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Gilded Age Castles & Camps

Soft Adventure – Walking tours  3 days/2 nights


During the Gilded Age families of great wealth from cities in the Northeast would travel to Northern New York to relax and enjoy the fresh air and slow pace of the 1000 Islands and the Adirondacks.  Grand estates and compounds were constructed, sparing no expense.  Each build was to be finer than the one before…a competition of sorts to display one’s stature.  Step back in time and relive the past.

Boldt Castle –  A young German George Boldt started his life in the United States as a busboy.  His life was dedicated to servicing others with a very high standard.  At the height of the Gilded Age George himself rose to the top of the financial ladder.  Hard work and determination took him to the highest level of management at the famed Waldorf-Astoria.  To celebrate his wealth and stature, George set out to build his beloved wife Louise the most stately home on the St. Lawrence.  This ornate 120-room Rhineland style castle never welcomed guests however due to Louise’s untimely death.  After 70 years of neglect the castle once again received the attention of talented craftsmen to bring it back to life.


Antique Boat Museum – Railcars took a backseat to the motorcar however nothing can replace the need for a boat on the St. Lawrence.  The Antique Boat Museum celebrates personal watercraft of all shapes and sizes.  The prize collection includes an extensive display of magnificent boats from the Gilded Age.  Boats of the region’s millionaires were built sparing no expense.  George Boldt’s 110-foot houseboat La  Duchesse provides an amazing look into the lifestyle of millionaires.


Singer Castle – The Singer sewing machine was a staple in nearly every home in America.  The company’s CEO Commodore Frederick Bourne joined other millionaires in building an island play place.  Sitting high on Dark Island, Singer Castle was the family’s recreation center.  Used primarily as a hunting and fishing lodge, the décor is masculine and unique.  Priceless antiques and artwork can be seen throughout the Castle as you enjoy the guided tour. 


Great Camp Sagamore – These grandiose family compounds include cabins and recreation buildings for the wealthy.  Here they could host parties, relax with extended family and explore the wilderness around them.  A mixture of several architectural styles the camps are made with large logs and local stone with expansive porches and large windows but most had the modern conveniences of the day.  Of the 10 Great Camps of the Adirondacks, Great Camp Sagamore was the first to be saved from demolition.


Adirondack Museum – The vast campus of the museum provides a view of Adirondack life through exhibition galleries and historic buildings.  Not all during the Gilded Age were millionaires but millionaires were drawn to this region of the Adirondacks because it was rich with nature, culture and talent.  Explore everything from rustic furniture to outdoor recreation

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