The Bannerman's Island

Bannerman's Island

Bannerman's Island

Open to public

Nelsonville (New York), United States

I was asked to photograph it (legally) by the Trust group thats restoring the island,which was a life long dream of mine.

The history of the island began in 1900 when Francis Bannerman purchased the island. Located in the Hudson River near Beacon, New York, he had built the castle as a Arsenal storage, for the weapony company he ran, mostly from New York City.

Unfortunately, the construction ceased at Bannerman's death in 1918. On August 1920, 200 tons of shells and powder exploded in an ancillary structure, destroying a portion of the complex. Bannerman's sales of military weapons to civilians declined during the early 20th century as a result of state and federal legislation. After the sinking of the ferryboat Pollepel, which had served the island, in a storm in 1950, the Arsenal and island were essentially left vacant. The island and buildings were bought by New York State in 1967, after the old military merchandise had been removed, and tours of the island were given in 1968. However, on August 8, 1969, fire devastated the Arsenal, and the roofs and floors were destroyed. The island was placed off-limits to the public.

From May to October, the site is now open to public. Available tours consist of guided walking tours on the island with access either by passenger tour boat or as part of a guided kayak excursion. More details on the official website.

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