CASTLE REST

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CASTLE REST WAS BUILT IN THE LATE 1800s BY George M. Pullman, inventor of the Pullman rail- road sleeping car. The castle, located on an island near Alexandria Bay, New York, was an elaborate and sturdy stone structure rising at varying levels on the island’s small hill. Pullman purchased the island for twenty-five dollars soon after the America Civil War. In 1872 Generals Grant and Sheridan, together with a distinguished party, were entertained on Pullman Island during a five-day fishing trip. A delicate, two-story, frame structure was constructed on the island as quarters for the occasion. This structure was later torn down to give way to the erection of Castle Rest, one of the earliest prominent summer residences in the Thousand Islands area. The castle was built for Pullman by S. G. Pope, former resident of Ogdensburg, who had much to do with the early resort development of the Thousand Islands district. When Pullman died, a term in his will is reported to have stated that the island property should not be sold outside the family. It was also to remain open each year for a period of at least six weeks. Frank O. Lowden, once governor of Illinois, and son-in-law to Pullman, maintained Castle Rest in excellent condition during his lifetime. The castle was unoccupied for several years after the death of Lowden with the property passing to his family. In early 1958 prior estimates had been made for razing the costly structure, which was torn down later that year, thus ending the existence of one of the earliest palatial struc- tures in that famous resort region. Early photo of Castle Rest pictured at left. Generals Grant and Sheridan were once entertained on a fishing trip here before the castle was erected. Courtesy St. Lawrence County History Center. Castle Rest, built by George M. Pullman, inventor of the Pullman railroad sleeping car, is located near Alexandria Bay, New York. The castle was one of several such palatial mansions built in the Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence seaway. Courtesy Watertown Daily Times, New York.
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