Did you know New York is home to one of the oldest streets in America? And it’s only a 40 minute drive from NYC!
Huguenot Street in New Paltz, New York is the “oldest continuously inhabited street in America,” according to the New England Archivists (NEA).
The 10-acre National Historic Landmark District is lined by beautiful, centuries-old stone houses. Today, the historic houses can be studied to understand the rich history of the French Huguenot settlement dating back more than 300 years ago.
“The Huguenot Street Historic District, encompassing approximately three blocks, contains perhaps the most intact concentration of late 17th and early 18th century stone houses in the United States,” shared a report from the U.S National Park Service.
One of the oldest houses standing is what’s now known as the DuBois Fort Visitor Center. Erected in 1705 for the New Paltz patentee, Daniel DuBois, the home also served the community as “a place of Retreat and Safeguard,” according to Historic Huguenot Street. The house then became a family restaurant in the 1930s, until it was purchased in 1968 by Historic Huguenot Street and turned into the now visitor center with an exhibit space and museum shop.
Preservation efforts began when Historic Huguenot Street was first founded in 1894 in order to protect the area’s French and Dutch heritage. Now, the area is home to a reconstructed French Church from 1717, the Huguenot community’s original burying ground, and a replica Esopus Munsee wigwam.
“Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today,” shares their website.
The site offers great insight to American history in an interactive way that’s sure to teach you something you didn’t know before.
Guided tours are offered throughout the week for a duration of about one hour. You can register for yours here.