World's smallest island gives owners no privacy

2018-01-16 20:00 - Kavitha Pillay
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World's smallest inhabited island. (Photo: Instagram)

Cape Town - The world's smallest inhabited island has become a popular tourist attraction, shredding all privacy for its owners.

Situated in the village of Alexandria Bay on the north coast of New York, this tiny island is estimated to be the size of a tennis court.

According to The Telegraph, it is known as “Just Enough Room Island” as it “just about manages to hold a house, a tree, shrubs and a small beach – making it the smallest inhabited island in the world”.

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The fascinating structure has cottage walls that are built “right to the edges of its 30 000 sq-ft space”.

Previously known as Hub Island, the private land was bought in the 1950s by “the wealthy Sizeland family who wanted to build a holiday home”.

However, the aim for quiet family escapes is shattered as the island is a popular tourist attraction for holidaymakers who cruise along the St Lawrence River.

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“The historic land is half the size of Britain’s Bishop Rock, in the Isles of Scilly, which was the former smallest inhabited island in the world before losing its Guinness Book of Records title in 1982 after its lighthouse was automated and no longer required a human to operate it,” says The Telegraph.

This tiny private island is one of 1 864 islands that form the Thousand Islands archipelago in the Canada-US border along St Lawrence.

It qualifies as an island because it remains above the water level throughout the year and is able to sustain at least one tree.

“Most of the Thousand Islands are not open to visitors and the few that are can only be reached by boat,” says The Telegraph, adding that tourists can book boat tours to view the islands from the water.

Ancient islands to visit

Island Boat House on Occident Island is one of the islands offering accommodation to visitors in Thousand Islands. The two-room B&B, which is also listed on Airbnb, features a spacious deck overlooking the scenic river - but the most captivating aspect about it is that it has been owned by the same family since 1900!

Another attraction is the beautifully restored Boldt Castle on Heart Island which boasts a fascinating history. “The former mansion was built in 1904 by George Boldt, the general manager of the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York at the time, as a gift to his wife. The property was aimed to be the largest private home in the US as a six-storey castle home,” says The Telegraph.

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Boldt also built a yacht house on nearby Wellesley Island, which is one of the largest islands of the archipelago. The island was named after Britain’s Arthur Wellesley - the First Duke of Wellington in 1815 by British naval officer William Fitzwilliam Owen who reviewed the US-Canada border at the time. 

It is listed among the country’s National Register of Historic Places since 1982, and offers two state parks, a nature centre and three golf courses.

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