A Private Paradise
Owning your own private island paradise, is one of those fantasies that many of us surely share. It is one of those favoured escapist daydreams, as we swing in a hammock on a hot summers day, fill in the hours at tedious jobs, or when the lecturer drones on and on about statistics or some such dreary thing. An island, your own private island, that is indeed something to dream about and imagine.
Blue Lagoon Island
Blue Lagoon Island is located 5 km (three miles) from the Bahamas. The name Blue lagoon is lovely and evocative, but the lagoon actually used to be a salt marsh and was a popular haunt of pirates, who would stop off to collect salt to preserve their food at sea. In the early 1900's the island was owned by the curiously named Abraham Van Winkle, who hired hundreds of laborers to dredge out the salt marsh and connect the area to the sea; the lagoon was born. Van Winkle then began a zoo on the island, which he populated with animals like: monkeys, peacocks, turkeys, pheasants, parrots, and iguanas, imported for the purpose; paying guests were invited to view the exotic animals.
Later the island was bought by John T. McCutcheon, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and political cartoonist, who called his home Treasure Island. During World War II, Blue Lagoon was used by the allies as a secret training base but the troops were known to spend their evenings tossing hand grenades, just for fun!
Sitting in the Ionian Sea off the western coast of Greece, lies Skorpios, the private island made famous by its owner Aristotle Onassis; one time titan of the shipping world. The island was pretty much barren, until Onassis imported over 200 varieties of trees and had sand carted to the island from nearby Salamis. On one of these sandy beaches, rests the Myconos house, otherwise known as the "Pig House". Jackie Onassis (later Kennedy) was also famously snapped here in the nude, by a Greek photographer.
Onassis also married his wife Jackie, who later became the US First Lady, on the island. Onassis, his son Alexander, and his daughter Christina are all buried on the island and the island is now in the possession of his granddaughter Athina Roussel, the only surviving descendant of Onassis.
North Dumpling Island
North Dumpling Island is situated off the coast of Connecticut, USA. Today the island is owned by Dean Kamen, a self-made millionaire and world-famous inventor. kamen is also renown for unofficially seceding from the United States, when he was denied permission to build a wind turbine on the island. His friend, who just happened to be President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, signed a “non-aggression” pact with the nation of North Dumpling, continuing the joke. Recently the islands island's electrical system was converted to a combination of wind and solar power, making the island carbon neutral.
The "Kingdom of North Dumpling" has its own constitution, national anthem and currency. Island nobles have been granted such titles as "Minister of Nepotism" and "Minister of Brunch". The island also features a replica of Stonehenge.
Originally North Dumpling Island was bought by John Winthrop, who was the son of the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The distinguished Winthrop family owned the island until 1847, when it was purchased by the federal government for $600.
However it is known, that in August 1750 a Spanish galleon named Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, was seeking shelter from a storm on the North Carolina coast, when the crew mutinied. The ship which was laden with treasure, transferred its riches to two European merchant ships, one of which was lost at sea. Owen Lloyd who manned the other ship, took off with the booty and buried it on Norman Island. Only part of the treasure was uncovered and rumours persist about unclaimed gold doubloons waiting to be found.
In the 1930's the island was owned by the wonderfully named Snigger Findley, who was an oyster collector. However in 1961, Roger and Merle Mason fell in love with the island. So the couple tracked down Snigger the owner and convinced him to sell them the island, if Roger won against Snigger in a game of poker. Roger won and the new owners Roger and Merle, paid £50 for their island home.
Pumpkin island is now available to rent, for the person seeking a secluded and private island retreat.
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