2. Dongan Oak Monument
The Dongan Oak, a massive white oak tree which was felled in order to block the Hessian troops from advancing into the hills has its very own monument in Prospect Park. The monument depicts a bronze eagle, wings outspread, perched atop a granite pedestal with a bronze plaque that describes the importance of the Dongan Oak. The monument was dedicated by the St. Nicholas Society in 1922 at the cost of $2,000. The original eagle, sculpted by Frederick W. Ruckstull who also worked on Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial in Major John Mark Park in Jamaica, Queens, was stolen from the park in 1974. The pedestal remained eagle-less until 1991 when the Prospect Park Alliance sponsored the restoration of the monument and a replacement eagle created by sculptor John Metrovics. The replacement eagle was modeled based on historic photographs cast at the Sculpture House, the original foundry used for the first eagle. Again, after a new rededication, the replica eagle was stolen! The eagle standing atop the monument now is the third iteration.