Ca. 1776

Fort Independence was constructed under orders by General George Washington and under the direction of Colonel Rufus Putnam in 1776 to protect the American army and defend the line of the Harlem River. The fort was surrounded by an entrenchment that was 10 feet wide and three and a-half feet deep, and commanded far-reaching views of the whole area. Led by Sir Henry Clinton, British troops destroyed the fort in 1779. This stone wall is believed to be the only extant physical trace of Fort Independence. The fort once stood between Giles Place and Cannon Place to the south of West 238th Street, making these stones the remnants of the fort’s western wall.