This past Sunday I went on a little adventure with my boyfriend to Bannerman Island, which is about an hour and a half north of New York City. The island is actually called Pollepel and was bought by the Bannerman family jut over 100 years ago. The owner, Frank Bannerman, sold ammunition and other antiques and used the island to store his inventory. The castle that he built, was the warehouse, and was built based on his drawings of castles he saw in Europe (mainly Scotland) in the early 1900s (ending in 1918 when he died).

The island’s downfall began in the 1920s when one of the warehouses (not the castle) exploded, well the live powder did, anyway, the explosion blew out all the windows, which were never repaired. After the family moved their operation away from the island and deserted it, vandals began raiding the island. In 1969 (I think), a huge fire broke out and destroyed the castle and surrounding buildings. It was gutted and some architectural details are missing now.

The tour we went on required hard hats, since the site is a little unsafe, and restoration is slowly happening on the island. We learned all about the Bannermans, the building of the island and what’s happening with it now. The family lived on the island during the summer and weekends in “The Big House,” which has since been destroyed somewhat but not by that same fire, most likely just deterioration. All of the buildings were built with brick and covered with plaster to appear like stone. The balcony of the 2nd floor of the house also had a really cool glass-prism floor which sounded really epic (it’s been vandalized).

There were beautiful views of the Hudson, tall trees and interesting stories. I would suggest the tour if you are interested. More information can be found on Hudson River Adventures. Check it out for a nice day trip up north and out of the city!