CONNECTING LOCAL KNOWLEDGE TO BETTER GOVERNMENT WITH HOME MADE TOOLS, DETECTIVE WORK AND FUN
GRASSROOTS CITIZEN SCIENCE RESEARCH
CAN WE HELP FIND AMERICA’S FIRST VETERANS ?
FINDING THE FORGOTTEN BURIAL GROUNDS AND THE BIRTHPLACE OF AMERICA’S REVOLUTION IN BROOKLYN
Johnston Map of the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn
America’s First Battle
2012 - Grassroots Mappers map sewer overflows
allowed us to find a buried stream
P OW E R H O U S E E N V I R O N M E N TA L A RT S C E N T E R
G OW A N U S C A NA L WHOLE FOODS PA R K
source: Bob Furman, Brooklyn Preservation Council
“There is a current tradition among the families whose farms covered the site where the Marylanders were engaged, that their dead were buried by the residents on a mound that rose from a salt meadow in the vicinity of Third Avenue and Seventh Street.
1782 SPROULE MAP overlaid with rumored Marylander Hill burial ground site.
BALLOON PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE “OVER MY DEAD BODY” CITIZEN SCIENCE RESEARCH EXPEDITION FOUND A PATTERN OF UNUSUAL CRACKS IN A CONCRETE SLAB OF AN ABANDONED INDUSTRIAL SITE, RUMORED TO BE THE MAIN 1776 SOLDIERS BURIAL GROUND
After frequent examination of the ground I am of the opinion that few of the bodies were interred at that place originally, as it was too distant. It is probable, however, that after the war, when the farms were again cultivated, that the skeletons were collected and buried on the island mound, to secure them from the violation of the plough. The Van Brunt and Bennett families retain the tradition with sufficient details to authorize the belief that the burials of most of the brave and generous youth of Maryland who fell still lie under the soil of Third Avenue.” 1868, TW Fields Monograph on historic and antiquarian scenes in Brooklyn, as quoted in “Old Brooklyn: The Services of the Maryland Battalion” Brooklyn Eagle, 1 December 1870
THE BALLOON AERIAL PROMPTED A MICRO TOPOGRAPHY LIDAR MODEL STUDY FINDING AN EVEN MORE INTRIGUING PATTERN OF HUMAN SHAPED BUMPS. Light Imaging Data and Ranging (LIDAR) study of the “flat” concrete slab covering the 170 8th Street. The site was identified as a possible surviving remnant of the Marylander Burial Ground and LIDAR looks for terrain anomalies. The 2010 laser beam generated topographic data is accurate to within a quarter of an inch. It is capable of detecting minor fluctuations in the ground, giving invaluable clues to potential buried archaeological sites such as lost grave yards. Bumps could also be sloppy concrete work. 2010 DEM (Digital Elevation Model) image by Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne and Eymund Diegel
2012 - Unsnagging balloon camera string from barbed wire
2012, 7 July - Balloon aerial of Grassroots Mapper Liz Barry, demonstrating a body’s dimensions relative to a curious pattern of crack intervals in concrete slab that matched burial trench records.
LIDAR “BUMP” PATTERN OVERLAY
OLD S TO N E HOUSE
M A RY L A N D E R GREEN
2013 Concept by Edward Mazzer, Venice, Italy Aerial by Google with Citizens Grassroots Mapping insets
The Battle of Brooklyn Gowanus Canal Revolutionary Trail & Greenway
HELPING DESIGN A NEW MEMORIAL PARK
“The old creek's banks have been sheathed with concrete and its waters are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. It is an urban cesspool which local residents sometimes call, in the blackest of humor, “Lavender Lake”.
Men fought and died here as part of our American Revolution.
To date, we have honored them with our sewage.
We can as a nation do better than that and I sincerely hope that this subcommittee will give serious consideration to including at least a few hundred acres of land around the former creek bed in the Gateway National Recreational Area”
John H. Lindenbush, executive director, Long Island Historical Society, 1972
CRACK 18 June 2014 -
White House Maker Faire
27 August 1776 - Delaware Regiment fighting in the Battle of Brooklyn, painting by Domenick D'Andrea
leading to 1776 burial ground study sites
1776, 27 August - American troops at Denton’s Tidal Mill, an American Revolutionary War site.
The 1776 Veterans Park Plan is dedicated to Bradley Manning and those who fight to uphold the principles of an Open Society. You can find out more here: http://issuu.com/proteusgowanus/docs/0_2014_marylander_park_proposal_dra
2011, 31 July - Grassroots Mappers balloon aerial taken from a canoe of the First Street Basin Superfund Site Landfill
27 August 1776 - The Battle of Brooklyn at Freeke’s Mill, painting by Alonzo Chappel, 1865
a pattern of weeds growing on concrete..
at the Hearings before the Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives 92nd Congress, First Session on H.R. 1370 and H.R. 1121 and Related Bills (1972, p. 160) as quoted in Nevins Street Stage Archaeological Survey (Red Hook Water Pollution Control Project, Brooklyn, NY) by Ralph S. Solecki, Phd, May 10 1977
A - Stone House of Gowanus, owned by the Vechtes in 1699 and 1776 B - The Lower Mill, built by Abram Brouwer in 1701. Owned by Nehemia Denton during the Revolutionary War, and then called Denton’s Mill. C - The Upper or Gowanus Mill - Oldest Mill in Brooklyn called Freeke’s Mill during the Revolutionary War. D - Branch of Gowanus Creek extending into Vechte Farm. At the present day an arm of the Gowanus Canal E - Upper, or Freeke’s Mill Pond F - Lower Mill Pond. Called Denton’s Mill Pond during the War. G - Private canal of Nicholas Vechte, connecting Brower’s Pond with his own creek. H - Porte Road, running from Gowanus Heights acrosss mill ponds I - Flatbush Road, running from Flatbush, over Wooded Heights, to Brooklyn J - Gowanus Creek, now the Gowanus Canal K - Brook on the Vechte Farm, rising from spring beside the Stone House and emptying into arm of Gowanus Creek. L - Gowanus Creek widening to Gowanus Bay M - Island were many soldiers were buried
“Upon this island, situated about at Second Street near the present Canal, a great many of the Revolutionary unknown heroes were buried. This occurred both immediately after the battle - when the residents of Gowanus were compelled to bury the dead that lay upon their lands - and during the succeeding years when the plows of the farmers upturned the bones that lay as near the surface of the ground as their furrows. This burying place has never been disturbed... Here, therefore, lie most of the bones of the brave young Marylanders..”
Georgia Fraser, 1909, The Stone House at Gowanus, Scene of the Battle of Long Island
Historian Georgia Fraser argues that American soldiers trapped at Dentons or Freeke’s Mill (now the First Street Basin Superfund landfill) were buried on the small island adjacent to the Mill.
S TA TE O F M A R Y LA N D O FFIC E O F TH E G O V E R N O R
September 13, 2012 The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg Mayor, New York City City Hall New York, NY 10007 Dear Mayor Bloomberg: On behalf of the State of Maryland, please accept our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the people of the City of New York and the citizens of Brooklyn for all they have done to recognize the patriots of the Revolutionary War during Battle Week. We are truly humbled by the honor and respect shown to the legacy and legend of the Maryland 400, who fought and died at the Battle of Brooklyn on August 27, 1776. The New York Bureau of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the Maryland Military Monument Commission, should be commended for their efforts to protect and maintain the Maryland 400 Monument in Prospect Park. The Old Stone House is one of Brooklyn's true gems and I applaud their educational programs. Each year, the Rawley American Legion Post 1636 and the Brooklyn Irish American Parade Committee faithfully honor the Marylanders who fought to save General Washington's American Army at the Battle of Brooklyn. Indeed, historians would later remark that the Marylanders' time on the battlefield was an hour more precious to American liberty than any other. I read with great interest the recent New York Times article about the unknown mass grave of the 256 Marylanders who died in the battle. Please know Marylanders are very interested in any effort to identify the final resting place of these American heroes and any effort to honor their service and sacrifice on the fields of Brooklyn 236 years ago. The State of Maryland stands ready to help in this noble cause. Sincerely,
Without Gowanus, there would be no America
Published on Jun 26, 2014
This is a summary board of research done by Eymund Diegel with Proteus Gowanus, and Bob Furman of the Brooklyn Preservation Council, with th...