Happy independence day! I am sure many of you are familiar with heroes of the revolutionary war like Paul Revere and George Washington, but have heard of the Dongan Oak at Prospect Park. The Bowery Boys blog writes, "The Dongan Oak was a tree of terrific size at least a hundred years old by the time Washington's army took this area, now known as Battle Pass. By cutting down this tree, the Americans were able to hold off the British until they were cut off from behind and had to flee. This monument was installed in 1922 with a noble eagle atop it." Prospect Park is located in Brooklyn and the tree was cut down during the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776. The tree was a large white oak mentioned in 1685 in the patent of Governor Thomas Dongan (1634–1715).
The monument, which commemorates the contribution of this important tree was commissioned at a cost of $2,000 by the St. Nicholas Society, and was dedicated on November 25, 1922. It consists of a bronze eagle mounted on a granite pedestal inscribed with dedicatory text. The sculptor of the original eagle was Frederick W. Ruckstull (1853–1942), whose public commissions also include the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial in Major John Mark Park in Jamaica, Queens.