Long Island Hidden Past: Huntington's Old Burial Ground
Cemeteries are a place of rest, but during the Revolutionary War, a Huntington cemetery was a place of unrest when a turncoat came to town.
As peace talks were underway during the war, historian Kerriann Flanagan Brosky says British Col. Benjamin Thompson wanted to join George Washington's army, but was rejected. Brosky says Thompson was so angry, he joined the British army and decided to punish residents for their patriotic activities. "[He builds] Fort Gologatha on their burial ground," says Brosky.
According to Brosky, Thompson took out all of the oldest tombstones and built the fort using wood from a church across the street. Brosky says that after Ebenezer Prime, the church's pastor and a vocal patriot, passed away, Thompson used his tombstone as his door mat.
Now, historians say many famous patriots called Minute Men, who fought in the Battle of Long Island, are buried in the old burial ground in Huntington.