Tag Archives: Historic Huguenot Street

Gifts of the Past At DuBois Fort Visitor Center


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HHS Teddy BearThe Historic Huguenot Street Curatorial Department has developed a new exhibit in honor of the winter holiday season. On display now in the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, “Gifts of the Past” features a selection of historic children’s toys from the Historic Huguenot Street Permanent Collection.

Holiday gift giving has been a tradition for several centuries. Around the world, Christmas traditions are influenced by the legend of a gift giver rewarding children for their good behavior with toys and treats. Items on display include the first model Teddy Bear, a set of alphabet blocks, handmade wooden dominoes, and a bisque handmade doll. Continue reading

Huguenot Gathering to Celebrate New Paltz Heritage


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hasbrouckfamilyHistoric Huguenot Street will host The Gathering, a weekend-long celebration of the Huguenots and their descendants on October 10 – 12. The event will bring together over 200 individuals who trace their heritage to the region, including descendants of New Paltz’ original 12 founders.

This is the first Gathering since the inaugural event in 2010. Vignettes depicting important moments of Huguenot Street’s continued history, special programs and performances, and children’s programming will continue throughout the weekend and are open to the public. Continue reading

Historic Huguenot St Hires Historian to Lead Strategy


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unnamed(6)Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz has appointed Dr. Taylor Stoermer, formerly of Colonial Williamsburg and Brown University, as Director of Strategy, Development, and Interpretation. According to a recent press release: “He is responsible for managing an ambitious strategic planning process over the next nine months to establish a new, sustainable foundation for Huguenot Street that strengthens its ties with the past, with modern guests, and with the broader regional community.”

Dr. Stoermer will also oversee historic interpretation, programming, marketing, fundraising, public communication, and political affairs. Rebecca Mackey remains at Huguenot Street in her recently announced role as Director of Operations, responsible for all administrative, site improvement and restoration, financial, and day-to-day operations of the site. Continue reading

Lecture: Hudson Valley African American Experience


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On Sunday, February 26 at 4:00 pm, Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) is presenting a special talk, The Missing Chapter, about the lives and working conditions of African-Americans in the Hudson Valley region during the colonial and antebellum periods.

The award-winning presenter, Susan Stessin-Cohn, Director of Education at HHS, will discuss her current research on slavery including the personal stories of several local African-American families over the course of 200 years. The presentation will include information gathered from HHS’s archives as well as the Ulster County Hall of Records, the Senate House, and 18th & 19th century local and national newspapers. Susan will also discuss her virtual “Missing Chapter” exhibit which can be found at www.hrvh.org.

Susan Stessin-Cohn is currently the Director of Education at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz. She was formerly an instructor at SUNY New Paltz and Vasser College and is a past trustee of the Elting Library and a member of the New Paltz Preservation Committee. She now serves on the board of the Ulster County Historical Society, the Southeastern New York Library Resource Council and the Hudson River Valley Heritage Digital Advisory Committee.

For more information, call 845-255-1660, x108 or email Jan Melchior at jan@huguenotstreet.org.

Women’s Writes: A Reading and Writing Workshop


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The weekend of March 3rd and 4th, Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) is presenting Women’s Writes, a reading and writing workshop featuring two popular authors, Nava Atlas and Kate Hymes. The weekend kicks-off on Saturday, March 3, at 3pm with a guided tour of HHS’s Deyo House, which is set and interpreted in the Edwardian period, a popular time for many celebrated women authors.

At 4pm, Nava Atlas will read from her latest book, The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life, which explores the writing life of twelve celebrated women writers, including such renowned authors as Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Madeleine L’Engle, Anais Nin, George Sand, Edith Wharton, and Virginia Woolf through their journals, letters, and diaries. On Saturday evening at 7, the Wallkill Valley Writers will read from their anthology which includes personal essays, poems, and stories.

Sunday, March 4 will feature two three-hour Wallkill Valley Writers Workshops led by Kate Hymes. Session 1 is from 9– 12pm and Session 2 is from 1-4 pm. Anyone with a desire to write, whether a beginner or experienced, is invited to attend these workshops which will be held in a safe environment. Sources culled from the HHS archives and other local history will serve as an inspiration for writing throughout the weekend.

Saturday includes a book signing and refreshments. Fees are as follows: Saturday Deyo House Edwardian tour and reading with Nava Atlas: $15. Saturday evening reading with Wallkill Valley Writers: $5. Sunday per session: $40. Full weekend including one workshop on Sunday: $50.

To register or for more information, call 845-255-1660, x103 or email Jan Melchior at jan@huguenotstreet.org.

About the Presenters

Nava Atlas is the author and illustrator of visual books on family themes, humor, and women’s issues, including The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life (2011), exploring first-person narratives on the writing lives of twelve classic women authors, and commenting on the universal relevance of their experiences to all women who love to write. Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife (2009) is a satiric look at contemporary marriage and motherhood through the lens of a faux 1950s cookbook. Nava Atlas is also the author and illustrator of many books on vegetarian cooking, a book on leafy greens will be on the shelves in the spring of 2012. An active fine artist specializing in limited edition artist’s books and text-driven objects, her work is shown and collected by museums and universities across the U.S.

Kate Hymes, a poet and educator living in the Hudson Valley, leads weekly writing workshops and writing retreats. She has over twenty years experience as an educator with experience teaching writing on college level, and over ten years leading workshops for people who make writing an artistic practice. Kate is certified to lead workshops using the Amherst Writers and Artists method. She has co-led trainings with Pat Schneider and other AWA instructors to teach others how to lead workshops. Kate and Pat also lead the workshop: If We Are Sisters: Black and White Women Writing Across Race. Kate serves as Executive Director of the Hudson Valley/Catskill Partnership: Regional Adult Education Network providing technical assistance and staff development to adult educators in a ten-county region of New York State. Kate currently serves as a member of the Dutchess County Arts Council and as panelist for Special Project, New York State Council on the Arts. She has a Master of Arts in American Literature from SUNY Stony Brook.

September on Huguenot Street


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What is known today as Historic Huguenot Street began in 1678 when twelve French-speaking Huguenots settled on the banks of the Wallkill. Today, steps from downtown New Paltz, HHS features seven stone houses dating to 1705 and a reconstructed 1717 stone church on park-like grounds and offers unique programming to the local community and visitors alike. For more information, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call 845.255.1660 or 1889. Historic Huguenot Street is a National Historic Landmark District and is incorporated as Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz, N.Y.

Saturday, September 17, 4pm. Art of the Street: Walking Tour with artist Kevin Cook. Join local landscape painter and Huguenot Street resident Kevin Cook for a unique tour of the site highlighting the fine art found in the museum houses, including works by Asher Durand, DuBois Fenelon Hasbrouck, Julia Dillon and others. Who better to present these fine period works than an artist who is himself especially inspired by the romantic work and ideals of the nineteenth century? Tour begins at the DuBois Fort | 81 Huguenot Street.

Wednesday, September 21, 10am to 3pm: Home School Day. With the general rising trend in home-schooling, HHS has set aside a day especially for home-schooled students to come to The Street and experience our history through tours and document-based lessons. We are offering a special new program called A Walk Through Time: One Street, Many Stories for this day. Travel back through time with six individuals whose lives were part of the fabric of the Hudson Valley. Working in small groups, students will use physical artifacts and primary documents to piece together the lives of a Lenape woman, a Revolutionary War soldier, a colonial school girl, a run-away slave, a Civil War soldier and a 19th century student at the Poughkeepsie Academy. Please call ahead with reservations to Susan Stessin-Cohn Director of Exhibits, Educational, and Public Programs @ 255-6738 or contact susan@huguenotstreet.org.

Friday, September 23, 7pm. Local Color: An intimate look at Landscapes with photographer Robert Goldwitz. A Fine Art Photography Opening. At HHS, the preservation of the past is our concentration, while the preservation of the moment is where Robert Goldwitz turns his eye. Robert Goldwitz captures images at opportune instants that speak to the heart of his subject. With a keen eye for composition, light and detail, Rob’s subjects range from the purely realistic to the evocatively abstract. An award-winning photographer, Goldwitz has been featured in one-man and group shows in New York City, Key West and elsewhere. In the DuBois Fort | 81 Huguenot Street. Light refreshments will be served. This event is also an opportunity to meet the new Executive Director of Historic Huguenot Street, Tracy Doolittle McNally.

Sunday, September 25, 11am and 2pm. Ulster Resident’s Day. This day caps off Ulster County Heritage Week, which is designed to highlight the rich culture and tradition that our county has to offer. Historic Huguenot Street is marking the occasion with a special “pay what you wish” day on the Street. Ulster County residents, with proof of residence, can enjoy either our 11am or 2pm guided museum house tour for whatever they wish to contribute. No reservations necessary. Tours begin at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center | 81 Huguenot Street.

Sunday, September 25, 3pm. Certainly Not Silent: Women of the Huguenot Street Archive with Laura Rose. This enlightening presentation breathes life into several women whose paths crossed Huguenot Street whether during their lives or after. The stories are touching, sad, funny — even shocking. Join historical detective Laura Rose as she shares some of the most delectable tales she’s found. In Deyo Hall | 6 Broadhead Avenue.

New Leadership at Huguenot Street


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Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has announced the appointment of Tracy Doolittle McNally as the new Executive Director, effective August 29, 2011. Tracy is an 11th generation descendant of the Huguenot founders of New Paltz. “Ms. McNally has a proven track record professionally in both corporate and non-profit organizations with strong expertise in marketing, development, special events, public relations, and financial management” HHS Board Chair Mary Etta Schneider said in a prepared statement.

McNally has a B.A. from St. Lawrence University and an MBA from SUNY New Paltz School of Business. Most recently McNally was head of the Greene County Chamber of Commerce and was widely recognized as one of Greene County’s top businesswomen. When asked what she thought might be the greatest opportunity in her new position, Tracy said, “Many people think Historic Huguenot Street is about stone houses and a quiet street, but it is so much more than that. We need to continue to make the exciting stories, extensive archives and valuable collections come alive in unique ways. I look forward to working with the Board in accomplishing this.”

Historic Huguenot Street has also announced that Susan Stessin-Cohn has joined the organization to fill the newly created position of Director of Exhibits, Educational and Public Programs. Susan has been involved with HHS for several years in a variety of curatorial, research and education-related roles. Ms. Stessin-Cohn has a Masters of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and Anthropology from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Susan has an extensive background as a professor, exhibit curator, archives specialist, curriculum developer and historical consultant as well as being an active volunteer in the community.

Rejoining HHS is Rebecca Mackey, Manager of Programs, Tours, Volunteer Care and the Museum Shop. Rebecca, who has both a B.A. in Women’s Studies and in History, will be responsible for the implementation of educational and public programs.

Jan Melchior will be stepping up from her role as Communications, Design and Development Coordinator to an expanded role as Manager of Promotion and Marketing. Jan brings over twenty five years of experience in marketing, advertising, development and promotion of non-profits.

Mary Etta Schneider, who has been acting as Interim Executive Director, will be resigning that position and will continue in her role as President and Board Chair of HHS.

Historic Huguenot St Creates New Scholarship Fund


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In 1689, when the founders of New Paltz hired Jean Tebanin as the first schoolmaster in the small settlement, they set a precedent for the community. This focus on education continues today at Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) in both the programs and scholarships offered by the New Paltz organization.

Earlier this month, the organization received a bequest from Lucille Stoeppler Baker. The funds were given with the stipulation that they be used for scholarship assistance. Ms. Baker’s intent was to provide financial help to undergraduate students majoring in historical anthropology.

Dr. Baker, who held degrees from the College of St. Vincent, Fordham University and Cornell University, was devoted to the field of education. She served for twenty-four years as Professor of Sociology at Tompkins Cortland Community College in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She was awarded the college’s first Professor Emerita status in March 1993. The Dr. Lucille S. Baker Learning Commons on campus is named in her honor. Dr. Baker’s interest in Huguenot history grew from a friendship with Kenneth Hasbrouck, the long-time director of HHS, and members of the LeFevre Family Association. She is interred at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery.

The funds given by Dr. Baker will be used to create the Lucille Stoeppler Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund. With the creation of this fund, Historic Huguenot Street will now have five distinct scholarship funds. Scholarships are offered on an annual basis in collaboration with the Hasbrouck Family Association.

The deadline for scholarship applications is quickly approaching. Submissions must be received by August 31, 2011. More information and guidelines are available at www.huguenotstreet.org or by calling (845) 255-1660.

Preservation Secured for Historic Huguenot Land


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The Open Space Institute (OSI), Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) and the Thomas and Corinne Nyquist Foundation have announced the preservation in perpetuity of the Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary, a 56-acre nature preserve located on Huguenot Street in the town and village of New Paltz.

OSI, through its land acquisition affiliate, the Open Space Conservancy, acquired the Sanctuary for $110,000 on June 21st from Historic Huguenot Street. HHS owns and maintains a National Historic Landmark District which includes a number of historic houses dating to the early 18th century set on ten acres in downtown New Paltz.

HHS acquired the property known as the Harcourt Sanctuary from Hastings Harcourt in 1976 and subsequently established the wildlife sanctuary. In 2009, HHS entered into a Conservation Easement with the Wallkill Valley Land Trust. According to a statement issued to the press, HHS has been focusing its efforts on the historic properties on Huguenot Street and has been searching for a buyer for the Harcourt property. Mary Etta Schneider, President of HHS comments, “It was especially important that we find a buyer that would honor Mr. Harcourt’s original intent to keep the land open to the public and in its natural state. We are delighted to collaborate with OSI and the Nyquist Foundation to make this happen.”

On July 6th, OSI sold the parcel for $55,000 to the Thomas and Corinne Nyquist Foundation. The sale included a restriction requiring the property to be made available to the public in perpetuity for recreational use. Thomas E. Nyquist, chair of the Foundation says, “The acquisition of the Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary reflects a long-existing appreciation of the beauty of the mid-Hudson Valley by the Nyquist family. Through the foundation, the Nyquists are pleased to serve as stewards of the newly-named Nyquist-Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary.”

The Sanctuary contains the “oxbow,” a complex of ponds and wetlands remaining from a tightly curved meander cut off when the Wallkill River straightened its course hundreds of years ago. It has over 1,300 feet of frontage on the Wallkill River and adjoins the Jewett and Khosla farms, two historic Huguenot farms totaling more than 180 acres that were protected by OSI and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust in the “Two Farms” campaign in 2007. The Sanctuary also adjoins land owned by the village of New Paltz containing the Gardens for Nutrition, a community-supported public gardening area.

“With the generous participation of the Nyquist Foundation, we are thrilled to be able to preserve the Harcourt Sanctuary,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “Like the other properties we’ve protected along Huguenot Street, it exemplifies both the rich history and natural resources of New Paltz and the Wallkill River.”

The property has relatively open areas dominated by grasses and herbaceous plants, which provide rich and varied habitat opportunities for a wide range of plants and animals. In 1987 the Town of New Paltz Environmental Conservation Commission created the Huguenot Path, an improved nature trail which loops through the Sanctuary and the adjacent Village-owned property.

The Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural, and historic landscapes to ensure public enjoyment, conserve habitats, and sustain community character. OSI achieves its goals through land acquisition, conservation easements, regional loan programs, fiscal sponsorship, creative partnerships, and analytical research. OSI has protected more than 110,000 acres in New York State. Through its Northern Forest Protection Fund and Conservation Finance Program, OSI has assisted in the protection of an additional 1.8 million acres in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Georgia. Please visit www.osiny.org for more information.

The Thomas and Corinne Nyquist Foundation is a family foundation founded in 2004 to provide financial support for local initiatives and programs of nonprofit organizations and groups in New Paltz and in Roosevelt County, Montana with emphasis on the communities of Bainville, Culbertson and Froid.

Historic Huguenot Street (HHS), located on the banks of the Wallkill River, is the place where the spirit of individualism that New Paltz is known for today began. Here a small group of French-speaking Huguenots settled in 1678. Just steps from downtown New Paltz, the site features seven stone houses dating to 1705, a burying ground and a reconstructed 1717 stone church – all in their original village setting. HHS offers ten acres of landscaped green space and public programming to the local community and visitors from around the world. For more information about Historic Huguenot Street, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call (845) 255-1889.

Village Historic House Tour In New Paltz


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Many know New Paltz for its unique heritage. Founded by French-speaking Protestants in 1678, the town has a long history. Much of it is preserved at Historic Huguenot Street.

And yet, historic homes, and history are not limited to the famous street. The village’s evolving history is documented in homes throughout the community. Last year, local resident Hollise Tirendi came to Historic Huguenot Street with the idea of creating a tour that will allow people to see some of the village’s most interesting homes – private homes not often open for the public to see.

From this idea came the New Paltz Village Historic House Tour. Offered on Sunday, June 12th from 12 to 5pm, the event offers a glimpse into nine of the community’s most unique private residence, as well as a “work in progress” peak into the Jean Hasbrouck House at Historic Huguenot Street. The house is currently undergoing restoration and reinterpretation, and is closed to the public.

Among the houses featured is the Benjamin Hasbrouck, an 18th century stone house across form the SUNY New Paltz campus that continues to be a private residence.

Capping off the event is a reception at the grand Philip Elting House. The owners of this stunning house, once a summer residence for members of the Elting family, will be sharing their home, along with their clock and classic car collections.

Tickets for the event are $25 in advance of $30 on the day of. Tickets will be held, and can be picked up at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, 81 Huguenot Street in New Paltz, starting at 11:45 on Sunday, June 12th. To register, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call (845) 255-1889.

Photo: Benjamin Hasbrouck House by Richard Heyl de Ortiz.

Candlelight Tour of Historic Huguenot Street


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On Saturday, April 30th at 7:30pm, as the sun sets over the ‘Gunks, Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz will offer a special evening tour. Imagine a walk through time. Imagine getting the chance to see how people really lived 100, 200, even 300 years ago. Regular people like your own great, great, great, grandparents. How did they keep warm in the winters? How did they light the dark nights? Where did they take their meals? The iconic houses on the famous street are filled with stories and many original items that help to tell the tales. Now imagine experiencing all of this by candlelight – in the same place, at the same time of day, by the same kind of light as those who came before us.

With bright electric light at our fingertips today, it is easy to forget just how different life was in the years before electricity and in the formative years of the new technology. We’ll start with a glass of wine or sparkling water in the DuBois Fort and then we’ll move through the eras — the Jean Hasbrouck House, where Jacob and Esther lived by the light of the fireplace, betty lamps or a few candles; the LeFevre House, where Ezekiel Elting’s prosperous family takes advantage of oil lamps; and the Deyo House, where Abraham Brodhead’s New Paltz Electric Company brings the “miracle technology” to late 19th century homes. This is better than reality TV. It’s real.

The DuBois Visitor Center is located at 81 Huguenot Street in downtown New Paltz. Tickets are $14 per person or $12 for friends of Huguenot Street. Advance reservations are suggested. For more information or to register, call 845.255.1660 or visit www.huguenotstreet.org.

Heritage Organization Announces Scholarships


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Historic Huguenot Street, the museum and National Historic Landmark District in New Paltz, New York, announced today the availability of scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The Hudson Valley organization administers four scholarship funds in collaboration with the Hasbrouck Family Association. Brothers Abraham and Jean Hasbrouck were among the Huguenot founders of New Paltz.

To be eligible, a student must be a sophomore, junior or senior in good academic standing as of September 2011. Applicants must be of documented Huguenot descent or be working toward a degree in historic preservation, art history or architecture at Columbia University, the State University of New York at New Paltz or Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. Some funding may also be available for either graduate or undergraduate students studying the impact of American Huguenot immigrants and descendants on American culture and/or language, or on the history of Ulster County, New York, during the period 1600 to 1800.

The Huguenots that founded New Paltz were part of the Huguenot Diaspora, a movement that forced French Protestants out of their homeland to settle in America and throughout the globe. Of prior recipients that were Huguenot descendants, many descended from Huguenots that founded New Paltz. Others have been descendants of Huguenots whose ancestors immigrated to places as far away as South Africa.

Awards are generally between $1,000 and $2,000. Applications must be received by August 31st. For more information about scholarships at Historic Huguenot Street, visit www.huguenotstreet.org and click on “learn” or call (845) 255-1660.

Women’s Rights: Race, Class and Ethnicity


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This Saturday, April 9th, at 7:00 pm, Historic Huguenot Street will host another in its Second Saturdays Lecture Series. The featured speaker will be Harriet Davis-Kram, Professor of American History at Queens College in New York City. The title of her talk is “Women’s Rights: A Struggle of Race, Class and Ethnicity.”

The quest of American women for equal rights dates back to the 18th century. One need only read the letters Abigail Adams sent to her husband John at the Constitutional Convention, warning him, “You’d better not forget the ladies.”

By the early 19th century, women’s voices were often heard in the debate over the abolition of slavery, and a number of educated women began to see similarities between their own social, economic, and political status, and that of the slaves they were fighting to emancipate. A small group of abolitionists would go on to found the movement for women’s equality. Davis-Kram will explore this history and the internal tensions that were part of the fight for women’s equality.

New York women were very much a part of this movement. Sojourner Truth is well known for her leading role in advocating for the end of slavery. Less well known is the key role she played as an African-American woman in the later struggle for women’s rights. She was a contemporary of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, among others. So too was Lydia Sayer Hasbrouck, the Middletown woman who made her mark as a dress reformer and as the publisher of “The Sybil,” a 19th century women’s rights periodical. Saturday’s talk is a prelude to the reinterpretation of the Abraham Hasbrouck House at Historic Huguenot Street. When this house reopens in 2012, the story told will focus on the lives on women in early New Paltz.

Davis-Kram, who has been teaching for over 30 years, specializes in the areas of American Women’s History, American Labor History, Immigration, and New York City History. Dr. Davis-Kram also guides walking tours in New York City focusing mostly on the 19th-century up through 1920. Her talk is made possible through Speakers in the Humanities, a program of the New York Council for the Humanities. Speakers in the Humanities lectures are made possible with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York State Legislature, and through funds from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

The talk will be held in the LeFevre House, located at 54 Huguenot Street in downtown New Paltz. There is a suggested donation of $5. For more information, call 845.255.1660 or visit www.huguenotstreet.org.

Ulster County Groups Offer ‘Trivia Night’


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The Ulster County Historical Society and Historic Huguenot Street are joining forces to bring trivia to New Paltz. Tomorrow night, Friday, March 25th, the two organizations will offer “Trivia Night.”

The program in New Paltz is a continuation of the Trivia Nights the Ulster County Historical Society (UCHS) has offered previously at the Bevier House Museum, their headquarters in Stone Ridge. Recently, UCHS Administrator Suzanne Hausperg contacted Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) to see if they would like to collaborate. Richard Heyl de Ortiz, Director of Marketing, Development and Visitation for HHS, explains, “Suzanne called me to say that they wanted to take Trivia Night on the road and asked if we’d be interested in collaborating. I had thought the idea was a great one when they launched it last year and was happy to work together to make this happen.”

Trivia Night is a combination of national and local history, with perhaps even a bit of New Paltz history added in for this event. Individuals play in teams and all skill levels are welcome. The night also includes drinks, delicious hors d’oeuvres and prizes.

Trivia Night will be offered on Friday, March 25th from 6 to 9pm at Deyo Hall, 6 Broadhead Avenue, between North Chestnut and Huguenot Streets, in New Paltz. There is a $10 charge per person. For more information about this or about Historic Huguenot Street, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call (845) 255-1660. For more information about the Ulster County Historical Society, visit www.bevierhousemuseum.org.

Photo: The Bevier House Museum, home of the Ulster County Historical Society.

Met Curator to Speak at Historic Huguenot Street


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On Saturday, March 12th and Sunday, March 13th, the focus at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz will be decorative arts. Peter M. Kenny, Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will present “Rensselaerwyck Revisitus,” an insider’s glimpse of the acquisition and installation of a quintessential New York Dutch room in the context of the most comprehensive collection of American historic interiors in any art museum in the country.

The Met’s New York Dutch Room comes from an 18th century house built by Daniel Peter Winne (1720–1800) on the famed Van Rensselaer Manor outside of present-day Albany. The architecture of furnishing of this room shares much with the museum houses at Historic Huguenot Street. Kenny, who is currently working on a book about Duncan Phyfe, is the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator and Administrator for American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kenny’s talk, which is part of the Second Saturdays series, will be offered on Saturday, March 12th at 7pm. There is an $15 charge ($12 for Friends of Huguenot Street).

On Sunday, March 13th, from 1 to 3pm, Sanford Levy, owner of Jenkinstown Antiques in New Paltz, will be joining Leslie LeFevre-Stratton, Curator of Collections at Historic Huguenot Street, for a special “Coverlets Roadshow” Evaluation. Do you have a coverlet tucked away in your home? Perhaps a family heirloom or a treasured antique store find? Ever wonder how old it is, how or where it was made and even what it is worth? Levy and LeFevre-Stratton are the folks to ask. Together, they will examine coverlets brought in by the public and share their expertise. All are invited. There is a $10 suggested donation. This event is offered in conjunction with Binary Visions: 19th-Century Woven Coverlets from the Collection of Historic Huguenot Street, which is on exhibit at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz through March 18th.

Both events will be held in the LeFevre House at 54 Huguenot Street in New Paltz. For more information about these events or about Historic Huguenot Street, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call (845) 255-1660.

Dorsky Museum to Feature Historic Textile Expert


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Rabbit Goody, a leading expert in the study and manufacture of 18th and 19th century textiles, will be featured at a panel discussion at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz on Sunday, February 20th at 3pm.

The panel discussion is coincides with the exhibit currently on view at the Dorsky: Binary Visions: 19th Century Woven Coverlets from the Collection of Historic Huguenot Street. This exhibit features more than 20 coverlets woven from cotton and wool on water-powered looms in small factories across the mid-Hudson Valley during the first half of the 19th century. The exhibition is a particularly important opportunity for historians and scholars to conceive new ways of thinking about the visual power of these coverlets.

Rabbit Goody is owner of Thistle Hill Weavers in Cherry Valley, New York. For more than 20 years, Thistle Hill Weavers has been weaving luxurious custom fabrics, carpet, and trim for designers, home owners, museums, and the film industry. Goody specializes in creating accurate historic reproductions, working from surviving examples, documented patterns, and period weavers’ drafts. Goody was a consultant for the Binary Visions exhibit.

Joining Goody on the panel will be Leslie LeFevre-Stratton, Curator of Collections at Historic Huguenot Street and Jessica Poser, Assistant Professor of Art Education at SUNY New Paltz. Poser has used the textile collections at Historic Huguenot Street as the inspiration for some of her most recent works of art. The panel will be moderated by Brian Wallace, Curator at the Dorsky Museum.

The panel discussion will be held in the Student Union Building closest to the campus entrance off South Manheim Boulevard and is free and open to the public.

For more information about the exhibit and the panel discussion, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or www.newpaltz.edu/museum.

Historic Huguenot Street Holiday Events


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Santa may not have been a Huguenot, but he will be residence on the well-known street for the holiday season. Activities begin on Friday, November 26th and will center on three of the historic museum houses: the iconic Jean Hasbrouck House, the grand Deyo House and the DuBois Fort Visitor Center.

Holiday programs include:

* Giving Thanks Day. Spent the Thanksgiving Day inside with the family? Well then come on out and enjoy a very different Black Friday. For this one special day, we’ll offer tours of the homes on Historic Huguenot Street for just $5 per person and get the first jump on the special gifts and vintage-style ornaments in the Museum Shop at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center. Make it a day with a visit to the unique shops of downtown New Paltz, which are just steps away. Friday, November 26th, 11am to 3pm.

* Photos with Vintage Santa. A real holiday favorite. For the third year in a row, Santa in all his vintage jolliness, will be visiting the Street. This year, he’ll be found at the hearth of the Jean Hasbrouck House. Photos by professional photographer France Menk. Saturday, November 27th and Saturday, December 4th, 11am to 2pm. $15 per sitting.

* Christmas Quest. The Deyo House manse, in all its Victorian splendor, will be turned over to the kids for two special days! Hidden among the holiday decorations will be items taken from the popular holiday favorites Twas the Night Before Christmas and These Are A Few Of My Favorites Things. All are invited to hunt for these hidden treasures and a holiday prize awaits all who do! Ages 4 and up. Saturday, November 27th and Saturday, December 4th, 11am to 2pm. $7 per child. Accompanying adults free.

* Candlelight Christmas: Holiday Tours of the Deyo House. At night, the Deyo House is the setting for very special holiday themed tours. Enjoy the house by the soft light of candles and Christmas light and see the Broadheads preparing for a turn-of-the-century holiday celebration. Saturday, November 27th and Saturday, December 4th. Tours at 7, 7:30 and 8. $12 per person in advance. $14 at the door.

* Storytime in the Deyo House. New this year is a unique opportunity for kids to enjoy holiday stories at the foot of the decked-out holiday tree in the Deyo House. Local actor and storyteller will delight kids with a wide variety of multi-cultural holiday favorites, including many loved standards and others such as El Regalo de Navidad (The Christmas Gift) and the story of the Maccabees triumph and the Hanukkah miracle. Saturday, December 4th, 11th, and 18th, 11am to 12pm. Limited to 25. FREE.

The Museum Shop at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm. The shop features a variety of exclusive items inspired by the collections at Historic Huguenot Street, unique and related books as well as a generous offering of vintage-inspired ornaments. Gift wrapping is always complimentary.

For more information about any of these holiday programs, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call (845) 255-1660 or 1889.

Museum Professional Joins Historic Huguenot St


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John H. Page has joined the board of trustees of Historic Huguenot Street after being elected at the September meeting of the organization’s board. Page, a member of the organization’s collection’s committee prior to his election, brings a wealth of experience to his new role, according to Historic Huguenot’s Richard Heyl de Ortiz.

Page manages and operates the reconstructed 18th century gristmill at Philipsburg Manor, a historic site in Sleepy Hollow which is owned and operated by Historic Hudson Valley. In this role, Page manages the daily operations of the mill and cooperage, contributing to its interpretive and educational programs and managing on-site staff and both its public and school group visits.

Prior to this, Page has served as the executive director of The Hermitage, a National Historic Landmark in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey. The site features a mid 19th century Gothic home that incorporates a colonial-era stone house. He has also worked as an independent contractor, and brings over a decade of building restoration experience to his new role at Historic Huguenot Street.

Mary Etta Schneider, president of Historic Huguenot Street, says of Page’s election, “We are thrilled to welcome John and very pleased to have a museum professional of his caliber on our board of trustees. John has been a valuable member of our collections committee. We look forward to his input and hope to leverage his experience in museum operations, restoration and program development.”

After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Swain School of Design in 1985, Page completed a Master of Arts History from Hunter College in 2007. He also has a Certificate in Museum Studies from Harvard University. Page is a practicing artist, a painter in landscapes with over twenty-five years of professional experience. Examples of his work may be seen online. He lives in Nyack, New York.

The Lenape: Lower New York’s First Inhabitants


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This Saturday, November 13th, at 7:00 pm, Historic Huguenot Street will host another in its Second Saturday Lecture Series. David M. Oestreicher will combine archaeological and historical evidence with decades of firsthand ethnographic and linguistic research among present-day Lenape traditionalists, to arrive at a full picture of the Lenape from prehistory to the present. The presentation includes a slide program featuring native artifacts, maps, illustrations, and photographs, as well as images of contemporary Lenape who are among the last repositories of their culture. This lecture offers a unique opportunity to learn about lower New York’s original inhabitants, the Lenape — not the romanticized figures of popular mythology or new-age literature, but a living people as they really are.

Dr. David M. Oestreicher is recognized as a leading authority on the Lenape (Delaware), our region’s first inhabitants, having conducted linguistic and ethnographic research among the last tribal traditionalists for over 30 years. Oestreicher is curator of the award-winning traveling exhibition, In Search of the Lenape: The Delaware Indians, Past and Present, which critic William Zimmer in the New York Times described as “an extended reverie,” capturing “the vitality and poignancy of the Lenape saga.” Oestreicher’s writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals and books, and he completed the final portion of the late Herbert C. Kraft’s The Lenape-Delaware Indian Heritage: 10,000 B.C. – 2000 A.D. — a tome subsequently hailed by scholars as the seminal work on the Lenape. Oestreicher’s monograph, “The Munsee and Northern Unami Today” in The Archeology and Ethnohistory of the Lower Hudson Valley and Neighboring Regions (1991), marked the first ethnographic account of the Hudson River Lenape (now the Canadian Delaware) since the work of anthropologists M. R. Harrington (1908, 1913, 1921) and Frank G. Speck (1945).

Cost: $8 per person/$6 for Friends of Huguenot

Vanderlyn Expert to Speak on Huguenot Street


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The Vanderlyn name, long associated with the Mid Hudson Valley, will be front and center at the October Second Saturdays talk at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz. “The Portraits of John Vanderlyn,” will be presented on Friday, October 9th at 7pm by Katherine C. Woltz, a scholar with the University of Virginia. Woltz has become a central figure as interest in Vanderlyn, an Ulster County native and one of the country’s first nationally recognized artists, has undergone a resurgence in recent years.

Born in Kingston in 1775 and educated at the Kingston Academy, John Vanderlyn was protégé of statesman Aaron Burr and portrait painter Gilbert Stuart. Burr’s uncommon generosity allowed Vanderlyn to study first with Stuart in America, and then in Paris with the famous French painters Vincent and David at the é cole-des-beaux-arts. Meeting with acclaim in both Europe and the U.S., he was perhaps the first American artist to gain an international reputation and following.

Woltz is currently working on a book about Vanderlyn and will be featured at “Appraising Art, Re-Appraising Vanderlyn,” a special forum being offered by the Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston later this month.

The talk will be offered in the newly reopened LeFevre House. The museum house now features a portrait gallery. Currently on exhibit is “An Excellent Likeness,” a selection of portraits from the permanent collection of Historic Huguenot Street. “An Excellent Likeness” includes several portraits attributed to John Vanderlyn Jr. The LeFevre House is located at 54 Huguenot Street in downtown New Paltz. Parking is available in municipal parking lot across the street. There is an $8 charge ($6 for Friends of Huguenot Street). For more information, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call (845) 255-1889.

Illustration: Abraham D Deyo. Attributed to John Vanderlyn, Jr. From the permanent collection of Historic Huguenot Street.