By WILLIAM SHANNON
Chances to own an island in the Hudson River don’t come along very often. And even if a price tag hovers at $559,000—which is what Campbell Island in Schodack is listed for on privateislandsonline.com—it’s fun for a river frequenter to imagine being able to lay claim to 97 acres of riverfront land.
As was fairly common for the Hudson River in the 1800s, Campbell Island, once a proper island, became a peninsula. According to a listing on hudsonriverland.com, Campbell Island, which is wooded and quiet now, was “once home to the Mohicans, Dutch settlers and an icehouse.”
The rare opportunity along “America’s premiere heritage river,” offers nearly a mile of river frontage and a mile of creek frontage along the Papscanee Creek.
“River lovers,” the listing reads, “wait no longer to live your dream. You can own the largest, best piece of waterfront property available in New York State—97 acres on Campbell Island on the Hudson, America’s First River.
“Campbell offers beautiful, nearly pristine land; rare waterfront rights; and a haven from rising tides.
“Located in New York's Capital Region, close to civilization yet a million miles away, Campbell Island on the Hudson is the perfect place for waterfront adventures, year-round recreation, a family/corporate compound, a training/conference/meeting space, B&B resort, getaway retreat, your heart's content.
“Here you can recharge your spirit, enjoy nature and experience the ever-changing Hudson in your own paradise with friends and family.
“Accessible by water, foot and air, and buildable, Campbell offers a chance to fulfill your imagination from a simple waterside cottage to a luxurious overlook on the magnificent Hudson Valley to rival Olana.”
A few months ago, when Scenic Hudson acquired 590 acres of riverfront land a few miles to the south of Campbell Island, I inquired whether the conservation group was looking into buying Campbell.
Kelly Boling, senior land project manager at Scenic Hudson, wrote in an email at the time, “We’ve had discussion with Campbell Island’s owner in the past, but, thus far, we haven’t been able to advance a conservation project there.”
For more information on Campbell Island, see this video promotion, which seems fresh out of the 1980s.