Oakwood Cemetery in Syracuse, New York

Oakwood Cemetery, at 940 Comstock Avenue, next to Syracuse University, in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York, was designed by landscape architect Howard Daniels and opened in 1859. It is a secular Victorian “rural” or “garden” style cemetery where over 60,000 people are interred in 160 acres. This is by far the most interesting cemetery I’ve ever visited in the U.S., with Gothic and Victorian mausoleums and family plots dotting undulating, wooded hills. It’s positively Tim Burtonesque in some areas.

Time Waits for No One

Henry Winfield Chapin (1867-1954) and his wife Marie Arnold Chapin (1873-1956) are interred in the shadow of these beautiful Greek Corinthian columns. Henry was president of the Brown-Lipe Chapin Company, which manufactured automobile parts for Ford Motors and Yellow Cab.

Patterns in the Ivy

Broken headstone for Marion Strong White (1844-1875). Marion was the wife of Horace K. White. She was a wealthy and by all accounts graceful and intelligent socialite, and died of illness at the young age of 30.

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Johnstown Battlefield Historic Sites

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This little-known battle, fought after the British surrender at Yorktown, was the last engagement of the Revolutionary War in New York.

The Battle of Johnstown was fought on October 25, 1781 between American forces commanded by Col. Marinus Willett and British forces commanded by Maj. John Ross and Capt. Walter Butler in Johnstown, Fulton County, New York during the American Revolutionary War. The battle was an American victory and ended the last Tory uprising in the Mohawk Valley. The British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia six days earlier effectively ended the war in the Continental US.

During the Revolutionary War, the Mohawk Valley in central New York was torn between Patriots who advocated for American independence and Tories who wanted to remain loyal to the British Crown. John Johnson, whose estate was in Johnstown, was a prominent Tory who fled to Canada to escape arrest. He formed the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, which participated in annual raids into the valley.

In the fall of 1781, a substantial force of approximately 700 British regulars, militia, and Iroquois warriors entered the valley in order to destroy its agricultural yield before it could be used to supply the Continental Army. On October 25, approximately 416 American militia commanded by Col. Marinus Willett caught up with them outside Johnstown. Willett violated military convention by dividing his forces in the face of a numerically superior enemy.

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New Poughkeepsie Diner in Poughkeepsie, New York

New Poughkeepsie Diner (aka Cy’s Deli) at 59 Market Street, off U.S. Highway 44, in Poughkeepsie, New York. “But wait, that’s not a diner!” You yell self-righteously. I was as surprised as you to learn this used to be a 1960 Kullman model diner. Apparently it was also known as the Pok Diner at some point, but it closed in November 2014. Chalk up a win for deli enthusiasts and a loss for diner fans in the Hudson Valley.

Diner Resources

Fields of Pestilent Grief

Fields of Pestilent Grief
Headstone for 1LT William H. Pohlman (1842-1863) in Albany Rural Cemetery, on Cemetery Avenue off NY State Route 32, in Menands, Albany County, New York. William served as an adjutant in the 59th NY Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the 3rd Brigade, Second Division, II Corps of the Union Army of the Potomac. He was wounded twice at the Battle of Gettysburg, the second time during Pickett’s Charge, when the 59th NY repelled elements of Kemper’s Brigade from their position south of the stone wall on Cemetery Ridge. He died of his wounds on July 21, 1863.

Bennett Park and Fort Washington, New York City

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Over 240 years ago, this unassuming park in Manhattan was the scene of one of the patriot’s worst defeats during the Revolutionary War.

The Battle of Fort Washington was fought on November 16, 1776 between American forces commanded by Col. Robert Magaw and British and Hessian forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Hugh Percy and Wilhelm von Knyphausen in present-day Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York during the American Revolutionary War. The battle was a complete British victory, with all American defenders killed, wounded, or captured.

In the fall of 1776, American aspirations of independence were at a low point. British General Sir William Howe had overwhelmed and driven the Continental Army commanded by Gen. George Washington out of New York City and Long Island. Washington aspired to escape north to White Plains to avoid being surrounded in Manhattan. He left several thousand men at Fort Washington under Col. Robert Magaw and a brigade commanded by Col. John Glover at Pell’s Point to contest any British landing.

Though Col. Glover delayed the British advance at Pell’s Point on October 18, he was forced to retreat. With General Washington’s defeat at White Plains ten days later, the path was clear for Howe’s army to march on Fort Washington. Col. Robert Magaw stubbornly held on despite Washington’s discretionary order that the fort be abandoned.

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