Is America’s largest Revolutionary War graveyard about to be transformed into an International House of Pancakes? Concerned citizens fear it is.
Established by George Washington in New York’s Hudson Valley, the Fishkill Supply Depot was essential to the Revolutionary Army and both visited and utilized by Washington, Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Baron von Steuben. More importantly, the National Park Service proclaimed it “the largest burial ground for Revolutionary War soldiers in the country,” with Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot President Lance Ashworth noting that hundreds of Revolutionary War soldiers may be buried there.
The actual number might never be determined, however, because it’s on the verge of becoming the home of Continental Commons, a “planned 18th-century colonial village” that will “function as a commercial, social, and educational center,” with a focus on shopping and restaurants. (Ashworth says that at various Town Planning Board meetings, the developer indicated his intention to build an IHOP restaurant on site.)
The Commons wants to develop 10.47 acres: currently, a mere .25 of an acre is to be left untouched in tribute to the soldiers who died fighting for America’s independence.
Local citizens formed Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot to resist the development until full archaeological studies can be completed. As Ashworth, who graduated from nearby West Point, puts it: “Nobody truly knows what’s at the site right now, and if development occurs, we’ll never know.”
Read more about (and potentially contribute to) their efforts here, and see more photos of the site below. At the bottom find a video of the Hunter Research, Inc. report “Fishkill – Military Supply Hub of the Revolutionary War: A Historical and Archaeological Overview,“ explaining the significance of Fishkill and why it should be preserved, as well as a second video of a wreath-laying ceremony to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for our nation.
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