The purpose of this project is to collect and preserve the stories of the New Paltz Huguenots, their descendants, the community, and all who have been impacted by Historic Huguenot Street.
“The preservation of oral histories provides a unique opportunity to interpret historical events and moments from the perspective of someone who experienced them,” explained Kara Gaffken, Historic Huguenot Street’s Director of Public Programming and manager of the Stories From Stones project. “Recording these irreplaceable personal stories will provide a whole new context for the histories of the people who lived here, just as the primary documents housed in our archives allow us to better understand the past from the perspective of the earliest settlers.”
Huguenot Street descendants and community members are invited to make appointments to be interviewed at Historic Huguenot Street. The documentation of oral histories is being conducted by SUNY New Paltz students Wainabi Jung (Digital Media Production and Visual Arts) and Allison Surgeary (Communications and History) as part of their Spring internships on Huguenot Street.
In addition to recording interviews, Historic Huguenot Street is accepting submissions of stories via email and postal mail. Stories have already been collected from participants including Huguenot Street descendant and current Mayor of the Village of New Paltz Jason West, Ulster County Historian Anne Gordon, Huguenot Street descendant and HHS Board President Mary Etta Schneider, and HHS Consulting Historian A.J. Schenkman. Documented stories are being shared online at huguenotstreet.org/stories.
To schedule an appointment to be interviewed by Historic Huguenot Street, or to submit a story via email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories may also be mailed to Historic Huguenot Street, Stories From Stones, 88 Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY 12561.
Photo: An interview with New York History Blog contributor A.J. Schenkman.