Near Elmira in Chemung County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Newtown Battleﬁeld Reservation
A Remarkable History
In 1879, a crowd of thousands celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Newtown and dedicated a monument built by the Newtown Monument Association atop the hill that figured prominently in accounts of the battle. Soon after, the monument fell into disrepair, collapsing in 1911.
commanding a view
of the entire valley,
the Indians made a stand.
"What We are Celebrating," Elmira Advertiser, August 23, 1879
The following year, the State of New York acquired the small park and built a new monument to memorialize General John Sullivan. Designated Newtown Battlefield Reservation, the park soon expanded and became a popular picnic ground.
(Photo captions from top left, clockwise):
Built of locally quarried stone, the park's first monument was dedicated at the centennial celebrations on August 29, 1879. Visitors could reach the top of the monument by stairs inside.
By 1892, the first Newtown Monument had already fallen into disrepair, with a gaping hole in one corner and its marble inscription shattered on the ground. According to one later story, children playing with explosives caused the initial damage.
On the night of the battle's anniversary in 1911 the crumbling monument collapsed in a storm.
Thousands of people turned out for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Newtown on August 29, 1929. The naval airship Los Angeles flew above the event, which was held at the bottom of this hill.
According to 1879 newspaper accounts and a plaque inside the first structure, Alfred Searles gave 15 acres to the Newtown Monument Association to build the monument. The "donation," however, does not appear to have been a legal transfer of ownership. His daughter, Hattie Elliot, legally deeded the original park to New York State in 1912 as well as several surrounding parcels in subsequent years.
After the monument and the road leading to it were built in 1912, the Newtown Battlefield Reservation was used principally as a picnic ground and had several rustic shelters for the purpose.
In 1935, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 1251 arrived to develop the park. This African-American company became one of only two commanded by African-American officers. Most of the buildings you see today were constructed by these young men. To learn more about Company 1251, visit the sign located near the picnic lodge.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. Click for map. Located at Newtown Battlefield Reservation State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Elmira NY 14901, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Battle of Newtown (within shouting distance of this marker); Flagstaffs - Newtown Battlefield (within shouting distance of this marker); A Civil Rights Victory (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Major General John Sullivan (about 400 feet away); Newtown Battlefield State Park (about 500 feet away); The Sullivan Campaign (about 500 feet away); Fire on the Frontier - 1778 (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of Newtown (about 500 feet away); Divided Peoples (about 500 feet away); Newtown (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Elmira.
Categories. • Charity & Public Work • Native Americans • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 974 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 13. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 14. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 15, 16. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.