Day 492

For a Better Union

May 5th, 2013

From the Parks Department:

This triangle honors Captain William C. Dermody, a dedicated and outspoken abolitionist who was mortally wounded in the Civil War on May 12, 1864 during the battle of Spotsylvania in Virginia. . . .

Prior to 1865, this plot of land located on 216th Street and 48th Avenue was the site of the local two-room school house. In 1866, this site was dedicated to the memory of Captain Dermody by a ceremonial meeting of a Union and Confederate veteran, each planting a special tree: a maple to represent the North and a sycamore to represent the South. The trees were to grow together as a symbol of the communal hope for a better union. To this effect, a monument was placed in the square with the inscription “For a Better Union 1861-1865,” which remains there today.

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