Town of New Paltz

Ulster County, New York


1677  -- New Paltz founded by 12 families of French Huguenots.  Huguenot Street is the oldest street of original houses in America.

Huguenots were French-speaking followers of the sixteenth-century Protestant theologian, Jean Calvin, and were persecuted in France. The 12 families fled to Die Pfalz during the religious persecutions of Louis XIV in the 17th century.

The 12 male names were: Louis Bevier, Anthoine Crespell, Christian Deyo, Pierre Deyo, Abraham DuBois, Isaac DuBois, Louis DuBois, Hugo Frere, Abraham Hasbrouck, Jean Hasbrouck, Andre LeFevre and Simon LeFevre.

The name of the town means "New Palatinate" derived from the Palatinate, or "Rhineland Pfalz," which refers to the area along the Rhine River in Germany around Mannheim and Heidleberg. There the French Huguenots sought temporary refuge from religious persecution.   

1692  -- date of the earliest extant house in New Paltz.  It was a stone house built by Pierre Deyo. 

1717 -- construction of the French Church which served as both church and school until 1772.

1785  -- town of New Paltz incorporated.

1833 --  the start of the New Paltz Academy.

by 1845  -- large chunks of New Paltz town had been taken to create the town of Lloyd and to become parts of Esopus and Rosendale.

1865  --  the balcony comprising the upper part of the Reformed Church in New Paltz's historic district was built so that former slaves, servants and students from the Normal School in town could partake of the service on Sunday. 

1865 --  more than 100 local men went off to fight in the Civil War.

1868-1869  --  New York State designated the New Paltz Academy to instruct Common School teachers.

c. 1870  --  arrival of the Wallkill Valley Railroad.

late 1800s  --  the first MacIntosh apples were grown commercially on a farm between New Paltz and Gardiner. 

late 1800s  -- the Shawangunk Mountains, with mountain houses at Lakes Mohonk and Minnewaska, became a popular recreation destination.

1889  --  volunteer fire department established.  

1894  --  a group of citizens founded a local historical society to preserve the old houses on Huguenot Street.

1897  --  the New Paltz-Highland electric trolley connected the west shore rail line, the Poughkeepsie railroad bridge and the Hudson passenger boats with New Paltz.

There were a number of hotels in the area such as the 5-story, 100-room Bellevue Villa and the Chodikee Lake Hotel.  Guest houses included Lewiston Lake House, Hilaire House and St. George's Hotel. 

1925  -- the trolley line discontinued.

1937  --  regular passenger railway service ended.

1940s  -- the State University of New York established a campus in New Paltz.

1948 -- The State Teachers' College at New Paltz incorporated into the State University of New York

1951  -- the first annual Stone House Day Festival which became a big tourist attraction for the town.

1964  --  Huguenot Street was designated a National Historic Monument.

1985  --  Huguenot Street designated a National Historic Landmark District. 

Source: Carol A. Johnson and Marion W. Ryan of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection, Elting Memorial Library. 2001. Images of America: New Paltz. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press.