FORT ANN — Plans for the development of the Battle Hill educational trail system in Fort Ann is moving forward on several fronts.
Town officials approved a resolution Monday evening endorsing the application for a grant to fund the first phase of the trail system. The grant, totaling $250,000, was submitted to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. If approved, the town would be responsible for 25 percent of the grant total, either paid in cash or in-kind services.
“The grant funds the first phase of construction. Things like an entrance off of Route 4, signage, benches, a parking area would all be part of the first phase of this project,” said Supervisor Richard Moore.
Moore said he was hopeful the grant will be approved, and the town should hear back within 3 months.
The Battle of Fort Anne took place in July 1777 and is considered a critical turning point toward the defeat of British Gen. John Burgoyne’s forces at Saratoga later that October.
Continental troops’ attack in Fort Ann caused British troops to retreat up Battle Hill. Thinking that there were reinforcement troops coming, the Continental Army withdrew to Fort Edward. However, the battle delayed Burgoyne’s troops long enough to secure an American victory at the Battles of Saratoga.
Additionally, the town is moving forward with the purchase of 40.84 acres of land that directly butts into the Battle Hill property already owned by the town. The cost will be $66,000, all of which is funded by trust fund money given to the town.
“There has been zero cost to the town for the Battle Hill project thus far, “ Moore said.
The closing of that property should occur in June 2020.
Family burial plot found
Historian Virginia Parrott reported that what appears to be a family burial plot was discovered on private property in the town. Three headstones with bases firmly implanted in the ground have been identified thus far.
Parrott said one grave appears to be that of Alvin Smith, a Civil War veteran.
Oddly, all remains seem to be that of Northumberland residents.
Parrott asked permission to continue investigating the details of the site, as it is located on private property.
The town agreed that she should continue to look into the history of the headstones, as well as continue to try and contact the last known owner of the land.