Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site, NY
Historic Site Information
Stony Point Battlefield is the site of the July 15-16, 1779 Storming of Stony Point by American General Anthony Wayne and the Continental Corps of Light Infantry. This daring midnight assault on the British fortifications by bayonet point was the first of its kind in the American Army. General Washington personally approved Wayne’s plan of attack; a two pronged pincer movement with a central feint column. In a half hour of hand to hand combat, the plan worked perfectly and the Americans took the post with nearly 500 military prisoners, over 70 women and children attached to the army, 15 pieces of artillery, and the battle flag of the 17th British Regiment. This action that earned General Wayne, Lt. Col. de Fleury, and Major Stewart three of the only eleven Congressional medals awarded during the Revolution was highly praised by the American, French, and even British commands.
Stony Point is also home to the first lighthouse built on the Hudson River. Opened in December of 1826, a few years after the opening of the Erie Canal, the Lighthouse guided mariners through the narrow pass between Stony and Verplanck’s Points until 1925. In its 99 years, only one vessel ran aground, with no reported fatalities – a testament to the vigilance of the lightkeepers, notably Nancy Rose, who tended the light for over 50 years. A new light tower was built in 1926 at the water’s edge (not accessible to the public,) and serves to this day as an aid to navigation under the care of the United States Coast Guard. The 1826 Lighthouse is now a historic light, a reminder of the importance of the Hudson River maritime community to the development of the Empire State.
At the site’s museum, visitors can see some of the captured guns and other artifacts from the site’s past military engagements and soldiers camp life. The artifacts, including an authentically reconstructed mortar bed for a captured 8” mortar and a stand of period bayonets, are laid out around a diorama of Stony Point as it appeared the night of the attack. In the Lighthouse Gallery of the museum an original fog signal bell and a Fourth Order Fresnel lens of the type of light used in the Stony Point Lighthouse at the turn of the last century are displayed with descriptive panels telling the story of the Stony Point and other Hudson River Lighthouses. A mannequin displays a reproduction dress c. 1867 that Melinda Rose, Nancy’s daughter, might have worn as a young woman growing up at the lighthouse with her family.
Today, the grounds of Stony Point are a beautiful mix of woods and tended lawns, with commanding panoramic views of the Hudson River looking north to the Hudson Highlands and south to Haverstraw Bay. Visitors can walk through our reproduced military camp, watch as our reproduction 6 pounder cannon fires or watch as uniformed interpreters fire muskets. Signs are strategically placed around the site so visitors may conduct a self-guided walking tour. Step back in time and march in the footsteps of Wayne and his soldiers as they charged up the hill and stand with the lightkeepers as they watched over the thousands of ships passing Stony Point every year, protecting our nation’s commerce.
The Stony Point Battlefield & Lighthouse State Historic Site is open from Mid-April until October 31st, Wednesday - Sunday (the site is CLOSED on Monday and Tuesday). The grounds are open daily 9 AM - 5 PM and the museum is open Wednesday - Saturday, 10 AM- 4:30 PM, and Sunday 12 PM-4:30 PM. The site is closed and the gates are locked daily at 5:00 p.m. from April to the end of October, and 4:00 from November to March. For more information, please call (845)-786-2521.