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Panoramas: Middle Valley
Bannerman's Castle - Terrace

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As the 19th century closed, Francis Bannerman's military surplus business, located at 501 Broadway in Manhattan, was in need of a new location. His neighbors wanted him and his explosives gone.

Francis's son, David, while on a canoeing trip up the Hudson, by chance noticed Pollepel Island. Francis purchased the island 1900 and began construction on a pseudo Scottish castle to be his warehouse for the ammunition and surplus business.

Equipment of every description was shipped there for storage until sold. Pollepel Island remained in the family's hands until 1967, when it was sold to the State of New York and became part of the Hudson Highlands State Park. During the nearly 7 decades the Bannerman family owned the island, the warehouse flourished & Francis built a summer home for himself and his wife Helen. The house was situated on the southern bluff of the island enjoying one of the most extraordinary views of the Hudson Highlands.

The munitions business continued in operation into the 40's, but eventually the island was abandoned. For the next three decades the structures on the island suffered from continual vandalism and ultimately were nearly destroyed by arson. What remains today are the outer walls in crumbling condition.

Finally in the Spring of 2004, guided "hard-hat" tours have been initiated from Newburgh & Beacon, taking you out to the island with a guided historical tour of the buildings and family.

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