Goroskop Maia 2012
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History
Davids Island Cultural Timeline

The cultural timeline for Davids Island traces human activity on the island from prehistoric times (before the time of written records) to the modern age.

 

Since the Army remained segregated until 1947, black soldiers attending the Bakers and Cooks School at Fort Slocum, shown here in 1941, attended classes separate from their white counterparts.Postcard view of the Guardhouse (Building 56) and one of the barracks (Building 55), circa 1910.Thaddeus Davids (1816-1894), namesake of Davids Island.Protestant religious service in the Army Chaplain School's Chaplain Center for All Faiths (Building 55, originally a barracks), circa 1960.

 

Our knowledge of the earliest occupants of Davids Island, prehistoric Native Americans, is derived from archeological evidence. This evidence is comprised primarily of small numbers of stone tools and artifacts that people inadvertently left on the island when they were hunting, fishing, gathering plants, or perhaps just resting there.

 

We know about the more recent occupants of Davids Island, including Colonial farmers, antebellum excursionists, and 19th- and 20th-century Army personnel, from documents and other historical evidence. This evidence includes historical reports and records, newspaper articles, and other writings, as well as period photographs, drawings, and maps and recent oral histories. We also know about the history of Davids Island in recent centuries through Fort Slocum’s buildings and ruins and through archeological studies.

 

 

Well, some people would like to go back and reconstruct the post as it was. I would like to, [in] my heart of hearts, I’d like to go home again. I’ve actually had inquiries from some people saying ‘does the ferry still run?’ And ‘can we go out?’—and they really expect to get off the ferry on the dock and see the immaculately kept lawns and hedges and buildings and so forth that they last saw in 1955 or 1960 or ’63. And you know, obviously, that’s not going to happen.”

 

 

-Michael Cavanaugh lived at Fort Slocum in the late 1950s when he was 4 to 7 years old

(interviewed 2007)