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Showing posts from April, 2016

Dutch Colonial Architecture on New Paltz's Historic Huguenot Street

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Ever since reading The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped Americaby  Russell Shorto, I have been fascinated by the history of the Dutch in America. That fabulous book (read it if you haven't!) focuses on the island of Manhattan, as the title indicates. But while New York City has paved over most vestiges of its Dutch past, just a few hours north of the city, an entire Dutch colonial settlement survives intact.

New Paltz, New York's Huguenot Street is one of the oldest continuously occupied settlements in the United States. First occupied by American Indians, in 1678 French protestant John Calvin, purchased the land now referred to as Huguenot Street after fear of persecution in France led them to flee to first Germany and then, in the 1660s and 1670s, to the religiously tolerant Dutch colony of New Amsterdam.


On a plot of land purchased from Esopus Indians, the Huguenot pioneers built a community which inclu…