Story by A.J. Arias
Friends of Hathorn House, with assistance from Navasing Long Rifles members, George and Debbie Kane, held a celebration on Mon., Apr. 9 commemorating the 240th anniversary of the Great Chain that stretched over the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War. Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton cut the cake which was served to attendees from all over the Hudson Valley.
The Great Chain was a part of the Hudson River chain, a chain that spread across the Hudson River at West Point that prevented the British from sailing up the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War. Members of the Warwick Valley community, including General John Hathorn, helped with the construction of the Great Chain.
Several historical documents were on display. In attendance was Doc Bayne, from the Friends of Sterling Forest State Park. Bayne, who is considered an expert on the Revolutionary War, said that his passion for history came from his mother and from growing up at Camp Dix, which was a launching point for troops to leave for Europe during World War I.
A wonderful team of people came together to organize the event including Jacob Butchko, a Warwick High School senior, who helped start a historical club in his school. Butchko initially started helping the Friends of Hathorn for his community service requirement but ended up really enjoying working with the group and has now been a member for two years.
One goal for the Friends of Hathorn, according to President Kevin Hathorn, is to create a network of transportation that would take people to all the sites that hold pieces of the Great Chain history. Hathorn hopes to accomplish this goal by the 250th anniversary.