2006_01_14_battleofbrooklyn.jpg Imagine: There you are, burying your pet iguana Geophrey in your backyard in Red Hook, when you notice that your shovel has hit on something odd. Something is down there, not too big, kind of round, hard, kind of heavy and pretty old looking. We'd probably be too preoccupied with the loss of poor Geophrey the iguana (bear with us) to look much closer at the hard thing buried in our back yard in Red Hook, but then that's why we weren't in yesterday's Daily News and Red Hook iguana owner Matt LaDuca was.

You see, the lump that LaDuca found in his backyard wasn't just any ordinary rock. In fact it wasn't a rock at all. Local historians are now pretty confident that what he found was actually one of Brooklyn's few remaining physical links to the Revolutionary War. Specifically it seems to be a 230-year-old cannon shot that "local historian John Burkard believes" was likely used to fend off British troops during the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776. Lending credibility to the claim is the proximity of where LaDuca found the three-pound ball to the location of the long gone Fort Defiance. To which our first reaction was "the Battle of Brooklyn? Damn our public education, we had no idea. But how nice it is to learn something new all the time." A thought that was quickly followed by "huh, wonder what's buried behind our building?"

Detail of a Map of the Battle of Brooklyn in the Public Domain.