Witnesses to history.
Several houses still standing today were already built by the time the American Revolution rolled fatefully through the lands that became modern-day Brooklyn. One of them was already more than a century old by that time.
Have you seen all these houses? Probably not, unless you're a history buff.
We're showcasing them to honor the anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn, which is today.
The seminal battle — which could have brought the annihilation of the Patriot army, but almost miraculously, did not — took place on Aug. 27, 1776.
While admiring these extraordinary homes — which are Dutch Colonials in the most literal sense — we also take a moment to salute Lord Stirling, AKA General William Alexander, a surprising hero of the battle.
A Scotsman from New Jersey with a claim to a noble title that Parliament poo-pooed, he “fought like a wolf” on the fateful day, according to an eye-witness account. This was brilliant bravery from a man described by his biographer as “an overweight, rheumatic, vain, pompous, gluttonous inebriate.”
He deployed the famed Maryland 400 at a home now called the Old Stone House in present-day Park Slope, in a diversion that allowed thousands of Patriot soldiers to retreat and live to fight another day.
The Old Stone House at Washington Park/JJ Byrne Playground is a reconstruction of the 1699-vintage home where the battle was waged. Materials from the original house were used for the rebuild, reclaimed from landfill in which they were buried at the end of the 19th Century.
By the way, we are not including surviving Dutch Colonial homes built in the early 1800s, handsome though they are.