The First Highway: Huguenot Homesteads Tour
By Vals Osborne
From Issue 34: Spring 2017
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust’s seventh annual tour will take place on Saturday, June 3rd. Its focus on the Town of New Paltz coincides with the Land Trust’s year-long celebration of its 30th Anniversary.
This year’s tour explores the fascinating legacy of New Paltz’s Huguenots and their expansion northward along the eastern banks of the Wallkill River to Bontecoe on the Esopus border. The “Patentees” – as the first dozen settlers were called – built their houses on the terrace above the Wallkill River where vistas sweep west to the Shawangunk Mountains. Their descendants moved beyond New Paltz to cultivate the rich alluvial soil of the floodplain.
Historic Huguenot Street will offer a special orientation and exhibition at the DuBois Fort, designed especially for this occasion, as well as a private visit to one of its stone houses rarely open to the public. The tour also presents seven of the town’s most unusual and important houses and farms dating from the early 18th century to the mid-twentieth. For more information or to register, please visit: www.WallkillValleyLT.org or call 845 255-2761.