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Welcome to Alexandria Bay, New York, located on the St. Lawrence River in the "Heart of the Thousand Islands" in northern Jefferson County. This riverside tourist resort community enjoys scenic beauty, quiet charm and a position among the Thousand Islands that are unequaled anywhere and have captured the hearts and imagination of tourists, historians, boaters, fishermen and everyday residents. Visitors to this historic tourist village will find an amazing array of sites to see, as well as fun and leisure activities.  Enjoy a dinner cruise of the breathtaking and picturesque Thousand Islands; a tour of the century-old historic Boldt Castle; a picnic or concert at Scenic View Park; unique regional merchandise at dockside shops; or a visit to the local aquazoo.      

   

At the "heart" of Alexandria Bay is Heart Island, the home of the renowned and storied Boldt Castle. The island was so named because of its shape and a romantic, but heart-breaking, love story. In the 1890's, millionaire New York City hotel owner George Boldt and his beloved wife Louise were so enamored by the region's natural beauty that they frequently brought friends for relaxation and dinner aboard their yacht while cruising the Thousand Islands. In 1894, during one of their yachting adventures, the Boldts' personal chef created an unforgettable salad dressing which so pleased their guests that it was introduced at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and the Bellevue Stratford in Philadelphia. Boldt subsequently named the salad topping "Thousand Islands Dressing" in honor of the beautiful region where it was first prepared.
     
Around the turn of the century, Boldt commissioned the planning and construction of an impressive and ornately-designed, six-story stone structure with 120 rooms as a replica of a Rhineland Castle, along with a drawbridge, powerhouse, tunnels, a children's playhouse, Italian gardens and a stone arch resembling Arc de Triumphe in Paris, France at the shoreline of Heart Island. The impressive summer home was a gift to his beloved wife. However, when Louise died unexpectedly in 1904, George ordered all construction on the island halted. As a result, the castle which was never completed. In 1977, after years of decay, weather and vandalism, a multimillion-dollar effort began, under the auspices and ownership of the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, to refurbish and restore Boldt Castle to the condition when construction was discontinued... and to open the castle as a tourist attraction for the appreciation of many generations to come.
     
The heritage of Alexandria Bay and the Thousand Islands includes accounts and legends of pirates who looted passing ships. Perhaps the most famous of Alexandria Bay's pirate stories was the capture of the Sir Robert Peel in May 1838, during the Patriot War with Canada. A gang of pirates led by Bill Johnston boarded the ship, ordered the passengers and crew to shore, grabbed 20,000 pounds in militia payroll, then torched and fled the vessel. Within days, thirteen men were captured and charged for the assault on the ship, but none of them were ever convicted. The remnants of the sunken hull still remain there, and have been a popular underwater adventure for scuba divers and a curiosity for tourists and history buffs. In August, Alexandria Bay comes alive with "Bill Johnston's Pirate Days" featuring reenactments of the pirate ship attack on the village.
     
Whether it's Pirate Days, visiting the local museum or taking a cruise on the St. Lawrence River, Alexandria Bay offers plenty to see and lots to do!  An ideal and fun vacation destination, Alexandria Bay invites you to come visit us soon!  For more information on Alexandria Bay, N.Y., please contact the Alexandria Bay Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-541-2110.
     
     

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