I’ve mentioned it before that in my part of NY, near West Point, is just chock full of colonial history. There are tons of little plaques, monuments, parks, museums and such surrounding my area. They’re so prevalent in my area that you sort of get used to seeing them and sometimes, they go unnoticed.
Like this little gem I’ve been driving by on Forge Hill Road in New Windsor for a couple of months now. The road and bridge was recently completed and re-opened as it had been closed for several years since we moved here. The bridge is over Moodna Creek and next to it, off the side of the road is this BIG boulder. It must be 6-7 feet tall and there is a little plaque attached. I made my husband pull over to take a peek to see what exactly it was.
It turns out it was a plaque dedicated by the local DAR in 1901 to signify the location of the Brewster forge (from 1776-1778) that made parts of the famous chain that was stretched across the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War to prevent the British ships from crossing.
You’re probably wondering how this ties into genealogy? Oddly, it fits into my tree! Remember my post about serendipity? Yeah, another instance of that!
Turns out, my 6th great-grandfather, Henry Jayne (born Feb. 13 1754 in Goshen, New York) worked for the Sterling Ironworks Factory, which made ammo and cannons for the Continental Army. Sterling also made the chain links for the “great chain”.
I’ve done some researching just out of curiosity into the boulder monument and it was well documented. I’m quite remiss at the lonely state of the boulder. It appears to have been a little park area/attraction but now you almost miss it driving by. There are no flowers, no grass even. Apparently, the forge’s owner Samuel Brewster used to own a house directly across from the forge that was the quarters of the Marquis de Lafayette, a key pivotal player in the Revolutionary War. How was this not significant to commemorate? (maybe I’m just a bit too passionate regarding the Revolutionary War?)
Regardless, the boulder stands as a neat link for me to Henry Jayne as he was part of creating something that is cemented in not only Hudson Valley’s history but our entire American history as well.
**UPDATE** Turns out, I’m distantly related to Samuel Brewster, the forge owner, as well! So cool!