout the island. Karen and Sister Whetsone on the big wrap around porch that circles the castle. The kitchen in the castle. Elder & Sister Whetstone and Karen. Incredible stair case going to 2nd floor. The main house was ornamented in the best Gilded Age style, with tapestries, mosaics, and elaborate furnishings imported from Europe and around the world. Unique features included medieval flourishes, such as a drawbridge and a dovecote, as well as modern amenities like the indoor swimming pool and steam-generated powerhouse to provide power and light. A view of the staircase from up above. Another heart shaped flower garden. Unexpectedly, in 1904, Louise Kehrer Boldt died. George immediately ordered that all work on the castle be halted, and Boldt Castle was abandoned and never finished. Very soon, the structure became a vandalized ruin, which it remained until it was acquired in 1977 by Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. Slowly over the last 40 years, Boldt Castle is being brought to life as a tourist attraction - this is definitely a MUST SEE!
The North Country of New York is an area rich in history and tradition. It is so important to become familiar with our ancestors and understand their traditions and lives. We invite you to begin now to become involved with your Family History. A good place to start is at FamilySearch.org