Longue Vue Island
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Longue Vue Island
Postcard of Longue Vue Island taken during the 1970s
|Location||St. Lawrence River at Alexandria, near Alexandria Bay, New York|
|Area||1.3 acres (0.53 ha)|
|Architect||Barney and Chapman|
|Architectural style||Arts & Crafts|
|NRHP Reference #||82001176|
|Added to NRHP||November 04, 1982|
Longue Vue Island is an island located in the Thousand Islands region on the Saint Lawrence River. The island is on the American side of the river, right next to the Seaway Channel in Northern New York. It is a part of the Town of Alexandria, in Jefferson County. It is also specially known as it is the only artificial island in the entire region. The original owner of the house was a Mr. Hudson Rose, a New York City lumber dealer. The island was originally named Rossette, after Mr. Rose. Later, the home was bought in the mid-1920s by Mr. Temple Berdan, and was empty from 1932 to 1939. Mr. Lewis Dollinger purchased the home from the estate of Mr. Berdan. It was later owned by the Dollinger Corporation and, after the tax laws were changed in the 1970s, was owned by the son of Dollinger Corporation founder Lewis Dollinger, F. Leslie Dollinger for many years until in 1994, it was sold to Arizona businessman Al Wareing, who is the current owner.
The island and the house and boathouse that are situated on it were built in 1904. The island was constructed on four rock shoals, by building a rock wall around the shoals from a nearby quarry, then filling the area in with rock and soil. The construction was done by Barney and Chapman. In the 1990s, construction was done to the boathouse to repair it, as the building was starting to fall into the river. New rock walls were placed in the building to stop the descent and the level of the island was raised by about a foot by adding another level of rock, soil, and grass seed. The upstairs of the boathouse was also altered to include a full wet-bar, and deck space was located onto the roof. No alteration construction work may be done on the outside of the house, as it is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
The island has a house on the center, and the house is approximately 7,000 square feet (650 m2). The boathouse, while smaller, has 3 boat slips, which have held as many as 6 boats during the years. The second floor includes a game room with wet bar. The flagpole (which was originally on the top of the house) is on the western tip of the island and has a plaque next to it noting the fact that the founder of Dollinger Corporation, Lewis Dollinger, died on the island. There is plenty of lawn space on the island, enough for possibly a volleyball game or more, and swimming space, including a dock and a water slide. The one problem with swimming, as noticed all along the river, is the river currents are so fast, you have to be careful to not be swept away.
It is a beautiful three story home of rich character. It includes a kitchen, small breakfast room, large living room, dining room, and large porch surrounding the house on two sides on the first floor. The second and third floors are mostly bedrooms and bathrooms. In addition to the grand four sided open stairwell, the second floor is connected to the kitchen on the first floor via a small spiral stairway hidden behind a closet door, presumably intended for servant use. The basement of the house, in the way back, one of the three shoals the island was built on can be seen sticking out of the floor and wall. The entire island gives beautiful views of up river and down river. As the name indicates, there is literally a long view of the river from the island as it sticks a little out into the river.
Bats are also commonplace on the island, where they occupy hidden spots in the house during the day and are literally everywhere at night. For a brief period of time an attempt was made to kill the bats using tennis rackets, which proved to be moderately successful. In the end, the bats remained in the house. After many nights of bats "attacking" inside the house, the current owner hired a bat specialist from Wisconsin. There are no bats living in the home today. The island is within a short boat ride of Boldt Castle, a castle constructed around 1900, left unfinished in 1904. An evening boatride to catch a view of the castle at night has the potential to be an exhilarating experience.
The island also has a collection of flags which are flown at certain times during the summer. The flags are of all the different countries in the world. These flags are flown around the exterior of the island, and only add to the picturesque beauty of the island. In addition to the country flags, there is a flag for every state. These flags are on display during the Fourth of July weekend as well as Labor Day weekend.
Ghost stories about Longue Vue Island
The current owners of Longue Vue Island have declared that they have seen the ghost of Lewis Dollinger roaming the house at night time. The son of former owner Leslie Dollinger, Doug Dollinger, also has believed to have stated that he saw the painting of Lewis Dollinger that used to be in the dining room come alive at night time and tell him to get off the island back in the 1970s. These stories are part of the magical experience of the island itself.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- John Harwood (September 1982). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Longue Vue Island". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2009-12-10. See also: "Accompanying six photos".