Visit a pivotal location in American history - Fort Constitution on the West Point Reservation
News 12 is marking Women's History Month and taking a Road Trip: Close to Home to a pivotal location in American history - Fort Constitution on the West Point Reservation.
Fort Constitution, on 280 acres of Constitution Island, will be open to the public for the first time in nearly 10 years this spring.
The area's significance dates back to the Revolutionary War. "The Hudson River was so critical that this should be the site of fortifications, that this should be preserved and not allowed to fall into British hands," says Col. Jim Johnson (retired), military historian of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
In fact, it was so important that the island was guarded with what's called ‘The Great Chain.’ The 75-ton chain stretched across a narrow bend of the Hudson River to stop enemy ships. Each link was about 2 feet and up to 130 lbs.
You can also visit the home that belonged to the trailblazing Warner sisters. Teenagers Susan and Anna became pioneers of the 19th century, a time when women barely had rights. "They had careers. They were writing when it wasn't usual for women to be writers, and to be so prolific, they wrote over a hundred books, that's a lifetime," says Catherine Treuter, docent at Constitution Island.
The sisters spent decades teaching Sunday School for West Point cadets. After Susan's death, Anna continued to care for the cadets. "She was called the mother of the cadets, she used to have dinners for them. To come over here, this was like, happiness because you can relax," says Treuter.
You will learn so much about the life and legacy of the first civilian woman to be buried with full military honors at West Point.
Students can visit with their schools starting in April, then in May, you can visit with your family, on West Point's Constitution Island.