Saturday, January 2, 2010

So Sad :o(

The other day my husband sent me a link to a local newspaper that featured an article about a local historical site that has always been a special part of my life.... Bannerman's Castle. If you've read my posts in the past I had a project where I was featuring some of my photography of the Hudson Valley and one of the pictures was of Bannerman's Castle. It received more interest than any of the other photos.

The sad news is that the east wall of the castle has fallen. It's so hard to watch it fall into ruin and be helpless to do anything about it. The article states that it would require $20 million to restore and/or preserve the castle so most people say that it's not going to happen.

If you can imagine, about 50 miles north of New York City there are very tall cliffs along the Hudson River. On the west side is 'Storm King' and on the east side is Breakneck Mountain. At the foot and just a bit north is Bannerman's Island, previously known as Pollepel Island. The highlight of this small island is the castle as well as a mini castle which was Francis Bannerman's home. He seems to have been a romantic as all throughout the small hills and valleys of the island there are winding pathways with poetic names, little grottos for contemplation, and an amazing view of the Hudson River pointing down towards West Point.

For as long as I can remember it had been forbidden for anyone to go on the island. Treasure hunters and dare devils still secretly made their way through the ruins, risking both bodily harm, a stiff fine and/or imprisonment.

About ten years ago my husband and I participated in a Hudson River clean-up sponsored by a canoe club. As we paddled through the arches approaching the island and castle I was bursting with excitement as I'd wanted to go onto the island my entire life and this was my day of realizing that dream. I took hundreds of pictures that day and we had a lovely picnic on the island... oh.. and of course we did our share of clean-up too. A lovely day and a dream come true for me.

Here is a picture that I took of the east side of the castle and then the picture from the local newspaper showing the fall of the east wall.

I'm very glad that I had the opportunity to enjoy a close-up visit to Bannerman's Castle, especially since it has deteriorated so much since.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today....




Jo Archer said...

What a terrible shame! iI there not some sort of heritage fund that can help to restore it?

Canace said...

Hi Jo,

There is the Bannermans Island Trust and they have been working feverishly to raise money to restore/maintain the castle but this is really a blow... not sure if they're up to it. We also have a cruise boat called the "Pride of the Hudson" which donates a percentage of their ticket cost to the island fund. We can only hope. :o)

ArtSnark said...

ah, what a shame. Looks like an amazing place! How fortunate that you were able to visit

Cherie said...

Oh how tragic. Here's hoping people power will get something happening before it's too late.

On a lighter note ... Happy New Year to You and Yours. xo