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! The Persen House has received 26,751 visitors during the 2010 through 2018 seasons which includes visitors from all the states in the United States and visitors representing 53 different countries.

Persen House The Persen House, 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 Persen House is named for its longest living resident, Matthewis Persen. Born in the house in 1739 to Cornelius and Catharina Persen, Matthewis lived and worked out of this house until his death in 1819 at age 80. However, the Persen family were not the first family to own the house. In 1661, the house was built for Gysbert Van Imbroch (and his family) who was brought to the area to serve as the village's barber-surgeon. A permanent exhibit at the Persen House focuses on the 1665 inventory of Gysbert Van Imbroch's possessions, taken at his request of shortly before his death. 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. 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!

The Matthewis Persen House Museum & Cultural Heritage Center also 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!

The 2019 season will offer a variety of fun and educational events. Enjoy re-enactments from the 1st Ulster Militia and learn about life as a militia-man, as well as what it was like to be a Revolutionary War doctor. Join Native American heritage groups for crafts, drumming, and lectures. Local historians and historical groups will also be hosting meet & greet events and presentations.

Please see the Persen House Annual Schedule (link below) for all Guest Host information. There are multiple exhibits planned throughout the season, special events, and a variety of Guest Host activities taking place. It is sure to be an exciting year as we continue to keep Ulster County's history alive! Admission is free and all are welcome.

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 the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.

Group and personal tours can be arranged by appointment. Each year the Persen House welcomes hundreds of students from elementary, intermediate, junior-high, college, continuing education, and homeschool classes, as well as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other groups. Educators have used the Persen House as a part of their local history, cultural heritage, community engagement and art lessons. The Persen House also welcomes groups on guided tours. Many tourists come to the Hudson Valley for the history, art, hiking, beautiful fall foliage and more. Let your tour company know to include the Persen House on your itinerary! Tours can be tailored to your group's interests or curriculum.

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 the Ulster County Clerk's Archives at (845) 340-3415.

Persen House Brochure

Persen House Annual Schedule