Marble Hill and the American Revolution

September 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Travel

By Phineas Upham

The Continental Army chose Marble Hill as the site for a fort designed to defend the area from attack. It held until November of 1776, when the Hessians finally gained control and renamed it Fort Charles to honor Charles, Duke of Brunswick. There are conflicting historical reports detailing how the Continental Army escaped the Battle of Fort Washington, but historians are now quite sure that it was only possible through the Dyckman or King’s Bridge.

Washington and his forces engaged the British but lost in a fairly decisive manner. They surrendered the garrison at Fort Washington before abandoning the area via Marble Hill. They would return just over a year later to raid the fort and drive out the Hessian occupiers there.

In January of 1777, General William Heath gave orders for his men to shell the area with cannon artillery fire. Almost as soon as the attack begun, the Hessians retreated from a local tavern to the fort to return fire.

New York remained embattled throughout the Revolutionary War, but the tavern remained in the Hyatt family. Caleb Hyatt had bought the tavern from the same Dyckmans who had built the bridge that bore their namesake.

That tavern was razed not too long after the war to make way for the Kingsbridge Hotel. The idea was to create a space for anglers, sportsmen and hunters who visited the area. Unfortunately for the proprietors, the hotel wouldn’t last long after Broadway was expanded.

Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.


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