The Three Village Community Trust took title to the historic “Patriot’s Rock” property on October 6th, under an agreement reached by Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Blanche Tyler Davis, and New York State to preserve this historic property in perpetuity. The 3.5-acre property runs along the south side of Main Street from the corner across from the Setauket Mill Pond and includes the woodland with the large glacial boulder that played a key role in the Battle of Setauket, in August 1777. The patriots mounted a canon close by the rock and fired across the Village Green at the Presbyterian Church which had been fortified by Loyalist troops under Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Hewlett.
The original Village Green included the Rock, as depicted in the William Sidney Mount painting The Rock on the Green, which hangs in the Long Island Museum of Art at Stony Brook. The Green was much larger and treeless in 1777, thus offering the patriots a clear shot. It was later reduced in size.
The agreement is a “win-win” for all. Conservation of this property provides the Three Village community with a natural and historic treasure of great value in the heart of the village now and for future generations. Landowners across the country have been working with land trusts to save the places they cherish using a variety of conservation strategies and some of these may provide tax benefits to the landowner. Interested property owners are encouraged to contact the Three Village Community Trust for more information.
The Rock on the Green, by William Sidney Mount Courtesy of the Long Island Museum of Art