Rat Island, New York! The name certainly doesn't sound appealing but at one time this piece of property was sought after by the likes of Ivanka Trump. Why would anyone, including Trump, want an island that must be infested with rodents? Truth is the name has nothing to do with one of our least favorite animals.

Rat Island is one of the smallest islands in New York and it rests in the shadow of Manhattan, one of the biggest islands in the world. Where does this name come from? Truth is, this island is so small that boats couldn't see it at night and nearby residents would use rattles as warning sounds. That is where the name Rat Island comes from.

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According to the New York Post, today the 2.5 acre Rat Island is owned by Alex Shcibli, who purchased the land with a friend via auction for approximately $176,000, securing the last privately owned island in New York City. Technically part of the Bronx.

According to Wikipedia, Rat Island was once used as a quarantine hospital for approximately 40 people that had Typhoid. At that time the islands nickname was "Pelham Pesthouse". The cobblestone foundation of the hospital is said to still be present on the property.

YouTube.com-New York Post
YouTube.com-New York Post

Over the years the island has been used in a variety of ways. The New York City Parks Department stored garbage there at one time. NYFD's would use the island to practice water rescue missions and there was even a house on the island back in the 1930's.

Whether the name is appealing or not, let's take a look around Rat Island, NYC.

Rat Island New York

The smallest island in New York City is Rat Island but the origin of the name has nothing to do with rodents.

Former Smugglers Island?

Could this New York island have been one of the legendary 'smugglers islands' of the 1920's? Yes, being so close to Canada, it certainly could have been! Whether it was or was not, take a look at 0 Pine Tree Island, listed by Robin Gedney Lucas at Southeby's International Realty.

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