Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Chippewa Bay in St. Lawrence County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Singer Castle on Dark Island

A Gilded Age Masterpiece

 

— Cultural Heritage —

 
Singer Castle on Dark Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 17, 2020
1. Singer Castle on Dark Island Marker
Inscription.  

A Hunting Lodge
In 1903, Frederick G. Bourne, Commodore and Singer Sewing Machine Company President, began building Singer Castle for a hunting lodge. American beaux-arts architect Ernest Flagg designed the 28 room granite castle on Sir Walter Scott's descriptions of "The Towers" in his novel Woodstock. The castle, originally called The Towers, and many of the island's other buildings, were completed in 1905.

Dark Island
Granite was quarried from Oak Island and transported to the castle over water and ice. Italian and local stonemasons shaped the granite into the ornately detailed main castle, grand boathouses, pergola, ice house, and other island structures.

The 7 acre island itself is too small for hunting, it was used as a family summer retreat and as an elaborate base camp for hunting and fishing in the north country.

The castle has been continuously occupied since its completion and still contains the original furnishing and decorations.

Frederick G. Bourne 1851-1919
Frederick Bourne was born into a home of modest means, he began working for the Singer Sewing Machine Company as a young

Singer Castle on Dark Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 17, 2020
2. Singer Castle on Dark Island Marker
In center of photo, with Saint Lawrence River in background
Click or scan to see
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man, and worked his way up the corporate ladder to become president of the company. Under his leadership the business prospered and he became one o[f] the wealthiest men in the country.

Castle Timeline
2003 Singer Castle opened for public tours.

2002 Dark Island Tours buys the castle and begins restoration.

1965 Castle purchased by the Harold Martin Evangelical Association. Name changed to Jorstad Castle.

1962 Marjorie dies and leaves the castle to LaSalle Christian Brothers.

1920s Piazza converted to stone walls, divided into two rooms. Apartment added above.

1913 Clock added to tower, breakfast room expanded, bedroom and bath added.

1905 Castle construction completed.

1904 Bourne presents the "hunting lodge" to his family.

1902 Bourne purchases Dark Island.

1889 Bourne becomes Singer Company's 4th president.

1875 Bourne marries Emma Sparks Keeler.

1851 Isaac Singer patents his first sewing machine.


 
Erected by Seaway Trail, Inc.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1903.
 
Location. 44° 28.697′ N, 75° 46.237′ W. Marker is near Chippewa Bay, New

Frederick G. Bourne<br>1851-1919 image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
3. Frederick G. Bourne
1851-1919
Frederick Bourne was born into a home of modest means, he began working for the Singer Sewing Machine Company as a young man, and worked his way up the corporate ladder to become president of the company. Under his leadership the business prospered and he became one o[f] the wealthiest men in the country.

Photo taken between 1890 and 1910 by Davis & Sanford
York, in St. Lawrence County. Marker is on New York State Route 12, on the left when traveling north. Marker is at a roadside pulloff about two miles north of Chippewa Bay. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chippewa Bay NY 13623, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Thousand Islands (here, next to this marker); The Chippewa Bay Area (here, next to this marker); Crossover Island (approx. 1.1 miles away); Oak Point (approx. 2.6 miles away); a different marker also named The Thousand Islands (approx. 3.4 miles away); Chimney Island (Bridge Island) (approx. 3˝ miles away in Canada); The Macdonald Cartier Freeway (approx. 6 kilometers away in Canada); Bay Road Cemetery (approx. 6.6 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chippewa Bay.
 
Also see . . .
1. Brief History of Singer Castle. (Submitted on March 23, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Dark Castle at Wikipedia. (Submitted on March 23, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 23, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 23, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   3. submitted on November 26, 2020, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

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May. 16, 2021