PARK SLOPE — The Old Stone House at Washington Park, located at Third Street and Fifth Avenue, hosted its annual commemoration in remembrance of the Maryland 400, a regiment that played a key role during the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Brooklyn.
The event served as the official opening ceremony for Battle Week, which is a commemoration of the Battle of Brooklyn (aka, the Battle of Long Island), which was fought across portions of the borough.
The opening salvo of the annual commemoration pays tribute to the Maryland 400, American soldiers who in August, 1776, repeatedly attacked a large number of British forces in order to defend New York City during the Battle of Brooklyn. This year marked the 243rd anniversary of the Maryland 400’s brave fight which primarily took place at the Old Stone House.
Kim Maier, executive director of the Old Stone House, welcomed guests to the ceremony which included representatives from the state of Maryland, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Brooklyn Irish American Parade Committee, the Society of the Cincinnati and the Polish War Veterans.
“The Maryland 400 were defending all of New York,” explained Maier. “The Marylanders were primarily around the location of the Old Stone House, but they weren’t defending the house itself. The house was really the culminating point of the battle because it was right in the way of the Americans getting across the Gowanus, and the British were trying to cut off that escape route.”
Opening remarks were delivered by Marty Maher, Brooklyn borough parks commissioner.
“This is exciting to be at the Old Stone House to commemorate the Maryland 400 and to kick off Battle Week,” said Maher. “A few distinctions about the Battle of Brooklyn is that it was by far the largest battle, the first battle of the American Revolution and this tradition has been going on for a long time.”
Maryland Military Monuments Commissioner Jenny Carson presented Maier and Maher with proclamations from Maryland Gov. Lawrence Hogan.
The names of the members of the Maryland 400 were read during the commemoration. “To hear the names of all the Maryland soldiers that were missing or taken prisoners of war or killed in action creates a connection from our present to our past and honors their memory,” said Maier.
Also attending the ceremony was Assemblymember Robert Carroll, who spoke about the significance of the event. Bagpiper Thomas Alverson performed a haunting rendition of “Going Home.”
“It’s actually touching to be here, and even intimidating, really, to sit through this and realize what they went through back then,” said Eugene Moyer, first vice president of the Maryland Sons of the Revolution.
Society of Old Brooklynites Vice President Ted General was pleased that a delegation of attendees from the State of Maryland participated, and later toured the Stanford White-designed Maryland 400 Monument in Prospect Park.
“Kim Maier, her staff and a delegation from the State of Maryland did a superb job highlighting the key role the Maryland 400 regiment played during the American Revolutionary War,” he said.
The day’s events also included a wreath being ceremonially placed at the base of the flagpole behind the Old Stone House where the day’s remarks took place, and a rifle salute.
“When I was a kid there was a huge parade that went to the Maryland monument. And all these years later we’re still celebrating these first veterans, this first set of people that sacrificed their lives for freedom,” Maher told this paper.
“It’s very exciting that people still remember and that folks still come up from Maryland year in and year out to Prospect Park and the Maryland monument, and I’m just thrilled to be a part of it,” he added.