So much of Huguenot Street in New Paltz seems quiet, almost as if time has stopped. No place on the street is this more true than in the Old Burying Ground that surrounds the reconstructed 1717 stone church. Stories in Stone, a walk and talk to be held on Saturday, May 22nd at 10am.
Some may consider it tiny, but small plot contains over 100 markers. In all likelihood, even more people are buried here, but with time, decay and change, their headstones have disappeared. Still, what remains is a remarkable burying ground that contains many interesting stories from the community’s earliest years.
One such story is that of young Ann Eltinge, whose small marble stone rests under one of the majestic trees that ring the burying ground today. Her stone tells the story of a young couple, Roelof and Dina Eltinge, who lost their infant daughter. Next to Ann’s stone is the stone marking the burial of another of Roelof and Dina’s children, this one a boy who died just eleven days after birth.
“What is fascinating to me are the many stories that can be found in this burial ground,” says Richard Heyl de Ortiz, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for Historic Huguenot Street. “Stories such as the Dutch and Huguenots intermarrying. The courageous widows who outlived their husbands by decades. The ‘newer’ immigrants that arrived here after the Revolution and how they integrated into the town.” Heyl de Ortiz will be leading the program on the 22nd.
Stories in Stone will leave from the DuBois Fort Visitor Center at 81 Huguenot Street. The program is approximately 90 minutes in length. Admission is $10 per person ($8 for Friends of Huguenot Street). Reservations, while not required, may be made in advance at www.huguenotstreet.org or by calling 255-1889.