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Followers of Protestant theologian John Calvin, a group of Huguenots from northern France and what's now southern Belgium, sought safety from religious persecution in the 1600s, first by fleeing to die Pfalz in southwestern Germany, and then to America. In 1678, hoping to protect their religion and culture, they established a community on the banks of the Wallkill River in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. That community grew and prospered, becoming the dynamic town of New Paltz.
Today a National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original settlement, including seven 18th century stone houses, a reconstructed 1717 Huguenot church, exhibit and program spaces, archaeological sites, and a burial ground that dates to the very first settlers. Huguenot Street also maintains an extensive archive that preserves early local history collections and family papers, along with a research library.
Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and educating the public on the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the 16th century to today.