Early New Paltz Women Subject of Sat Talk

The Second Saturdays Lecture Series at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz continues tomorrow, Saturday, September 11th with a talk entitled, “Early Women of New Paltz.” The talk will focus on the often untold role of women in colonial-era New York. Included will be an exploration of the differences between Dutch law and custom and English law, and how women were impacted by these differences. Richard Heyl de Ortiz of Historic Huguenot Street, who will be the presenter, created this talk for the organization’s recent Gathering event – a “family reunion” of descendants of the early families of New Paltz.

“This talk was well-received at the Gathering. Our history is so often told through the eyes of men or through their lives and stories. The enthusiasm of those in the audience for this fresh, more complete perspective was exciting. For this reason, we decided to offer this talk as part of our Second Saturdays series.” says Heyl de Ortiz. As was done at the Gathering, the stories of three extraordinary Hudson Valley women from the eighteenth century will be the centerpiece of the talk. Their lives and experiences will be used to highlight the challenges faced and opportunities enjoyed by women during this period.

“Early Women of New Paltz” will be offered at 7pm on Saturday, September 11th in the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, which is located at 81 Huguenot Street in downtown New Paltz. Refreshments will be served. Admission is $8, or $6 for Friends of Huguenot Street. For more information, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call (845) 255-1889.

Historic Huguenot Street (HHS), located on the banks of the Wallkill River, is the reason that New Paltz is the funky, free-spirited town it is today. Here a 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.

Illustration: The house in Guilford, just south of New Paltz, from which the widow Elsie Schoonmaker Hasbrouck ran a large farm, raised ten children and speculated in real estate during the eighteenth century. Hasbrouck will be one of the subjects of Saturday’s talk. Image by Alfred Hasbrouck from the collection of Historic Huguenot Street.

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