History The First Liberty Pole

The first Liberty Pole was erected on November 25, 1783 at the end of the Revolutionary War. The flag of the new republic, a flag with thirteen stars and bars, was hoisted to the top of this first Pole. Traditionally, poles such as this one were associated with celebrations of peace accompanied by marching, music and other festivities made popular after the British evacuation.

The Second Liberty Pole

The second Liberty Pole was raised on January 1, 1834. Thirteen men danced around it singing patriotic songs as veterans and the townspeople of New Utrecht rejoiced. Ceremonies, including the firing of a cannon, were followed by a ball that evening.

The Third Liberty Pole

The third Liberty Pole was raised in May 1867. Children were dismissed from school so that they could assemble with their elders on the town green in solemn observance. This Pole was reset in May 1899 by the descendents of those who raised it.

The Fourth Liberty Pole

The fourth Liberty Pole was presented by Townsend Cortelyou and Elizabeth Van Pelt and raised on September 10, 1910. The newly organized Boy Scout Troop 20 participated in the Liberty Pole celebration held on November 25, 1910 and in the raising of Liberty Poles ever since.

The Fifth Liberty Pole

On July 14, 1936, the fourth Pole was struck by lightning and badly damaged. On November 25, 1936, the raising of the fifth Pole was celebrated.

The Sixth Liberty Pole

The sixth Liberty Pole was exhibited during the 1939-1940 World's Fair. By autumn 1945, it was raised on the same spot as the previous five Poles.

More on the history of the Liberty Pole