N2B - Hudson Valley Digital Network
Dutchess County >> Fishkill >> Bannerman's Island
One of only six official islands in the Hudson River, Bannerman's Island is only accessible through a permit issued by Bannerman's Castle Trust and Department of Conservation (DEC). HVDN will be operating on this rare island as one of the eight "pop-up" radio stations from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on June 12th 2021 which are part of the Hudson River Radio Relay Featuring Bannerman's Island.
Please consider making a small donation to Bannerman's Castle Trust if you make contact with N2B and would like a certificate.
LOCAL TOP PICKS !!
We need your help to reach our fund raising and contact goals on June 12th 2021.
The most famous island you have never heard of
Pollepel Island translates to little pot ladle in Dutch and is the general shape of the 6.5 acre island. Resting only 1,000 feet off the shores of Dutchess County, some people think the island is part of the town of Fishkill, but actual rights below to the City of Newburgh across the river in Orange County.
Given all the modern history of the island from 1900 and onwards, its easy to see why the island which is part of American history is so contested. During the Revolutionary War period, a series of "chevaux de frise" or wooden stakes were constructed between the island and Plum Point on the Orange County side to help control the passage of British ships.
These defenses were actually not used, but with all the other fortifications in the area at West Point and down towards Peekskill, it was widely known that passage for those not permitted on the river was going to be a multi faceted gauntlet. Some of the chevaux de frise are still in place over 250 years later both above and below the water line of the Hudson River.
Modern Bannerman's Island
Following the American Civil War, a businessman named Francis Bannerman VI purchased the island as part of his growing military surplus business in New York City. After a few small accidental explosions near the port of Brooklyn, most of the munitions were moved to the island and housed inside a Scottish inspired castle that Mr. Bannerman had built.
The island was large enough to house his castle and its very large advertising that took up one side of the building still visible today. A second structure was created as a summer home for the Bannerman family which they used up until about 1917 before the family head passed away in 1918. Soon after, some remaining ordinance exploded in the castle due to a lightning storm and the castle fell into disrepair as well as much of the remaining architecture.
Current Status and rebirth
It was not until 1967, was the island purchased by New York State and the military equipment removed finally. Tours of the island started, but only two years later another storm created so much damage that the island was again ruled as off limits to the public.
After years of no upkeep and vandalism, The Bannerman Castle Trust was created with the help of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
Since 2009, massive efforts led and funded by volunteers and donations have taken place to stabilize the ruins and in some cases, rebuild them for the future to visit and safely explore the island.
Today, tours start in early May each year and run through to late September. The public can take these nice scenic boat rides from two different ports and those that are more adventurous can take kayaks to the island.
There are wonderful flower beds and unique architecture found on the island today and are just a few reasons why Hudson Valley Digital Network saw this island as a worthy cause to help promote to a wider audience.
Hudson Valley Digital Network (HVDN) is the official sponsor and organizer behind Hudson River Radio Relay. Our hopes are that this event can inspire more modern community engagement between the amateur radio community and the general public.
Within our local area, the majority of our amateur radio population is considered out of touch with the needs of our area and lacks the leadership it needs to attract and retain renewed interest in this great hobby. Through an event like Hudson River Radio Relay, we hope that this helps build a bright future for amateur radio in the Hudson Valley.
Questions about this event can be directed to HVDN's founder, Steve Bossert K2GOG and trustee of N2HVD at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +1-914-573-1799
Hudson Valley Digital Network (HVDN) is the newest organization to promote amateur radio in the Hudson Valley as well as the important part it can play towards convergence with other interests such emerging technologies, makers, positive well-being or active lifestyles.
For this special event, the HVDN will be operating as N2B from Bannerman's Island and is the main organizer of this special event.
Upcoming HVDN 2021 Events
05/17/2021 - HVDN:LIVE - USMA Balloon Project
06/12/2021 - HR3 & N2B Bannerman's Island
06/26/2021 - ARRL Field Day - POTA Location TBD
08/28/2021 - HVDN Tether Balloon Project
09/25/2021 - Hudson Valley Hamfest (1st Annual)
Contact HVDN for more information
Here is a rare photo of Joe N1JTA overlooking the Hudson while testing early versions of the HASviolet 900 MHz LoRa project just prior to COVID in early 2020.