Categories
Historic America

The 1777 Van Cortlandtville Skirmish

A daring attack by outnumbered colonials routs a British raid, while a blue cloak captured in the skirmish later provided material for a U.S. flag flying above Fort Stanwix.

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The Van Cortlandtville Skirmish was fought on March 24, 1777 between American patriot troops commanded by Lt. Col. Marinus Willett and a British raiding party commanded by Lt. Col. John Bird near modern-day Cortlandt, New York during the American Revolutionary War. The battle ended in American victory, with the British withdrawing back to their boats.

After being pushed out of New York City in 1776, George Washington established his headquarters in Peekskill along the Hudson River. He considered the area critical for keeping the Continental Army supplied. The British were well-aware, and in late March 1777, 500 British troops sailed up the Hudson River to raid Patriot farms and burn supplies. They landed at Peekskill Bay on March 23 and began pummeling Brig. Gen. Alexander McDougall‘s 250-man force on Fort Hill with artillery.

The following day, a force of 200 British troops marched northeast toward the Van Cortlandt family manor and began pillaging. Some became separated from the main body. Sensing an opportunity, Lt. Col. Marinus Willett, newly arrived with his 80-man detachment, persuaded McDougall to allow him to attack. His men fixed bayonets and charged the unsuspecting British raiders as the sun disappeared behind the horizon.

Categories
Historic America

The Battle of Young’s House, Feb. 1780

A roadside marker, quietly removed from its original location, is all that remains to mark the location of this Revolutionary War skirmish.

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The Battle of Young’s House was fought on February 3, 1780 between American patriot forces commanded by Lt. Col. Joseph Thompson and British and Hessian forces commanded by Lt. Col. Chapple Norton in Westchester County, New York during the American Revolutionary War. The battle was a disaster for the Americans: their outpost was destroyed and nearly every combatant was killed, wounded, or captured.

This area of New York was considered a “no man’s land” between British occupied New York City and Long Island and Patriot forces in Upstate New York. Joseph Young’s stone house and barn became a fortified camp for the opposing sides. It was occupied by Continental Army forces in 1776, the British in 1778, and the Continental Army again in 1779. The winter of 1779-1780 was brutally cold, and frozen waterways left New York City vulnerable to attack. The British decided to harass Patriot outposts to deter any offensive.

Lt. Col. Joseph Thompson and a contingent of 250 men from Massachusetts regiments garrisoned Young’s property, waiting in the harsh snow to be relieved by another unit. Unfortunately, a mixed British force of approximately 550 men, including 100 cavalry, led by Lt. Col. Chapple Norton marched north to seize their outpost.

Categories
Roadside America

Yankee Clipper Diner in Beacon, New York

Yankee Clipper Diner, at 397 Main Street in Beacon, New York, is a 1998 Paramount model named after the Pan American B-314 Yankee Clipper airplane that flew mail across the mid-Atlantic beginning in 1939. The original diner was an O’Mahony that opened in 1946 and was a location in the film Nobody’s Fool (1994) starring Paul Newman. It has been owned and operated since 2003 by two sisters and their husbands, Nikos and Katina Pertesis and Petros and Tonia Petsas. Their Yankee French Toast with strawberry cream cheese is so good.

Look for a new diner every Tuesday in 2019! Click to expand photos.

Diner Resources

Categories
Roadside America

Ambrosia Diner in Queensbury, New York

Ambrosia Diner, at 518 Aviation Road in Queensbury, New York, opened off I-87 Exit 19 in 2012. It is a DeRaffele model, owned by Dennis and Robert Pilarinos, who also own several other diners in the area, including Capital City Diner in Albany. It is rumored to have heated sidewalks! I love the stainless steel on the exterior and retro design.

Look for a new diner every Tuesday in 2019! Click to expand photos.

Diner Resources

Categories
Roadside America

Red Line Diner in Fishkill, New York

Red Line Diner, at 588 U.S. Route 9 (off I-84) in Fishkill, New York, is a DeRaffele model owned by the Vanikiotis Group. It’s become a local favorite since opening in 2012 and is marketed as a healthier alternative to typical diner fare. Its doors are open 24/7 and the red and stainless steel exterior is sharp.

Look for a new diner every Tuesday in 2019! Click to expand photos.

Diner Resources

Categories
Historic America Photography

Neglected in Napanoch

Neglected in Napanoch
Napanoch is a hamlet in Ulster County, New York along Rondout Creek. It straddles the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley. The nearby Eastern Correctional Facility is one of the only sources of employment, and there are many abandoned buildings throughout town. The Hoornbeek Store Complex, at Main and Church streets, was built in stages from 1810 to 1841. At various times it was home to a hotel, shops, and a tavern. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and is currently abandoned.
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Photography

Napanoch Abandoned House

Napanoch Abandoned House
Napanoch is a hamlet in Ulster County, New York along Rondout Creek. It straddles the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley. The nearby Eastern Correctional Facility is one of the only sources of employment, and there are many abandoned buildings throughout town, like this creepy old house on Main Street.