The monument to the First New York Dragoons is one of the most prominent landmarks in Letchworth Park as it stands at the top of the hill north of Glen Iris Inn. On the east side of the river at present day Parade Grounds picnic area men came to form a unit of volunteers for Civil War service. After they were organized the unit was transferred by rail to Washington D.C. where it was further trained and outfitted. In her book "Genesee Echoes" Mildred Anderson details the history of the unit, lists the battles in which they fought and gives the names of the various members, with their rank and in many cases the community they came from.
A further illustration of Mr Letchworth's interest in area history was his service as a member of the Monument Committees that saw to the creation of this monument and others in Livingston and Wyoming Counties. The Dragoons monument was originally erected on the Livingston County side of the river near the east end of the Erie High Bridge. This location was close to the area where the unit formed and began their training and where they marched to meet the train that carried them southward to Washington, D.C. and further into Virginia where their valiant record was earned.
The monument was moved in 1919 to its present location in the Park, which was deemed a more auspicious site to honor the brave service of the soldiers who served in its ranks.
Reunions of the veterans were held for many years beginning in 1870 and continuing until 1940 the year after the last surviving member of the unit had passed away. Early events drew as many as 10,000 people to the area near the original assembly point.