NCPTT Archeologist Tad Britt spent 13-23 November 2012 in the New York and New Jersey areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Britt, temporarily based out of Ft Wadsworth, NY, conducted archeological and cultural resources inventory of the Park units affected by Hurricane Sandy. Areas inspected by Britt included: Morristown National Historical Park, NJ, Fire Island National Seashore, NY, and Gateway National Recreation Area, NY, which includes Great Kills, Jamaica Bay and Fort Wadsworth.
Fort Wadsworth, the hurricane incident command post, was inventoried and one newly exposed site was identified. Apparently the storm surge washed away the soil and exposed a previously undocumented gun battery related to the fort’s early history. The cut granite building exhibits fine craftsmanship and attention to detail as well as a unique architectural design—it’s the only granite domed battery on Fort Wadsworth. It was recommended that an exhaustive literature and records search be conducted as well as the site be subjected to architectural recordation and analysis by a military historical archeologist /historian. The exposure of the site by the hurricane also changed the cultural landscape of the park and it should be included in an updated Cultural Landscape Inventory (CLI) and List of Classified Structures (LCS). While modern debris and dirt have been re-deposited in the interior, the structure has retained its integrity. Further investigations are recommended to bring this “new” cultural resource into the context of the park