THE MATTHEWIS PERSEN HOUSE

ONE OF ULSTER COUNTY GOVERNMENT’S OLDEST BUILDINGS

Ulster County invites you to the Matthewis Persen House, a cornerstone of the City of Kingston's historic Stockade District. This house has witnessed many important moments in Ulster County's history. It was burned at least twice, saw wars and revolution and was home to doctors, tailors, grocers, druggists and innkeepers. As you walk through the House, you walk through time. Please join us at the Persen House located at 74 John Street, Kingston, New York and let us take you on a tour and bring Ulster County's rich history alive!

Persen House The Persen House, named after its longest resident Matthewis Persen (1739-1819), and owned by Ulster County since 1914, has undergone extensive restoration since emergency repairs in 1999 revealed its historical significance. Preservation Architect Kenneth Barricklo's Historic Structure Report reveals that the house was built in five distinct phases from 1661 to 1922. The house has witnessed the entire documented history of Kingston and even pre-dates the formation of Ulster County. By touring the house, visitors can learn many important aspects of our local history.

The Matthewis Persen House Museum & Cultural Heritage Center functions as Ulster County's Heritage Gateway. Cultural heritage groups from throughout the county guest host at the House on Saturdays throughout the season. These guest hosts share their treasure troves of history and culture with visitors and often feature exhibits, lectures, programs, and even re-enactments! This year the House will also host an artifact exhibit from the collection of Dr. Joseph Diamond, Associate Professor of Anthropology at SUNY New Paltz. Dr. Diamond has performed archaeological excavations throughout Ulster County including areas at the Persen House in 2000-2001.

On June 8, 2017, County Clerk Nina Postupack will host the Grand Opening of a new, permanent exhibit at the Persen House. The focus of the exhibit is the 1665 Inventory of the first resident of the House, Gysbert Van Imbroch. Originally written in Dutch, this primary source document was translated to English circa 1900 and lists all of the items found in the house at the time of Mr. Van Imbroch's death in 1665. This document provides a wonderful window into Dutch colonial life in the 17th Century. Over 1,400 items are listed including books, medical equipment, household items, livestock, clothing and more. How many of these items are still used today? The answer might surprise you!

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Burning of Kingston Re-enactment and the 240th anniversary of the Burning of Kingston itself. The weekend of October 13-15th will be filled with lively battle re-enactments, historical lectures, and a candlelit recreation of the Committee of Safety meeting where some of Kingston's officials plan of the evacuation of the residents and government records on the eve of the British attack. For more information, please visit http://www.burningofkingston.com/.

The house is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, Tuesday through Friday 9am to 4:30pm and Saturdays from 9am to 3pm. After Labor Day, the House is open Saturdays from 10am to 2pm through November 19, 2017. Please see the Persen House Annual Schedule (link below) for all Guest Host information and activities taking place this season. It is sure to be an exciting year as we continue to keep Ulster County's history alive! Admission is free so please join us at the Persen House! Group and personal tours can be arranged by appointment as well.

For further information about this and other outreach programs of the Ulster County Clerk's Office or if you are interested in scheduling a tour or guest hosting at the House, please call Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack at (845) 340-3040.

Persen House Brochure

Persen House Annual Schedule