The Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) invites you to volunteer for its 7th annual historic house tour, Houses on the Land: The First Highway - Huguenot Homesteads From New Paltz to Bontecoe, on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017. Its focus on the Town of New Paltz coincides with the Land Trust’s year-long celebration of its 30th Anniversary. Its closing reception will be held at a private farm on the Land Trust’s first easement.
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 “Duzine” - 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. Huguenot Street will offer a special orientation at the Fort, designed especially for this occasion, and a private visit to one of its stone houses rarely open to the public. The seven houses on the tour include examples of an early stone house, a charming modern interpretation of a Dutch-style stone dwelling, two Greek Revival structures –one a brick beauty, the other, a fascinating clapboard bank house, as well as a fanciful late nineteenth-century manor house, and a soaring labyrinthine barn converted to modern living.
As a volunteer, you will join a small team of docents for one of two shifts at one of the houses on the tour. Docents monitor and safeguard the homes, direct traffic flow, enforce rules, and share their knowledge of their assigned home’s history and architectural features, thereby enhancing the tour’s reputation as an interesting, enjoyable and smoothly run event. As a thank you for your service, volunteers receive one free ticket to the tour and the reception following.
First Shift: 11:00 - 1:45 (arrive 10:30)
Second Shift: 1:45 - 4:30 (arrive 10:30 for reg. materials; leave at 10:45; return at1:30)
Reception: 4:30 – 6:00 at a private WVLT easement
Want to participate?
On Sunday, October 5th, we honored Glenn Hoagland with our 2014 Conservation Award!
On Sunday, October 20th, 2013 at the Hare East Easement we honored Joan Burroughs with our annual Conservation Award.
Joan has long been an advocate for open space protection. As the great-granddaughter of Naturalist John Burroughs, she has maintained his legacy of conservation and protection of the natural world and spearheaded the four-year State and privately funded project to restore and expand hiking trails at Slabsides.
She is currently on the board of directors at the John Burroughs Association.
This year's Honorary Committee included: Bob Anderberg, Anne Bienstock and Russell Gilmore, Peter Bienstock, Allan and Lynn Bowdery, Patricia and Richard Brooks, Donald Christian, Mary Collins, Glenn Hoagland, Jim Hoover, Sandra Hutton, John Jacobs, Cara Lee, Jay LeFevre, John Jacobs, Paul Kellar, Ron Knapp, Annie O'Neill, Steve Rosenberg, Angela Sisson and Johanna Sokolov, Vivian and John Wadlin.
The First Highway: Huguenot Homesteads from
This year's focus on the Town of New Paltz coincides with the year-long celebration our 30th Anniversary. The closing reception will be held at a private farm on the Land Trust’s first easement. The tour will explore 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.
The tour begins with a special program at Historic Huguenot Street. Also featured are seven of the town's important houses and farms from the early 18th century and the mid-20th. All were either built by Huguenot descendants or upon Huguenot lands. Included are early stone houses, a 1930s Federal-style stone dwelling, a stunning brick Greek revival beauty, a fanciful late 19th century manor house, and a soaring labrynthine barn converted for modern living.
**Although each house will have guides and docents, it is recommended that you drive (carpool, if possible) or bike from location to location.**