June 9, 2014

Boldt Castle

I would just like to clarify from my last post, that I am not always a grouch on hot days. It just is easier for me to be a grouch. I was worried we would no longer be invited anywhere during the summer. "It would be nice to have the Cottens for our fourth of July picnic, but I am afraid Bethaney gets slightly homicidal on hot days, so probably best to give them a pass." 

We had planned on going to Prince Edward Island this Memorial Day, but with Clover and Evan just moving into their house and us Cottens setting off for Colorado soon, we decided that this wasn't the year for that. So Lindsey cleverly came up with the idea of going to visit Boldt Castle, an hour and a half south of here. Since Lindsey and Tori were going down to Clover's for that weekend, they met us there with the White kids. 

Boldt Castle was built by the man who ran the Waldorf-Astoria and several other famous hotels. He built it for his wife, expecting to give it to her on Valentine's Day 1904. She died January 4, 1904. So he told the 300 carpenters at work to drop their tools and leave the island. Supposedly he never went back--just left the castle to the elements. (This is an example of someone with too much money.) In the 1970's, EJ Noble, (the lifesaver guy from Ogdensburg) bought it and opened it the public, but did nothing about restoring it. In the 1980's (I think) the Seaway Authority bought it and vowed to use all revenue generated from public viewing to restore it. Since, they have put $15 million into it, even surpassing the state of the castle when the carpenters walked off the island. It is beautiful and tragic. This place was meant to be a home, (alright, a vacation home) but never was. You couldn't even imagine all the fabulous parties that had been in the ballrooms or dinners in the dining room. There were none. Still, it is gorgeous and fabulous. 

And Elliott has said he will own it someday, so that is something to look forward to!

And now, for my general apology on the number of pictures I put in this post. I do realize I put embarrassingly too many pictures up. Some bloggers have this knack for giving everyone the feel and meaning of an event without uploading 147 pictures. Like in just 10-20 pictures, which is a rational amount for a post. I wish I could be like them. But it is hard. Am I supposed to leave out kids doing something cute? Summery landscapes? Silly pictures? Willful flower girl pictures? 

I have no discretion with pictures. I apologize. 

(And to make life potentially easier for anyone foolhardy enough to want to look at my too many pictures, I did captions this time, instead of just writing in amongst the pictures. So if you want to just click on the first picture, blogger will open a viewer with all the pictures and captions for your viewing pleasure. I feel so accomplished about this.)

And now, my sense of accomplishment is going up in smoke. The picture viewer does not include my captions. Meanies!

Peering over an old Pier

This is what the day was like for Elsie--peering around mounds of stuff and picnic supplies.

A contemplative moment

The crew

The enthusiastic side. Seriously, it is hard to beat Lincoln for enthusiasm. Gilbert sometimes gives him a run for his money.

The sedately smiling girls

Elliott letting his enthusiasm mount

Aunt Lindsey and the boys
Gilbert, thrilling with excitement

The power house and clock tower

Flowerbeds at the entrance
Seriously, Boldt castle had some of the nicest lawns. When I am fabulously wealthy, I am going to have acres of lawn with trees that someone else will maintain.

We brought our own picnic

Because they have a lovely picnic area

General mayhem. The number of times this day that I counted to eight (the number of kids) is staggering.

The Porch. Oh that roof! Love.

More porch

A window seat

Looking up in the center atrium. Incredible ceilings!

The stone glass center. This is recent. Not sure if it was even in the original plans.

This is more porch. With a fireplace.

The window seat area in the dining room. Swoon.

Herringbone floor pattern

Ballroom ceiling

Tori and Gilbert take a twirl on the dance floor

This isn't a great picture, but this is a fabulous cupboard in the butlers pantry that I want. Poor Justin. I have quite the house plans after this visit. Ha!

Their idea of a library. I mean I like the glass doors and all, but they ain't got nuthin on the Vaughan's of Moira's library.

More dancing. 

Cool flower lights in the ballroom

The unfinished areas. They are slowly restoring it, so some rooms are still like this. Interestingly, this guy, who I don't know, is the one I overheard making snide remarks about the design of the outdoor patio areas--"Whoever designed this, clearly never studied architecture." As though his 15 year old brain was much more up on architect design than the best architects money could buy in 1900.

From the fourth floor I think, you can see the top of the stained glass dome.

A lot of the flower beds were in a heart shape. Since we were on Heart Island.

Old stones and new leaves

So pretty

Aunt Tori and the kidlets


I love little mossy/ferny spots


Flowers all ready for planting. Hmm... .constant remodeling and flowers that need planting....I think Justin and I should live here!

Elliott said this part looked like the White House

The walkway to the supply boat dock.

Gilbert, having a break

Waves and the power house

Tiny Island

Turn of the century woodworking in the playhouse

Setting up a wedding

Looking back up at the castle

A barge going by

Another teensy island

Kids playing statue

The kids hiding acorn caps. The good things about this game, as Lindsey pointed out, was that the ability to find acorn caps way exceeded the number of caps actually hid. So everyone was happy. 

We laid down on the ground for a little while, while the kids played duck, duck, goose

Lincoln and Lily borrowed my camera for awhile

Clover the cow, Lincolns sidekick

Lindsey by Lincoln. A very nice picture.

They started getting artistic--this one is a shot through the garbage can. 

Leapfrog mishap. Hilarious of course.

We settled in to watch the wedding get ready

Lincoln amidst the maples

The wedding guests arriving

The Flower girl, which turned out to be very important in our enjoyment of the wedding

Mr. Chill watching proceedings


Just as the wedding was starting, a barge started going past. And you can see, in the bottom right, negotiations had started with the flower girl

The bridesmaids starting down the playhouse steps

The flower girl adamantly refused to walk up the aisle. At all. Here they called in reinforcements in the form of her mother. Who talked in a quiet voice we couldn't hear, eliciting a series of forceful "NO!"s that we could hear.

Why should she walk the aisle when she can hang back here?

And she didn't walk up the aisle. You can just see her refusal in her stance.

While the ceremony proceeds, the mother again tries to reason with the flower girl. Probably so she can at least be included in some wedding party pictures. A loud series of "NO!" and "YOU'RE SELFISH!" were highly entertaining to us and probably mortifying to the mother.
Lincoln got bored and decided to do a little rock climbing

Done. And so we set off!

May sky

Seriously gorgeous grounds

Storm clouds rolling in. Lightning and rumbling.

Heading to the boat. Oh the excitement!

Very red paddle wheel

And once back at the van, a Flag of cupcakes from Aunt Lindsey (slightly melted from sitting in the car) to end the day on a yummy note. 

Fabulous sky on the way home

And a rainbow once we got home

A fuzzy picture of our road after the rain


Jolene Crites said...

So lovely to share in your adventures, as always. Too many pictures? No, not really. They just share more of your fun! The castle looks amazing. It would be kind of cool if they left part of it unfinished, just because it is part of the castle's story. I love the porch - it has kind of a modern feel to it. The flower girl story was hilarious - to everyone who was not her mother! Thanks for sharing!

Evan and Clover and Co. said...

I love too many pictures. Back in the day when I actually posted pictures, I always posted too many. Now that we live in the land of the painfully slow Internet connection, it forces me to savor each picture as they slooooooowly load. Or start the page loading and go do a few dishes. It's done wonders for the state of my house!