Saturday, May 22, 2010

Boldt Yacht House Expedition

Once you have recovered from the jaw-dropping beauty of a Boldt Castle tour, you can extend your amazement by touring the equally incredible Boldt Yacht House. Although it is just yards away from Heart Island where Boldt Castle is located, there is no bridge connecting that short span of water, so a shuttle boat is used to get guests from Heart Island over to the Boldt Yacht House. The Yacht House is actually located on Wellesley Island, which one can drive their car to, assuming they do not mind to pay the small toll to go over the expansive Thousand Island Bridge ( The agency that maintains and operates the Thousand Island Bridge (between the mainland and Wellesley Island (where the Boldt Yacht House is located) is the same agency that owns and operates Boldt Castle. On the day I visited the Yacht House, I went by car (lower left photo of collage), since the public shuttle from the castle was not yet in operation.
Behind the massive doors shown on the left side of this collage, George Boldt could motor in one of his yachts, and keep them in an enclosed, secure location, while still keeping them afloat in the river. ( My family in the Ozarks called such a structure a "boat house", since there were no "yachts" on the local lake where I grew up.) These days, a tourist might be able to see a beautifully restored antique wooden boat in the Boldt Yacht House (like the one on the right), as the Antique Boat Museum ( in nearby Clayton sometimes has pieces from their collection on display at the Wellesley Island location of the Boldt Yacht House.

The Yacht House is several stories tall, and has both inside and outside public spaces. The walls of the inside are lined with artifacts, telling the history of the area (right photo). The photo on the left shows the the unusual thickness of the stone walls of the Yacht House, which is probably one of the reasons that it is still standing today.
Perhaps since I have lived in the South all my life, far away from the region of the country known as The Thousand Islands, it never occurred to me until this trip, that there is a connection between the Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence River, and a product I have eaten all my life called "Thousand Island Dressing". According to the website, the original recipe was developed by the wife of a St. Lawrence River fishing guide. Just as fishing guides in this area are famous for their "shore lunches" along The White River, so the fishing guides of a hundred years ago on the St. Lawrence River, were likewise famous for the delicious shore dinners they prepared. Customers especially liked the salad dressing that one of the fishing guide's wife (Sophia LaLonde) prepared. George Boldt was one of the patrons who liked the salad dressing, and ordered his world famous maitre d' ---Oscar Tschirky---- to put this dressing on the menu of Boldt's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It was this widespread exposure to the dining public, that helped get the word out about Thousand Island Dressing. Reading about the popular shore dinners prepared on The St. Lawrence River reminded me of the "shore dinner" that is talked about in The New Testament (John 21:1-14). Curious about who the cook was for that shore dinner??? ----it was none other than Jesus, himself!! The Bible tells how Jesus cooked fish along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and called to his friends who were fishing nearby, to come join him. So now you know (concerning both the origin of Thousand Island Dressing and The ORIGINAL Shore Lunch) THE REST OF THE STORY!! Miles of smiles! Tricia--------------------------------> click on or for additional information
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