New Paltz Talk: Early Hearths of the Hudson Valley

Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz is known for its unique architecture and for the preservation of the houses built by the community’s founding families. On Saturday, Huguenot Street continues its Second Saturday’s Lecture Series with a lecture by Rob Sweeney, local historian and old house enthusiast, titled “Early Hearths of the Hudson Valley.”

The talk will begin at 7pm on Saturday, February 13th in Deyo Hall, which is located on Broadhead Avenue between Chestnut and Huguenot Streets in downtown New Paltz. There is a $7 charge per person ($5 for Friends of Historic Huguenot Street). Refreshments will follow Sweeney’s talk. In the case of inclement weather, the talk will be postponed to February 20th.

Rob Sweeney is a board member of Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture, the historian for the Town of Ulster and the owner of the Benjamin Ten Broeck House, a stone house built in 1751. His presentation will trace the evolution of the “jambless fireplace,” a style that dates to medieval Europe and which can be found in the houses of Historic Huguenot Street, to the popularity of the “Rumford Fireplace” of the early 19th century. Sweeney will also explore the role of tradition over comfort among the residents within the region.

Historic Huguenot Street (HHS), located on the banks of the Wallkill River, is where small group of French-speaking Huguenots settled in 1678. Today, just steps from downtown New Paltz, the site features seven stone houses dating to 1705, a burying ground and a reconstructed 1717 stone church – all in their original village setting. HHS offers six acres of landscaped green space and public programming to the local community and visitors from around the world.

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