Reginald Pelham Bolton was an engineer, historian, and amateur archaeologist in Upper Manhattan. He wrote over twenty books on his findings and led excavations with William Louis Calver and others throughout Inwood including Native American sites, Revolutionary War sites, and the grounds of the original Dyckman farmhouse and the farmhouse you are standing in today. During Bolton’s time, the fascination of the excavations in Egypt and the soon to be subway line extending into the Inwood area sparked the excitement of digging through Inwood to preserve its history. Many of the artifacts and historical photos in the Dyckman Farmhouse Collection came from Reginald Pelham Bolton, including this display. He was a notable advocate along with the Dyckman sisters in fighting for the preservation of the Dyckman farmhouse.
The Hessian Hut
Upper Manhattan was the site of considerable activity during the Revolution. In 1776 during the fighting of Patriot and British troops accompanied by Hessian Mercenaries (German’s fighting for the British), there were forts and soldiers on both the loyalist and patriot sides struggling for control of the region. This specific hut was one of more than sixty huts from an encampment between present-day 201st and 204th Streets along Prescott Avenue.
There were hundreds of huts, hidden in the hills of Upper Manhattan. This hut is an original from the Revolutionary War brought piece by piece to the farm for its preservation by Amateur archaeologist Reginald Pelham Bolton excavated the site of the hut camp in the early 20th century, uncovering valuable information about the lives of the soldiers who lived there. He dismantled this hut and rebuilt its foundation here in 1915. The rest were demolished to make way for apartment houses. At some point the hut housed eight (8) German soldiers who waited here to fight in the war.