Friends of the Bennington Battlefield

The Friends of the Bennington Battlefield is a group of volunteers dedicated to the preservation, development, and promotion of the ground on which a pivotal battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Bennington, was fought in the hamlet of Walloomsac, New York, on August 16, 1777. On that day American forces under General John Stark, including militia from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York, as well as Col. Seth Warner’s Continental regiment, won a decisive and consequential victory against a detachment of British, German, Canadian, Loyalist, and Native troops sent by British General John Burgoyne to raid a Continental storehouse in Bennington.

The members of the group, in collaboration with the managers of Grafton Lakes State Park, under the administration of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) of New York, seek to generate public interest and appreciation of the site, and to explore it archaeologically and topographically, with the objective of gaining and sharing knowledge of the Battle.

NY State Parks Trail Map

2024 at the Battlefield – Events

Good things have been happening at the Bennington Battlefield in the past three years, and this year was no exception as we gear up for the important 250th Anniversary of the Battle of Bennington in 2027.

Through grant funding, the Friends have created and installed new interpretive signage on the Battlefield, updating and expanding interpretation into other areas: the baggage wagons site, the Bridge location and field adjacent, the Tory Fort on the other side of the Walloomsac, and the approach to the breastwork on “Hessian Hill.” In 2022, the Friends, through grant funding, created and added an audio tour to the Battlefield, accessed by QR codes on the panels that can connect to your cell phone.

In 2020, Michael Kasler, a descendant of a Battle veteran, gifted a faithful replica brass 3- pounder cannon for display on Hessian Hill. It is a fully functional piece, and has already been fired on ceremonial occasions. The park has 2.7 miles of hiking trails throughout the site, and are a great place to enjoy peace and quiet and the beauty of nature on a summer’s day. David Pitlyk, the Site Assistant, conducts hiking tours regularly during the season.

The Friends have planned a summer’s worth of events for the Battlefield

  • Heritage Fair – MAY 18,2024 10:00-3:00 – HOOSICK FALLS ARMORY
    Celebrate our local history at our 2nd Annual Heritage Fair! This free family-friendly event will feature trolley
    rides, tours of the Bennington Battlefield, exhibits from local historical societies and museums, family activities, and more!
    For more information contact the Hoosick Township Historical Society 518-686-4682

HERITAGE FAIR SCHEDULE:

Schedule of Events and Speakers for Hoosick History & Heritage Fair – May 18, 2024 10 am – 3 pm
Hoosick Falls Armory 80 Church St.

10 am: Trolley rides to the Bennington Battlefield and back with Rick Ferrannini, Phil Holland, and Mike Chapman as your guides throughout the day.

10:30 – 11:00 am: Paul Stewart, The Underground Railroad Museum, will tell the story of Stephen Myers, a man born into enslavement in Hoosick in the late 18th century, who gained his freedom in the 1820s. He went on with his wife, Harriet, to become conductors on the Underground Railroad at their house in Albany, now a museum.

11:15 – 11:45 am: Paul Cole from the Kate Mullany National Historic Site will speak about Kate who was a labor union leader for the shirt collar and laundry workers in Troy, NY, and one of the first women to hold leadership in the union on the national level.

12:00 NOON- Armed Forces Day Ceremony at Maple Grove Cemetery

12 – 12:45 pm: Music by Martha VonSchilgen

1 – 1:30 pm: Joshua Tabor, is going to give the history of the powder horn, along with a demo on the construction, different parts and their purposes. He will also explain the different styles and uses of powder horns.

1:45 – 2:15 pm: Paul Stewart, The Underground Railroad Museum, will tell the story of Stephen Myers, a man born into enslavement in Hoosick in the late 18th century, who gained his freedom in the 1820s. He went on with his wife, Harriet, to become conductors on the Underground Railroad at their house in Albany, now a museum.

2:30 – 3 pm: Paul Cole from the Kate Mullany National Historic Site will speak about Kate who was a labor union leader for the shirt collar and laundry workers in Troy, NY, and one of the first women to hold leadership in the union on the national level.

11:30 am- 3pm or UNTIL SOLD OUT : Chicken BBQ in Wood Park $15. Half chicken, coleslaw, potato, cookies. Eat there or take away.

LIVING HISTORY ACTIVITIES ALL DAY AT THE BENNINGTON BATTLEFIELD

 

  • BATTLE DAY COMMEMORATION
    You are invited to attend a commemoration and wreath laying at the Bennington Battlefield on Friday, August 16. The program begins at 7 pm and includes a wreath laying ceremony and artillery salute.
  • The Hoosick Falls Central School Living History Summer Institute
    Students will have their annual 18th Century encampment at the battlefield. Students will wear period dress and participate in living history activities throughout the day, and offer tours of the encampment prior to the commemoration ceremony. During the commemoration ceremony several students will share selections from their Living History application essays, to express their appreciation for history.
  • More information to come as we finalize our 2024 schedule!
Ethan Allen Statue

Statue of John Stark

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:

The Friends of the Bennington Battlefield, in collaboration with the Hoosick Township Historical Society, are pleased to announce a major corporate donation from the Tri State Area Federal Credit Union. Jim Martinez, President, presented the Friends and the Hoosick Township Historical Society, our collaborators in this season’s series of events, with a $5000 check at the Battlefield on Monday, April 24. The Tri State Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution of about 4,000 members, with offices in Hoosick Falls and Bennington. Formerly the Hoosick Federal Credit Union, it was established in 1953. Mr. Martinez, grew up in Hoosick Falls and has lived in Bennington. 

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Support the Friends of the Bennington Battlefield!

The Friends of Bennington Battlefield invites you to join our ranks in preserving, promoting, and interpreting the history of our local battlefield. The friends are eager to expand their membership, and look forward to your participation. Card carrying members receive discounts at the Louis Miller Museum and the Bennington Monument gift shops. If you are interested in supporting, please contact Joyce Brewer at the Louis Miller Museum (166 Main Street, Hoosick Falls 518-686-4682), or complete the SUPPORT form that you can download by CLICKING HERE.