Why not just let them all dig?


To the editor:

The Kingsbridge Historical Society continues to lead the way in preserving our local history. Kudos!

Presently, there are plans to build residential properties on the footprint of the former Fort No. 2 (also known as Fort Swartwout). Located at the very end of Fairfield Avenue and just south of West 231st Street, the site is currently a vacant, debris-strewn lot.

During the American Revolution, Fort No. 2 — in addition to Fort No. 1 and Fort No. 3 — played an essential role in guarding access to the King’s Bridge at Marble Hill, which was one of only two bridges between Manhattan and the mainland. The bridge allowed for movement of people, goods and news across a wide area.

Both American and British forces clearly recognized the significance of the area, and fought bitterly to control it.

I am not opposed to developing the property, but I only ask that construction be undertaken after a full and complete archaeological survey is finished.

This is a unique opportunity to study our past, and a survey is the only responsible option. Apparently, the historical society has a team of qualified experts ready to go should permission for such a survey be granted.

I sincerely hope it is.

As a member of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, and the direct descendant of a patriot soldier who served for the entire of the New York campaign, giving our Revolutionary War sites the respect and attention due to them is a cause very close to my heart. I am confident an appropriate examination of this site can be accomplished in a timely and professional manner, agreeable to all parties.

Joseph Smith

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Joseph Smith,