Jump to navigation
84 T H E N E W-Y ORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY tion determined that they were mining holes and trenches, from which hematite boulders, which occur along the entire hillsides, have been extracted, and have been broken up and removed by an old trail cut along the face of the hillside. Our first efforts at exploration for military remains were inside and around the Fort, and were unrewarded. About sixty feet to the rear of the Fort, traces were observed of human occupation, in the form of wood ashes, broken china, nails and metal, evidently the remains of a hut or tent-site. We then transferred our efforts to the north-east side of the Fort, and assuming the near-by plateau a favorable site for the occupancy of the garrison, we dug at random where the weeds grew most strongly, and were soon rewarded by the discovery of military debris, at the point marked "i." on the accompanying map, which was just over the brow of the summit of the hill, and was evidently a "dump" of camp rubbish. The demands for exploration in the Highlands, and the completion of our work at the Dyckman Farm Camp, delayed further examination of the site for nearly two years, but near the end of the year 1918, Mr. W. L. Calver and Mr. Oscar Barck made systematic visits to the place on Sundays, and extended their investigations along the side of the hill, with most successful results. They established the presence of several large deposits at points A., B., C, and D., and found them to consist of masses of clam and oyster shells, meat bones and camp rubbish of every description, and in such quantities as to indicate the presence of a very considerable number of men, and a probable length of occupation extending over several years of the War of the Revolution. The extent of the discoveries may be gathered from the fact that on some fortunate days the two explorers were rewarded with thirty and even forty military buttons, besides many other objects sifted out of the rubbish dislodged by the spade. The first military button found was that of the Twenty-second British Foot Regiment, discovered within five minutes of the re-opening of work, on November 10, 1918, and close to the first materials uncovered. The deposit, however, was limited, and so a transfer was made to the point marked A., under a rank growth of weeds, where the camp-material was found to be about eighteen inches in depth. Familiar black bottles were found, mingled with abundant oyster and clam shells, window glass, nails and crockery.