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Revolutionary War Site Fort Lee

  • 309 Main Street Fort Lee, NJ 07024

It was from Fort Lee that George Washington had watched the destruction of his army by British forces during the first year of the Revolutionary War. At Fort Lee, Route 1 and New Jersey Route 9 merge and run south.Fort Lee is named for General Charles Lee after George Washington and his troops had camped at Mount Constitution overlooking Burdett's Landing, in defense of New York City. It was during Washington's retreat in November 1776 (beginning along a road which is now Main Street) that Thomas Paine composed his pamphlet, The American Crisis, which began with the recognized phrase, "These are the times that try men's souls". These events are recalled at Monument Park and Fort Lee Historic Park. At the turn of the 21st century, Fort Lee saw a large Korean migration which has converted much of the town into a large Koreatown, in that many traditional Korean stores and restaurants may be seen in Fort Lee, and the hangul letters of the Korean alphabet are as common as signs in English in parts of the downtown area. This Koreatown is centered in the adjacent town of Palisade Park. The rapid increase of the Korean population has seen the decline of many other immigrant communities once centered in Fort Lee, notably the Greek and Italian communities, once quite large but now all but extinct. A sizable Russian immigrant community has also sprung up in recent years, also attracted by the urban setting of Fort Lee.[citation needed] America's first motion picture industry The history of cinema in the United States can trace its roots to the East Coast where, at one time, Fort Lee was the motion picture capital of America. The industry got its start at the end of the 19th century with the construction of Thomas Edison's "Black Maria", the first motion picture studio in West Orange, New Jersey. New Jersey offered land at costs considerably less than New York City, and the cities and towns on the North River (Hudson River) and Hudson Palisades benefited greatly as a result of the phenomenal growth of the film industry at the turn of the 20th century.