Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Walk through American History on Historic Huguenot Street


The Crispell Memorial French Church is a reconstruction of the 1717 stone church that was
used by the Huguenot families for both worship and education. The current structure was rebuilt in 1972.




Historic Huguenot Street, in New Paltz NY, is one of the oldest, continuously occupied European settlements in America, dating back to the last three decades of the 1600s. The homes were built on the banks of the Wallkill River by Huguenot settlers fleeing discrimination and religious persecution in France and what's now southern Belgium.

The Abraham Hasbrouck House was constructed in phases between 1721 and 1734,
and was built for farmer and community gristmill owner Daniel Hasbrouck and his widowed mother, Maria.

 The house museums of Historic Huguenot Street are in their original village setting. Historic Huguenot Street was preserved when one of the owners -- and descendants of the original settlers -- transformed their home from the old farmhouse style into a Victorian showpiece. That house -- the Deyo House -- still stands in its Victorian splendor. Ironically, the individual who was responsible for the home's transformation was a founding member of the organization.

Owned continuously by the Deyo family and their descendants for more than 200 years,
the Deyo House was originally constructed in the early 1700s as a two-room
Dutch farmhouse. In the late 19th century, the estate was inherited by Abraham Deyo Brodhead,
a prosperous local businessman who transformed it into the Queen Anne Colonial Revival we see today.


Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we were unable to tour the insides of the buildings; we settled for simply exploring the historic street and enjoying the architecture, reading about the buildings as we walked by.

The 1799 House and its interiors suggest that New Paltz
inhabitants became more cosmopolitan in the early years of the United States.



Seven stone houses and accompanying structures form the 10-acre National Landmark Historic District.

Freer-Louw House was built in stages, startin g in 1760.



The Huguenot settlers named the site in honor of Die Pfalz, the region of present-day Germany that had provided them temporary refuge before they came to America.

Believed to be the oldest surviving stone house on Huguenot Street, the Bevier-Elting House
was built for Louis Bevier and his family between 1698 and 1703. This house is
a prime example of the Dutch influence on early New Paltz architecture,
particularly with its steep roof, Dutch door, and gable end of the house facing the street.




Archaeological finds indicate that the area settled by the Huguenots was originally occupied by Native Americans -- the Esopus -- prior to European contact. Historic Huguenot Street reminds visitors of that complicated history with a recreated Esopus Munsee Wigwam, erected in 2017.


 The first stop on your walking tour or upon arrival should be the DuBois Fort House, which currently serves as Historic Huguenot Street's visitor center and museum shop

This structure was originally built around 1705 for Daniel DuBois and
may have served as a community fort, to be used “for a place of Retreat and Safeguard.”




Visitors to Historic Huguenot Street will learn about the evolution of the New Paltz community in the 1700s, as a British colony through the American Revolution. Visitors will also learn about what life would have been like for the enslaved men and women who lived and worked in the community for 150 years.


One of the most remarkable historic houses in the United States, the Jean Hasbrouck House,
built in 1721, shares what colonial life was probably like for both the free and enslaved members
of the New Paltz community. Its massive form and distinctive Hudson Valley Dutch architecture make it unique.



 The church was the focal point of the early New Paltz community. The original French Reformed congregation was founded in 1683 in a primitive log structure. What you see today is a reconstruction of the 1717 stone church that was used by the Huguenot families for both worship and education. The 1717 church was reconstructed in 1972 based on surviving information, with funds donated by the Crispell Family Association. 


The adjacent burying ground preserves the remains of many early members of the New Paltz community and was used through the middle of the 19th century. Visitors to the church today learn about the Huguenots’ French Reformed faith, and how they practiced their religion and new way of life after settling in the Hudson Valley.




Know before you go: You may download a free walking tour of the National Historic Landmark District, featuring histories of the historic houses on the street with background information and archival photos, as well as photos of the house interiors and the collections pieces.

Getting there: 81 Huguenot St, New Paltz, NY

Hours: Check the website below. The area is open for individual exploration during daylight hours, but the visitors center and tour times vary.

Website: https://www.huguenotstreet.org/home

Looking for other daytrip ideas within the area? Check out the following articles!

Or head to New York Daytrip Destinations to find other great things to see and do in New York!






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