After my major disappointment with Boldt Castle, I wasn’t expecting all that much out of Singer Castle on Dark Island the next day. Let me tell you something… everyone along the 1000 Islands/St. Lawrence Seaway area sells Boldt Castle this and Boldt Castle that and no Singer Castle items are to be found off the island, but Singer is 10 times the castle that Boldt is.
This time instead of Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours, we decided to go with Empire Boat Lines to access Dark Island, where Singer is located. This is an hour each way by boat from Alexandria Bay and the only way to see this Castle is by guided tour, so the Empire deal is $25 p/p for this 3 hour trip and that includes admission to the castle tour (normally $12 each.)
Singer Castle has only been open to the public since 2003. It was being built originally at the same time as Boldt Castle was, and by another mega-loaded dude for his wife and family… Frederick Bourne. He told them he was building a little hunting shack at the time. Bourne’s wife accused him of having an affair because he was gone so often supervising the building of Singer Castle. It was completed in 1905 and I can just imagine his wife’s surprise as she rounded that bend in the river to see this enormous Castle sitting there. Why can’t I find a man that will build me a castle? It just ain’t riiight!
When you pull up to the dock there is a gift shop and Castle Guides forming groups for tours. You walk up a fairly steep incline to these gigantic medieval wooden doors. The medieval feel does not end there. Walk inside. Go ahead… done gasping yet? Oh yes, this Great Room is to die for. Huge rock fireplace, grey rock walls, full real suits of armor in the corners, enormous period mirrors… can I just sit right there for the rest of my life please?
Well, there are 28 rooms yet to go see… up the granite stairway finds us in the elaborate dining room, then the huge breakfast room, the drawing room, Bourne’s office, the Loggia, and let’s not forget the sun room full of wicker… Gads. I think my jaw was on the floor the whole time. I pity who had to clean up my drool. Every room in Singer Castle is furnished with the Bourne’s original stuff, even the sun-faded draperies. Did I mention the Terrace? Oh what a fine terrace it is! And every last room has tons of windows and every last one over looks water.
We aren’t done yet… up another set of stairs brings you to the Bourne’s master suites complete with personal assistant quarters, a to-die-for turret bathroom, a Sport Therapy room, guest room… well you get the picture.
Let’s not forget yet another floor with a guest room, a dormitory for servants, another bath, and the attic…
I absolutely did not want to leave Singer Castle. Ever. In fact, I plan to return some summer soon and take what they call the Medieval Nights tour. This wonderful evening will run you a cool $90. What you get with that is dinner at Bonnie Castle’s Resort, transportation to the Castle, and a private guided tour of everything nobody else gets to see… like the secret passages and fully equipped dungeons. I would have sprung for that this time but you have to make reservations early and they were already booked. Damn the timing!
They also have, for $75, a Dinner Mystery package where you take a role and try to figure out who dunnit. How fun would that be?
Singer Castle is just my dream house. It has a squash court, 2 boathouses, a clock tower, an ice house (Caretaker’s quarters now), Rose garden, and an Indian Walk… which leads to a skeet shooting area, tea garden, and a beach. Pleeease let me have the caretaker’s job!
I deem Singer Castle to be utter perfection. If you come anywhere near this area you absolutely must stop at Singer Castle.