This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.
The Revolutionary War makes many think of New England, but a number of significant battles actually happened throughout New York. Brooklyn, in particular, was home to many historic war sites, buildings and battles, many of which have been memorialized. For Memorial Day weekend, we present these five Brooklyn Revolutionary War sites that are worth the visit for any history buff, or any Brooklynite who had no idea how monumental a role the area played in the war.
Map of the Battle of Long Island courtesy of the Library of Congress via mountvernon.org.
Old Stone House exhibit | Mr F G and Mrs M S. via Yelp
Old Stone House
The Park Slope area served as the backdrop for the beginning of the Battle of Long Island, a major battle of the Revolutionary War. And Park Slope’s Old Stone House is the best place to learn about Brooklyn’s role during that time. The house museum, a reconstructed 1699 Dutch farmhouse, was central to the Battle of Brooklyn. It was the site where the Maryland 400 halted the attacking British, at the cost of the majority of the American soldiers dying in battle. Today, the Old Stone House hosts exhibits and events that illustrate the American Revolution and colonial life in Brooklyn.
Prison Ships Martyrs’ Monument at Fort Greene Park | Frank Holleman via Flickr
Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene Park is the site of one of the forts the Americans erected around Brooklyn Heights. The fortifications, however, were abandoned when the Americans retreated to Manhattan. Today the park holds the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, which honors the 11,000 soldiers killed inside the British prison ships in nearby Wallabout Bay.
Battle Hill | Elizabeth P. via Foursquare
Inside the beautiful Green-Wood Cemetery you’ll find Battle Hill, the highest point in all of Brooklyn. American and British soldiers fought on this hill during the Battle of Long Island, and the British ultimately captured around 1,100 American soldiers. Today there is a monument on the hill, where you’ll catch impressive views of lower New York Harbor, New Jersey, and Midtown Manhattan. Green-Wood is also home to a number of graves belonging to Civil War veterans.
John Paul Jones Park | via NYC Parks
John Paul Jones Park
In South Brooklyn, at the foot of Fort Hamilton Parkway and below the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, American soldiers fired cannons at the British stationed in Staten Island. On one occasion, 15,000 British soldiers left Staten Island and crossed the Narrows to the Brooklyn shore — the 200 American soldiers couldn’t match the British army and withdrew. The area where the landing occurred is now John Paul Jones Park, named for the Revolutionary War hero who became known as “the Father of the Navy.”
Battle Pass Historic Marker | Prospect Park via NYC Parks
Within Prospect Park, there is a pathway blazed by American soldiers during The Battle of Long Island. It was called Battle Pass, and American soldiers hoped the steep slopes of the low hills would protect them from the British. This ended up being one of the bloodiest and most tragic sites in the entire battle. Battle Pass is now the section of the East Drive between the Zoo and Nellie’s Lawn, and you’ll find the Battle Pass historic marker in a wooded area on the west side of the road. It’s a memorial to the many American soldiers killed during the British onslaught.