By Dorraine Fisher In central New York, 50 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River, is a small spit of land known as Bannerman Island. Originally called Pollepel Island, the tiny island was noted for tales of ghosts, and the local Native Americans would dare to visit it only during daylight. Early Dutch settlers used the island as a signpost marking the end of a rough passage through the Hudson highlands, and it also served as a strategic defense point for the patriots during the Revolutionary War. Today, Bannerman Island provides a resting place for the ruins of a genuine Scottish castle, although the castle was not built to serve as a home. A closer look at the structure’s side reveals the raised-relief words “Bannerman’s Island Arsenal,” denoting the original purpose of castle and serving as a huge advertisement for the Bannerman family business. The sign could be seen clearly by passengers riding Hudson River steamboats and the New York Central Railroad. Francis Bannerman VI: Businessman at 12-Years-Old The Bannerman family was descended from the legendary Scottish clan MacDonald, which had been largely wiped out by the rival Campbell clan in a massacre at Glencoe in 1692. The Campbells had sworn allegiance to the English throne, but the MacDonald clan refused to offer a similar pledge of loyalty, which prompted the slaughter by the Campbells of the MacDonald males between the ages of 12 and 70. The name of Bannerman is said to have originated during


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