Honors Spanish-American War Hero
The Newtown Historical Society (NHS) and the city Parks Department announced the restoration of the Capt. Malcolm A. Rafferty Monument at the Rafferty Triangle in Long Island City.
The collaborative effort has restored the medals that had been removed from the stone in years past.
Captain Rafferty (portrait at right), of Long Island City, was a decorated hero of the Spanish- American War and specifically, the Battle of San Juan Hill. After the war, he returned to LIC to work for the Barber Asphalt Company.
Trouble soon broke out in Trinidad between the asphalt company, a rival company and the Venezuelan government, and Rafferty and a group of LIC men that he had recruited were sent to protect the interests of their employer.
He contracted malaria in Trinidad and died in 1903. He is interred in Woodlawn Cemetery.
The Rafferty Triangle was dedicated in 1932 at the intersection of 44th Drive and Hunter Street and the monument was dedicated on Memorial Day of 1937.
Over the years, the monument became the victim of vandalism, and two bronze Spanish-American War Crosses were removed from its front and back.
The Newtown Historical Society funded the purchase of the replacement medals and the Parks Department installed them on the monument last Friday, Dec. 5.
“The Newtown Historical Society is happy to have worked with the NYC Parks Department to restore the Rafferty Monument,” said Christina Wilkinson, president of the Newtown Historical Society. “We are working on identifying other historic restoration projects that we may team up on in the future in other areas of Queens.”
This project is the second restoration effort undertaken by NHS in 2014; the first being the Ridgewood Plateau arches in Maspeth.