The First Highway: Huguenot Homesteads from
The 2017 focus on the Town of New Paltz coincided with the year-long celebration WVLT's 30th Anniversary. The closing reception was held at a private farm on the Land Trust’s first easement. The tour explored 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 began with a special program at Historic Huguenot Street. Also featured were 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 were 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.