Tuesday, April 01, 2008

1000 Islands

When someone says 1,000 Islands my first thought is the dressing. But no more! After visiting the 1000 Islands region of NY I’ve got a completely different impression.

And, yes 1,000 Island Dressing was invented here. The wife of a local fishing guide in Clayton, NY, Sophia LaLonde, invented it at the turn of the century and George Boldt, owner of the Waldorf Astoria discovered it and took it back to his hotel where it gained great fame.

But, that isn’t the only famous American food invention that originates from the North Country. Philadelphia Cream Cheese was invented in Philadelphia, NY by William Lawrence in 1872.
There are actually 1,800 islands and over 3,000 shoals in the 1000 Island area of the St. Lawrence River with most of the islands having individual houses on them. The difference between an island and a shoal is that an island must have some part of it above water 365 days/year and be able to support at least one tree.

During the gilded age of the early 1900s some incredible castles and mansions were built on the 1000 Islands. The most opulent was that of George Boldt, mentioned above, who spent four years building a magnificent 120 room castle for his beloved wife Louise. When she died suddenly in 1904, Boldt telegraphed his builder to cease construction immediately, and the almost completed castle sat vacant for 73 years when the local bridge authority purchased it and preserved it.

But as the following pictures show, the Boldt Castle is not the only magnificent construction on the tiny 1000 Islands of the North Country of NY.

1 comment:

Muaile said...

i'm so shocked that its a place - i never knew what it was called for?