1883 – Alexandria, NY

Added to OHD on 10/24/11   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   23 Comments
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45436 Comfort Island, Alexandria, NY 13607

  • $895,000
  • 8 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 4680 Sq Ft
  • 1.8 Ac.
Comfort Island Alexandria Bay, New York was built in 1883 by industrialist Alson E. Clark. It is located on the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands Region in what is known as Millionaire's row. Millionaire's row is a series of islands developed by Gilded Age industrialists such as George Boldt (Boldt Castle) of the Waldorf Astoria and George Pullman (Castle Rest) of the Pullman Palace Car Co. The region is dotted with Gilded age Castles such as Frederick Bourne's Dark Island/Singer Castle (Singer Sewing Machine) and W.O. Wyckoff's Carleton Island Villa (Remington Typewriter). Comfort Island is one of the earliest of the large estates and the only known to be still owned by the original family. A son of the builder of the estate, Alson Skinner Clark, a well known impressionist, painted many works in, on, and of the structure throughout his life that still remain as they were from the early part of the century.

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23 Comments on 1883 – Alexandria, NY

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  1. Joyce B says: 2 comments

    The problem with these gorgeous homes in the Thousand Island region is that they are surrounded by major international shipping lanes. There are huge tranker ships constantly going by outside your front door.

    Other than that – and the fact that you need a boat to get to your house, the area is beautiful.

    • Ryan says: 472 comments

      That’s what I was thinking the first time I saw the ad for this place….I wondered how close those big freighters come to this home. So I googled it and the first hit was a story about a giant coal barge getting grounded right next to Comfort Island. I think this was in the 1980s, but I’m sure the traffic is fairly constant there along the seaway. That’s why, as nice as this place is (or could be), I’d rather own an island on some Adirondack lake than on a busy shipping lane. IF I could ever actually afford to buy my own island, I mean!

      Love the weird painting in this house, though.

  2. John Shiflet says: 5471 comments

    I was impressed as to how intact this old family home is. The prominent tower was somewhat decapitated but the period photos could be used to reconstruct it if someone wanted. Owning your own island is an intriguing idea for some folks-you’d not only own a unique old house but a unique location. I have no idea about real estate values here but it seems priced about right for the location and uniqueness. Many of the furnishings seem to date back to the home’s early days. A real family time capsule here.

  3. Ernie says: 12 comments

    This is one of my “If I won the Lottery” dream homes. Its been on the market for several years now.
    I would hope that anyone who had the resources to buy this home would put the restoration and reconstruction of the 4th floor “Belvedere” observation turret top on the top of their priority list!

    The real estate values in upstate NY are cheap by comparison in other places in the country but their property taxes are a killer.

    One could expect to pay well over 20K a year or more for a private island property such as this. Several years ago I was interested in buying a Victorian also located the thousand island region of NY. It was an amazing 4 story Second Empire style home comparable in size on 1.5 acres. It had 50 feet of frontage on the St Lawrence River and a picture postcard view of the bridge linking the US to Canada. The asking price 8 years ago was only $350K. The property taxes at that time were nearly $14.5K a year not to mention the nearly $3.5K per winter season to keep it heated at 2003 heating oil prices.

  4. James Manista says: 27 comments

    It’s the brisk swim against the current back and forth to work every day that gets especially tough in winter.

  5. Linda Omoletski says: 73 comments

    The fifth photo down and to the right down by the water looks like that missing turret..I noticed it right off. I love the Thousand Islands and when I was a littlr gilr I took a boat ride to Bolts Castle..thats when you could still get on the island..later years it was closed because of dug smuggling..it has reopened again..love this!

    1
  6. Lori says: 3 comments

    I agree that this house appears decapitated without the tower…that’s the first thing I would restore!

  7. toscar says: 46 comments

    ***
    I think you found the missing tower Linda. It looks as if it may have been used as a type of boat house. It has the same roof, but arches around the sides. I’ll bet that is it.

    ***

    1
  8. Wendy says: 24 comments

    Simply fantastic! Can’t stop looking at the great pics.

  9. Jeanie says: 11 comments

    McShoppy, I was thinking the very same thing. (laughing) The poor decapitated tower doesn’t help in that area, at all. Especially with the decapitated part lying down there on the shoreline. I’m not a water person, so I wouldn’t go for this one. Just the thought of sitting there on the porch enjoying the fall weather, and suddenly the sun is blocked by the passage of one of those tankers like some slow moving, clanky, rusted leviathan gives me the heebee-geebees. But if you love the water, this one would be the one for you, I’d imagine.

  10. K CAIRNS says: 2 comments

    The pitched roof seen by the shore didn’t come from the house tower. That is I believe the old pump house for the property which is still intact. The laundry house is on the opposite side of the island. A replacement tower roof of like style would be fitting but without rebuilding the 4th level.

  11. Stephen Brown says: 4 comments

    I bought this house last month…and yes, the tower is one of the first things we’ll replace. The pump house by the water is beautiful.
    It will be a long process to renovate the property- but ultimately well worth it.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11828 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Congratulations! You have one of the loveliest home locations I’ve ever seen. I wish you good luck on the reno, maybe one day you could update us with a photo or two afterwards? 🙂

  12. Joshua Papworth says: 1 comments

    My family owns the other part. I wasnt aware it has sold. The big ships are part of the magic.
    Im so surprised to hear ppl think its a downside. They dont make noise they are just a magnificent
    sight to behold!

    1
    • Nanspix says: 2 comments

      I totally agree! Having had the privilege to work as a second camera there this past summer the big ships passing were almost ghostly as they slipped through the waters. Amazing sight. Beautiful home.

  13. K Cairns says: 2 comments

    Congradulations on the purchase…..or condolences, whichever may apply. I followed the property for a few years and was tempted. My first order of business would have been to reassemble the earlier parcel by reacquiring the area where the old tennis court and small island are located. Then a full gut, new copper roof, rebuilt tower (less one floor / roof only), new and much bigger boathouse & shop, and restored sea walls. Oh, and drop the water tower (careful which way it falls). The old laundry should make a fine entertainment facility or guest cottage. A modest protect but well worth the effort. Hopefully you have a big family and lots of friends. That’s a lot of house.

  14. Sharon says: 1 comments

    My husband and I have coming to 1,000 Islands for about 10 years. One of the first times I saw this house, there was and elderly couple and their dog on the porch. For some reason, I got the saddest feeling whenever we would pass this house. Then this year I saw all of work being done and that sadness is gone. Wishing you many happy times.

    • Stephen Brown says: 4 comments

      Thank you Sharon! We’re working hard! The tower is being reconstructed this month and then the exterior…before we move back inside in late fall. Stephen

  15. Above is a tumblr site where you can follow the progress

  16. Nanspix says: 2 comments

    I have fallen in love with Comfort Island! I was recently a second camera at a wedding held on the southern end and the house had such personality and charm. When I returned to assist at another wedding this past weekend; we used Keewaydin Park for portraits and I caught another glimpse of this beautiful retreat. It looks as if the renovations are coming along nicely. Congratulations!! Oh ~ and during the ceremony a large freighter passed by….barely noticed….

  17. Stephen Brown says: 4 comments

    Thank you for the nice comments. This summer, the tower that was destroyed in 1951 was reconstructed. All new electrical and plumbing. Attic is being converted into master. Milsap Construction is doing a great job!

  18. Piano Mover says: 1 comments

    I moved that piano to get restored!

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