Yorktown Secrets

Yorktown Secrets

The site of the climatic battle of the American Revolution was once part of a golf course. Before the National Park Service secured the historic site in 1931, the 18-hole Riverview course had been designed around the 18th-century earthworks. Now visitors can walk the historic site without fear of hearing “fore!”

The Yorktown Monument to “The Alliance and Victory” of French and American forces over the British was authorized only 10 days after the surrender, on October 29, 1781. However, construction did not begin until the centennial celebration, in 1881, and was not completed until 1884. The annual Yorktown Day festivities celebrating American independence each year on October 19th are centered around the monument.

Walk along Water Street past the restaurants and discover Cornwallis Cave, where the British commander is rumored to have hidden during the fierce bombardment of the French and American artillery during the Siege of Yorktown. Other legends tell that the pirate Blackbeard hid in the cave to avoid capture, or that moans and ghostly cries emanate from the darkness of the cave at night.

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