Copyright 2016. Continental Commons. All rights reserved.

The misguided activist campaign against Continental Commons is severely flawed. It only serves to deny us an important opportunity to honor our heritage and tell the story of the nation’s founding. The 18th century colonial village of restaurants, shops, inn, visitor center and living museum will serve as dynamic, interactive learning experiences. It’s time to set the record straight.

Excavating The Truth

Separate archaeology facts from activist fiction

.

SOURCES:

  1. Lance Ashworth March 21, 2016 letter to County Executive Marc Molinaro ↩

  2. “The FOFSD Donation Site.” https://secure.west-point.org/fofsd/donate/

  3. “Debate surrounds future of American Revolution supply area.” Poughkeepsie Journal April 30, 2016  ↩

  4. “Debate surrounds future of American Revolution supply area.” Poughkeepsie Journal April 30, 2016  ↩

  5. Nancy Herter, Archaeology Unit Program Coordinator New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation 2016 letter to the Town of Fishkill Planning Board ↩

  6. Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot website http://fishkillsupplydepot.org/pdfs/CC-012216.pdf

  7. John A. Bonafide Director, Technical Preservation Services Bureau New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation 2015 letter to Assemblyman Lalor ↩

  8. “Revolutionary War Soldiers honored in Fishkill” Southern Dutchess News December 9, 2012 ↩

  9. “2nd Annual Revolutionary War Weekend” Hudson Valley News September 13, 2011 ↩

  10. “Is the Largest Revolutionary War Burial Ground Being Replaced by an IHOP? ↩

  11. John A. Bonafide Director, Technical Preservation Services Bureau New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation 2015 letter to Assemblyman Lalor ↩

 FICTION:                                                                                                                                                  

FACT:

Continental Commons has embraced and honored the historic nature of its surroundings. Mr. Broccoli has and will continue to honor the site and educate the public about the history of the Fishkill Supply Depot by preserving the burial area, creating a living museum, visitor center, replica barrack and historic walkway with artifacts and informative plaques marking the journey. It will commemorate the sacrifices of the Patriots who served in the Continental Army in Fishkill during the American Revolution and will beautify the gateway to historic Fishkill and Dutchess County.
 

The concepts and recommendations proposed by the property owner meet or exceed the preservation measures outlined by the New York State Historic Preservation Office. Click on the virtual tour to fully understand the unique concept and view architectural renderings.

The proposed development of the property that will “destroy nearly all that remains of a unique historic site. 1

As such, this soldiers’ burial ground is at immediate risk of being permanently lost to commercial development. 2

FACT:

In fact, no building at all is proposed within the burial area, and it is Mr. Broccoli who has assured its preservation as part of his application. He has committed to permanent preservation of the burial area, and allowing public access to it at no cost to the taxpayers in cooperation with the Town or an appropriate not-for-profit.

In 2014, Mr. Broccoli placed a fence to delineate the burial area, erected a monument in honor of the American Revolutionary War patriots who died at the Fishkill Supply, and hosted the first Continental Commons Veterans Day ceremony. Mr. Broccoli continues to partner with local historical and civic groups to host Wreaths Across America, Armed Forces Day, and Veterans Day commemorations.
 

The Supply Depot has never been studied in earnest. 3

FACT:

The Continental Commons property has been extensively studied and disturbed over many years, and its archeological information has in all probability been exhausted. Since the 1968 more than a dozen archeological studies have been completed on the 10.47 acre Continental Commons property.

The proposal before the Town of Fishkill Planning Board includes a plan to provide additional measures of the highest protective nature to insure that, even though the possibility of encountering archeological material is considered unlikely, the appropriate measures are in place to assure that, even in the unlikely event, no potential important information will be lost.
 

A list of these reports is available www.continentalcommons/studies/

(Broccoli) arbitrarily set a burial ground site. 4

FACT:

The northern and eastern most boundaries of the burial area within the Continental Commons parcel have been properly and adequately delineated to the satisfaction of the New York State Historic Preservation Office. 5

Archeological studies also identified a long-lost soldiers’ cemetery where an estimated 320 soldiers lie in unmarked graves. Independent research has identified 83 Americans, 2 Canadians, and a French soldier believed to be buried at the same spot. 6

FACT:

The anomalies referenced in the GPR studies cannot be definitively equated with individual burials without further and more intrusive study. In many instances the same anomaly may be picked up by the GPR as it takes cross sections at different levels beneath the unit. So the question of how many burials, how many graves (multiple burials), who is buried there (soldier or civilian) and what is the extent of the burial site remain unanswered in the material that our office has on hand.
The archaeologists Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) study is available at www.continentalcommons.com/archives/ 7

Seven bodies were examined more closely to date them from the period of the American Revolution. 8

FACT:

At the time of this statement in “Revolutionary War Soldiers honored in Fishkill” Southern Dutchess News article the following was true; in November 2007, a team of archaeologists in accordance with a work scoped reviewed and approved by the New York State Historic Preservation Office located seven burials south of Raiche Run. Only one burial shaft was excavated and a human burial was found. The human burial was in poor condition and not dated to the 18th century.

The property is virtually untouched since the Revolution. 9

FACT:

The enormous extent of prior disturbance that has occurred–disturbance that has consistently been noted in most of the archeological studies of the project area, and summarized in our archeological consultant’s August 2016 presentation to the Town of Fishkill Planning Board–has been well documented. Those disturbances have included being farmed for almost 200 years, including vegetation clearing; plowing; construction of large and small agricultural outbuildings and an associated road network during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; disturbances along the property’s western border associated with modifications to Route 9; the construction of modern homes with their associated septic systems; realignment of Raiche Run and associated changes in erosional processes; relic hunting and collecting; and extensive prior archeological excavations.

This small burial area is the “largest revolutionary burial ground in the United States. 10

The burial area on the Continental Commons property is not the largest American Revolutionary War burial ground in the United States. In fact, the specific number of burials at the site has not been determined by archaeologist. In 2009 Douglas Mackey a former member of the State Historic Office of Preservation notes that the current GCI study identified a number of grave shafts in the southern end of the property and the JMA Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) study suggests that there are hundreds of graves present.

“While this office has no doubt that there are burials on the site, we cannot assign a definitive number based on the evidence now in our files. Furthermore, we believe that Mr. Mackey’s comment above may have resulted from a misinterpretation of the GPR report."11

Regardless, Continental Commons will commemorate the sacrifices of the Americans who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, while honoring our heritage and telling the story of the nation’s founding.

FACT:

The standing ruin on the property is connected to the Fishkill Supply Depot.

FACT:

The standing ruin on the property is 19th century, not 18th century foundation, contrary to the opponents’ persistent mischaracterizations of them as 18th century. The only structure related to the depot that was located on the Continental Commons property, as shown by the contemporary 1777 Erskine map, was a stable, which has long since been destroyed.

The Continental Commons property is the entirety of the depot and the “core” of the military supply operations at Fishkill.



FACT:

The key elements of the Fishkill Supply Depot including additional barracks, hospitals and prisons, are also clearly outside the limits of the Continental Commons property.

 FICTION:                                                                                                                                                  

 FICTION:                                                                                                                                                  

 FICTION:                                                                                                                                                  

 FICTION:                                                                                                                                                  

 FICTION:                                                                                                                                                  

 FICTION:                                                                                                                                                  

 FICTION:                                                                                                                                                  

 FICTION:                                                                                                                                                  

 FICTION: