This past weekend was Halloween weekend and though I’m not a die-hard Halloween fan (you won’t catch me bar hopping in a sexy witch uniform) but (you might catch me in bed looking crazy watching the episodes I missed of “Empire“). Anyway, I headed up the Hudson once again (I guess I’ve really been out there a lot lately.) Traveling up there and passing by this little castle in the distance made me super curious as to what it was. And being the curious person that I am, I saw, I searched and ended up at….Bannerman Island.
A brief history on the place—
Back in the 1800s, it was bedrock with practically no greenery and a lot of bootlegging and prostitution and other wild stuff went down, all in the view of a religious, god-fearing woman named Mary Taft of Cornwall who was able to see this so she bought the island (previously named Pollepel Island).
Then one day a dude named Francis Bannerman buys it off of her because he has a military surplus and ammunition shop in Manhattan and the government was basically Iike—that’s pretty hazardous- take that somewhere else. He was Scottish so in tribute of the architecture there, he made this castle styled warehouse. And for good reason they sent him elsewhere because several explosions, fires and other over-the-top things happened here.
I went on what was the very last tour of the season, in a boat with about 20 other people, a good 15 minutes from land, off of the Beacon train stop. The island seemed really tiny (6.5 acres) and a tour guide took us around. We saw the castle (from a distance) which actually held military surplus and since its foundation was so weak it was being held up by metal bars from behind , almost like in a movie set. Strangely, it was built with real cannon balls as a feature– only one of a few reasons for one of its few explosions. A little walk over, we saw Mrs. Bannerman’s garden and then a walk up we saw the family’s home where they stayed.
Soon after, the clouds got dark and started moving really fast. The wind picked up, whistling as the red leaves spun around in unison. Andddd my behind headed back down the hill, haha. It was creepy and felt just like a movie. It was exciting though. The rain was heavy and the boat keepers pulled down the shades on the boat to keep us from getting soaked and we were back to land. It was a decent trip and a great view. I recommend checking this out next year when the tours and events open back up.