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For generations, boaters and train passengers have been mystified and intrigued by the sight of a castlelike structure looming in the Hudson River, near Fishkill. Bannerman Castle unveils the history of this site: an island arsenal, built to resemble a Scottish castle. The story begins in 1900, when Francis Bannerman VI purchased the island—officially Pollepel but later called Bannerman’s Island—for storing used military goods purchased from the government. A native of Scotland, Bannerman designed his arsenal to resemble a Scottish castle.
Author Bio: Through research and photographs, Thom Johnson and Barbara H. Gottlock provide insight into the island’s rise as a glorious and unique landmark to its eventual neglect and decline. Both authors serve as guides for island tours and as members of the Bannerman Castle Trust, which was founded in 1993 by Neil Caplan, Johnson, and other concerned individuals. The trust works with New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to protect the island, now part of Hudson Highlands State Park.
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