Yesterday a group of volunteers participated in NYS' I Love My Parks Day.  This group worked on Bannerman's Island and made the trails and gardens on the island come back to life after the long winter we had.

On behalf on the Bannerman Castle Trust I wish to thank each and everyone for their contribution to our park.

Once again Bannerman Island will be participating in New York State Parks I LOVE MY PARKS DAY - May 3, 2014.
We have room for 16 volunteers to come out to Bannerman's Island for the day.  During the time on the island volunteers will be helping island regulars with clean up, planting, clearing trails and general maintenance. 
If you wish to join us you can sign up on or after March 20 by going to:
Looking forward to seeing you on the island!
Barbara Gottlock
Volunteer Coordinator for the Bannerman Castle Trust
Jackie Bischof and her crew from the Wall Street Journal traveled to the island to check out the work going on there.
The article appeared in the Wall Street Journal January 13, 2014.
As of today the stabilization of the Tower on Bannerman's Island is well under way. Tiny Houses, Inc of Putnam Valley has placed scaffolding around the Tower walls and have installed several braces to reinforce the walls to prevent further deterioration of the structure.

On August 10, 2013 39 volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 27 from Newburgh, New York worked on a project directed by David Sager III.
19 scouts and 24 family and friends cleared trails, built steps and did general maintenance on Bannerman's island.

On behalf of the Bannerman Castle Trust I wish to thank them for all the hard work they did for us.

Barbara Gottlock
Volunteer Coordinator for the BCT
For more photographs of the project check our gallery under "Volunteers at Work."

Hudson River Adventures Retires the Pollepel for Bannerman Island Tours

The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. would like to acknowledge Hudson River Adventures for 18 years of service, providing Bannerman Island Lecture Tours on the Pride of the Hudson and Bannerman Island Walking Tours on the
Pollepel. Hudson River Adventures has decided to retire the Pollepel this year and concentrate their efforts on cruises on the Pride of the Hudson which runs out of the Newburgh waterfront. Hudson River Adventures has been a wonderful partner for Bannerman Castle Trust, and deserves much credit for believing in our dream of opening and preserving Bannerman Island. We would never have been able to open the island without their help. On behalf of the BCT Board of Directors and our Advisory council, we thank Lynne, Billynda, and Kevin for their service. We wish you much success with the Pride of the Hudson.

Neil Caplan                                                                                                                            
BCT  Executive Director

Bannerman Castle Trust to Operate the Estuary Steward for 2013 Bannerman Island Tours

This past summer the Bannerman Castle was the beneficiary of a different, but very valuable, type of donation. 
In late August, the BCT assumed ownership of the RV Estuary Steward, a 40' by 12.5' boat donated by the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse.

The Estuary Steward was commissioned in 2001 by Dutchess County BOCES as a floating classroom, a project funded by a grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 
Later, when its educational program was discontinued, the vessel was transferred to Esopus Meadows Lighthouse which used it to carry visitors out to the lighthouse once every two weeks. Hudson River Cruises is now transporting
visitors to the lighthouse with departures from the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston.

The RV Estuary Steward has an open deck that can be closed with rain curtains in inclement weather. 
The BCT will use its new acquisition to expand its visitor operations to Bannerman's Island by adding tours from new ports.  

The Estuary Steward will go into operation this spring.  The Bannerman Castle Trust has hired Steve Nachbar, a 
licensed captain with years of experience working on the Hudson River, will take over the responsibility of operating the Estuary Steward. The Estuary Steward will take over the Pollepel’s routes from Beacon and Newburgh and will
add The Village of Cold Spring in June.

 It will make its winter home at White's Hudson River Marina in New Hamburg.  Over the winter, the Steward was
equipped with a new 135 horsepower engine; a donation from White's valued at $6,800.

The BCT is especially grateful to Barbara Ralston of Esopus Meadows Lighthouse and Jill Shaw from DEC for helping to effectuate the donation and transfer.  We look forward to utilizing the new opportunities and increased capacity this new acquisition will afford our organization.

Robert McKenna                                 
 Vice President

Dear Friend of Bannerman Castle,

During 2012, the Trust has been closing in rapidly on another significant preservation goal―the stabili-zation of the Bannerman Arsenal Complex tower, with expert assistance from our preservation architect, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc. (JHPA), and engineer, Old Structures. The tragic, partial collapse of the tower that occurred during the winter of 2009-2010 damaged what is arguably the most striking portion of the Banner-man warehouse complex. Since that time, the Trust has been focused on documenting and preserving the remain-ing walls, even as we launched the approved residence stabilization project. Following the successful comple-tion of the residence stabilization for significantly less than our estimated project budget, the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (Parks) agreed to add the stabilization of the warehouse to the EPF Grant that funded 50% of the residence construction and to extend our timeframe for access to the grant funds. We faced numerous challenges, including the difficulty of raising funds during a very bleak time for the U.S. economy, and a concern that to be able to work safely on or near the walls of the tower would require long-reach cranes stationed on barges with prohibitively high mobilization and equipment costs.

We were very fortunate to receive good news on several fronts this year. JHPA and Old Structures deter-mined that the remaining walls of the tower were stable enough to permit access via vertical climbing tech-niques, which have been used by specialty firms to conduct emergency repairs and survey work on historic buildings. JHPA prepared an emergency stabilization design for the tower that will allow a vertical climbing team to install shoring assemblies, using appropriate safety and personnel protection measures, on the exterior of the building where they will counteract the inward-leaning failure that is threatening the remains of the structure. The costs of this approach will be much less than a stabilization effort performed from a barge-mounted crane, and this project is now within our reach. Parks has approved JHPA’s design and the Trust advertised the work to prospective contractors this month. Pending successful selection of a contractor, stabilization construction will be performed as early in the spring of 2013 as is practical. Parks has been extremely supportive of the Trust’s efforts and extended our grant period through the end of December 2013, maintaining our access to 50% match-ing funds for our second stabilization project. The Trust has been keeping all of our neighbors who were im-pacted by Hurricane Sandy in our thoughts and prayers, and at the same time, we realize that with the extreme weather of the past several years, the time available to us to protect the remaining walls of the tower is extremely limited.

While our plans for stabilization moved forward, we reached out to Choice Words to help us to identify funding sources worth pursuing and to assist the Trust with grant proposal preparation. Our efforts were rewarded when the Trust received the following grants for stabilization in 2012: J.M. Kaplan Foundation—$25,000; National Trust for Historic Preservation―$5,000; The Jane Nuhn Charitable Trust― $20,000 in 2012 and $20,000 in 2013. Additional grants included: The Dyson Foundation for a new Strategic Plan prepared by Fairweather Consultants―$10,000; Chase Community Giving―$10,000; which are positioning us to fund the construction. The EPF Grant requires that we pay 100% of the construction costs up front, and then apply for 50% reimbursement. For the residence project, we were generously supported by M&T Bank, who agreed to loan us 50% of the construction costs pending reimbursement from NYS and thereby created a bridge that al-lowed us to pay our contractor without having to raise 100% of the costs. We’ll be looking for another ‘banking angel’ to help us next year, unless we are fortunate enough to raise all of the funds needed for the construction before we begin. With your continued support, we can raise the funds necessary to stabilize the warehouse tower and demonstrate that it is feasible to preserve the historic and aesthetic resources of Pollepel Island. Your passion and dedication to Bannerman Castle help to keep us working to save the treasures of Pollepel Island! The Trust wishes you a joyous holiday season and a New Year filled with every blessing. Please Consider an End of The Year Tax Deductible Gift to THE BANNERMAN CASTLE TRUST, INC. Please send checks to: THE BANNERMAN CASTLE TRUST, INC., PO Box 843, Glenham, NY 12527-0843. You can donate online by going to our website: www.bannermancastle.org, where you can read the latest issue of The BCT Newsletter, “The Banner.

Leonard Warner President The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc.


You will also receive a subscription to the BCT newsletter, THE BANNER, along with a friendship card.
Become a part of “the Bannerman Support System" and make a tax-deductible donation to the Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. today! Just click the "Donate" button below, and add the amount you wish to donate.

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We're deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend, Evelyn Owen Palen. Evelyn lived on the Island in her youth, was a cherished member of the Bannerman Castle Trust, and on our board of directors. She's pictured here, attending the opening of the Wee Bay Gardens on the Island, in 2007.

Evelyn Owen Palen died Wednesday November 21 at her home in Balmville, NY. She was 96 years old.

Evelyn Irene Owen was born October 3, 1916, to Edward Owen and Iva MacNary Owen, at home, in Fostertown, NY.

She attended a one room schoolhouse and graduated from Newburgh Free Academy at age 15. She was later declared emancipated from her parents and lived on Bannerman Island with her brother Leonard Wayne Owen, the assistant caretaker, and his family.

At 19 she went to Delhi Agricultural School and took both Secretarial and Dairy Commercial studies, graduating a two-year program in one year. She met Wade Palen on her birthday at Delhi. They loved to dance. They were married at the Palen Farm on Creekside Road, south of Kingston, on January 22, 1938. Over the years they lived in Kingston, Auburn, Walden, New City in NY; Ridgewood, NJ; Wilton and Stamford, CT; Tacoma, WA; and finally four miles from where she was born, in Balmville, NY.

From 1946 to 1952, Wade and Evelyn built their unique home of concrete and cinder block in Walden, NY. Evelyn carried a concrete block in each hand while walking a narrow beam. She mixed all the concrete and all the mortar for the entire house herself while Wade created the forms, poured the concrete, and laid all the block. The house was designed to be efficient and easy to clean.

Evelyn worked as a secretary in law firms in Walden and then for New York Trap Rock. She was the Executive Assistance to the CEO of Lone Star Industries in NYC and in Greenwich, CT. She was the first woman elected to the Board of Directors of Lone Star Industries.

She was active in the Walden Women's Club, serving as a President and also as a Resolutions Chairwoman. In the 1950’s she created Walden Day to showcase town businesses; the children were excused from school to attend. Evelyn and Wade taught square dancing to Explorer Post 33 and helped young boys grow into solid young citizens. Many still write to her with their gratitude. She served on the Board of the Bannerman Castle Trust and occasionally gave lectures about the Island on river cruises to benefit the Trust.

Evelyn attributed her good health and longevity to her loving family, hard work, and yoga.

Evelyn was predeceased in 1993 by her husband of 55 years, Wade. She is survived by her devoted son, Stanleigh Wade Palen and his wife Mary, of King George, VA; her daughter E. Virginia Donovan, of Poughkeepsie, NY; her grandchildren Catherine and her husband Andrew Geislzer and children Emma, Katrina, and Wade of Fairfax, VA; Amy and her husband Dr. Michael Wentworth and children Benjamin, Christina, and Jason of Silverdale, WA; Caroline and her husband Jeffrey White and their children Corinne and Jorn of Washington, D.C.; and William Donovan of Asheville, NC. She was predeceased by her brother Leonard Wayne Owen and her half-brothers Denton, Edwin and Stanley.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be considered to Bannerman Castle Trust, PO Box 843, Glenham, NY 12527-0843.

A celebration of her life will be held on December 6, 2012 at 6 pm at The First Reformed Church, 70 Scofield Street, Walden, New York. All are welcome.

Virginia Donovan
37 High Acres Drive
Poughkeepsie, New York 12603

In October 2012 the Bannerman Castle Trust was approached by Maryna Teplova, a teacher of English from Dnipropetrousk, Ukraine. Maryna, who has never been to the island, saw Bannerman Castle on Facebook and
became intrigued with it. She wrote a poem about the island and the castle on it which is posted on a web site called allpoetry.com.  Maryna offered to run a poery contest about Bannerman's Island on allpoetry.

Fourteen poems were submitted for the contest and Maryna asked me (Barbara Gottlock, Volunteer Coordinator for the BCT) to judge them.  It was a very difficult thing for me to do as all the poems were unique and well written.
I chose Bannerman's Call as the winner:

                                                  BANNERMAN'S CALL
                                                      By Marcy Jarvis

 Away up the Hudson, at the old Northern Gate
still stands Bannerman's Castle a-lying in wait
of the funds that are needed to rescue its walls.
Look its way, all you travelers, the train whistle calls.

Cross the shimmering waters, history raises its hue,
not a remnant too short for a Gilded Age view.
Though its arsenal's empty and its parapets fall,
the beauty of Bannerman's issues its call.

I'm a victim of trespass, neglect and decay;
it's been many a year since I've seen my heyday
though my honor demands I forever stand tall
Restoration's begun; will you answer my call?



The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. will present it's annual holidays small paintings show, "Take Me Home for the Holidays" at The Bannerman Island Gallery, located at 150 Main Street, in Beacon, NY, opening reception at 5pm on November 10th. (Beacon’s Second Saturday)

The show features small paintings by 13 noted Hudson Valley artists, featuring scenes from the Hudson Valley and Bannerman Island. This is an excellent way to support Bannerman Island and get to take home, a one of a kind painting capturing the beauty of The Hudson River Valley and Bannerman Island. A great holiday gift. There will be over 40 paintings in various mediums including: oils, acrylics and pastels.

Jamie Williams Grossman curates “Take Me Home for the Holidays Small Painting Show” Jamie is a Signature Member and Vice Chairman of New York Plein Air Painters (NYPAP). She is also the head of their Lower Hudson Valley Chapter.

Award winning artists include: Jeanne Demotses, Virginia Donovan, Carol Douglas, Carolyn H. Edlund, Gayle Clark Fedigan, Patti Ferrara, Jamie Williams Grossman, Deborah O'Keeffe, Mara Lehmann, Margaret Morales, Mary Mugele Sealfon, Robert Trondsen, and Nancy Woogen.

The Bannerman Island Gallery features a large array of paintings, prints, and photographs of Bannerman Island, Bannerman's Castle, and the Hudson River ―as well as many other types of Bannerman Island memorabilia and media. Many of the pieces displayed in the gallery are one of a kind, and are available for purchase. Fifty percent of the sale of artwork is donated to The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. for the preservation of Bannerman Island.

Plans for the Stage One Stabilization of the Main structures, The Tower and the # Two Warehouses have been approved by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Support beams will be attached to the exterior of the walls, along with steal bracing to be used to support the fragile facades until more funds are raised for Phase Two. The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. is currently raising funds to match up to $150,000 from an EPF Grant. In 2011 The BCT stabilized The Bannerman Residence with new floors and a new roof. In October, the grand staircase, (Over and Under the Arch) was stabilized. In the 2012 season, Bannerman Island played host to The Opera Company of The Highland’s concert version of Show Boat, as well as to Hudson Valley Musicians who performed Bannerman Island on the third Sunday of every month.

Buy A Painting, Help Save a Hudson Valley Landmark!

The Bannerman Island Gallery is opened on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and by appointment during the week. “Take me Home for the Holidays" Small Painting Show runs from November 10th to December 31st. For information about the show, please call New Caplan at 845-831-6346 or 845-234-3204.