The Huguenots – New Paltz, NY
June 3, 2012 – While out for a walk on the main street of New Paltz, I noticed a sign which outlined some of the history of New Paltz and triggered my interest in walking in a different direction. It was already late and the sun was setting but I upped the ISO on my camera and prepared to click the shutter anyway.
The Huguenots, who originally settled here, were from the Die Pfalz area of Germany (now southern Belgium/northern France). The name New Paltz reflects this connection with their homeland. A number of the homes along the Walkill River property are now owned or managed by the Historic Huguenot Street Association and some are operated museum-style and open to the public. When we visited the street, the sky was fading into darkness and museum staff had much earlier headed for home so seeing the interiors was not possible (perhaps another time).
The Jean Hasbrouck House at the intersection was purchased by the Huguenot Patriotic Historical and Monumental Society (precursor to the Historic Huguenot Street Association) and served as a museum location and headquarters for the society until more recent times.
When we reached this point in our journey, we had to choose between walking to the left or walking to the right. Walking to the left took us past the Walloon Church property to the LeFevre House. While looking at the cemetery and the LeFevre House, we met a local resident who provided us with plenty of information about the history of the street, and then proceeded to give us an extensive list of places to visit and places to eat while in the area. He was also a member of the Newyorkers Chorus, a barbershop group, that meets on Wednesday evenings at St. Andrew’s Church, 110 Overlook Road, in Poughkeepsie, NY. He invited me to drop by and add my voice :-). Would have liked to have dropped in for a listen to one of their rehearsals as barbershop harmonies have always intrigued me even though I’m certain that I wouldn’t be able to add to their talent pool in any meaningful way :-).
The LeFevre home was constructed a few years later than many of the other homes on the street and reflects Georgian architectural styling.
The light was fading quickly as we headed back up the street past the Jean Hasbrouck House to look at some of the other homes on the street. Occupying a beautiful rise opposite to the Jean Hasbrouck property was a beautiful home owned by the Deyo family. It is definitely not the original home and as I read more about this home, I learned that it was the major renovations that were undertaken to this home which prompted the formation of the historical and preservation movement to keep the remaining homes a close to their original status as possible. The home is one of the houses open to the public during daytime museum hours.
As the light became much to dim for photography, and we began to worry about where we might find a restaurant open for a very late supper, I spied another fire hydrant to photograph 🙂 and, quick as a flash, off we went back to the main street of town.