Historic Huguenot Street is set to host a special revival of Stone House Day, a formerly annual tradition, on Saturday, September 8, from 11 am to 4 pm. Old New Paltz Stone House Day will celebrate the 340th anniversary of the settling of New Paltz by twelve French Huguenots in 1678.
This Old New Paltz Stone House Day will focus on the diversity of Hudson Valley history by highlighting the many cultures that impacted New Paltz and Ulster County including African, Dutch, English, Esopus Munsee, and French.
Seven historic stone houses will be open for public tours or viewing, two of which have been closed for many years. In many of these homes, visitors will encounter interpreters in period garb. Performances and vendor demonstrations will take place throughout the day.
Hilary Surfer from County Seat Caning will demonstrate chair caning outside of the Bevier-Elting House, while experienced weaver, Margaret Malloy, will be working a four-harness counterbalance loom inside. Collector Dan Zalewski will present a demonstration of early 20th century gramophones and phonographs outside of the Deyo House next to an informational booth for the Hurley Heritage Society where visitors can learn about Huguenot Street’s unique connection to Hurley and its history.
The 5th NY Regiment and the 1st Ulster County Militia will engage visitors in a revolutionary war era encampment, which will include demonstrations of musket firing, candle making, sewing, blacksmithing, and more. Also within the encampment, Historic Huguenot Street staff will be on hand to teach children and adult visitors alike a variety of colonial games, which will be available for purchase in the Museum Shop. Nearby, young members of Ulster County 4-H will bring together a petting zoo of farm animals including poultry, rabbits, and goats.
There will be musical performances by the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers and the Ministers of Apollo. The Windham, New York based 77th NY Regimental Balladeers are dedicated to preserving the songs, tunes, history, and spirit of the Antebellum and Civil War period, specifically the 1860s. The members of the group perform with fiddles, guitars, banjos, harmonicas, tin whistles, harp, bodhran, bones, bass, trumpet, and dulcimer.
The Minister of Apollo will present their program Early American Music and Arts throughout the day in the French Church. This duo faithfully re-creates music, clothing, cosmetics, and hairstyles of the time period in order to give visitors a flavor of the 18th century. Award winning artist and Huguenot Street resident Kevin Cook will host an open studio and sale from his home across from the burial ground. Romantic landscapes in oils, watercolors and prints will be available, including some of Huguenot Street itself.
New Paltz Brewing Company will be on site selling their handcrafted beer and hot baked pretzels out of the DuBois Fort Visitor Center. Nearby, Quercus Cooperage founder and business owner John Cox will be doing barrel-raising demonstrations and talking to visitors about the history of the barrel industry in the Hudson Valley. Culinary Historian, cooking teacher, and independent scholar Lavada Nahon will demonstrate cooking over a fire and interpret the life and culture of the enslaved Africans in the Hudson Valley in the mid-18th century.
Photo provided by Historic Huguenot Street.