In earlier posts I’ve mentioned that I am volunteering at the Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society.

The BMSHS organized a presentation last Sunday (January 15, 2023) on “The Chain that Saved the Colonies.” To stop the British invasion of the New England Colonies during the American Revolution, Peter Townsend manufactured a Great Chain at Sterling Forest for the Continental Army. The chain was placed across the Hudson River at West Point.

Above some links from The Great Chain on display at Trophy Point, West Point, NY.

The presentation was given by Donald ‘Doc’ Bayne. ‘Doc’ has been interested in history since the age of 8. After a long career with Minolta during which he worked as a part time Forest Ranger for Sterling Forest State Park, ‘Doc’ accepted the position of Environmental Educator and Historian for the park. He has acquired a vast knowledge of the forest, animals, Native Americans, and iron history.
In his position he planned and conducted history and nature hikes in both Sterling Forest and Bear Mountain State Parks. He has lectured on many aspects of the environment such as the iron history of New York State. He is a passionate researcher and educator with the ability to feel the history of the land and transmit it to the people.

‘Doc’ shared the history of the iron industry that started in 1736 in Sterling Forest and how the Sterling Forge was used to create the Great Chain that was placed across the Hudson. He also covered the apparently lucrative business of selling fake chains, explaining how to spot a fake rather than real chain, and pointing out where a lot of the chains (both real and fake) are located.
The almost full house thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

The presentation was not recorded. However, ‘Doc’ has given the presentation many times and one version is available on YouTube. Over time he adds and deletes information so what is available on YouTube is not identical to the one he gave on Sunday, but it’s very close. That presentation can be found here:

Sorry about the Ads, but anyone who uses YouTube will know that this is the price you pay for using the free version of YouTube.

The Vescio Community Center awaiting the arrival of the attendees

BMSHS Executive Director, Karen Smith introduces the presentation and ‘Doc’ Bayne.

An almost full house watched the presentation

‘Doc’ Bayne giving his presentation

The location of The Great Chain

Taken with a Sony A7IV and Rokinon/Samyang AF 24-70 f2.8 FE

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