We thank the Pomeroy Foundation for the opportunity to participate in this grant program and for funding the historic marker commemorating the history in our community. The four stone houses standing at this intersection are an historically significant part of our history, from early Dutch settlement to the burning of Kingston by the British during the Revolutionary War.
As a part of the grant application, the Ulster County Clerk’s Office was required to have primary source documents proving the pre-Revolutionary War beginnings of each building. Many different types of documents were submitted for each house at the intersection, including: Tax Maps, Deeds, Mortgages, Dutch Court Records & their translations, and Kingston Board of Trustees Minutes. Samples of some of the many documents provided are shown in this presentation.
The intersection was part of the original settlement of the Village of Wiltwyck, first settled in 1652. The settlers lived on scattered farms around the area near the Esopus and Rondout Creeks. However, in 1658 Peter Stuyvesant, the Director General of New Netherland, ordered the inhabitants to move to a more defensible spot and surround it with a stockade. The stockade was expanded three times and this intersection falls within the 1st expansion built in 1661.
Image Adapted from:
Brodhead, John Romeyn, et al. “Miller Map of Kingston Stockade Area in 1695 as Designated by Governor Petrus Stuyvesant.” Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York : Procured in Holland, England, and France, Vol. XIII, Albany: Weed, Parsons, 1853.
Starting on the southwest corner of the intersection, the Kingston Academy Building was once a private home and became the local school circa 1773-1774. The Board of Trustees purchased the building and allowed for the hiring of a schoolmaster and a person to maintain the property.
Transcription of Board of Trustees Minutes, December 10, 1773:
At a meeting of the Trustees at the House of Johannis Sleght Esqr. on Fryday the 10th Decr. 1773.
Prest. all Except Silvester Salisbury
Appointed Messrs. Adam Persen & Joseph Gasherie to agree with Abraham VanKeuren for his New House for the use of a School lately resolved to be opened & that they purchase as cheap as they can not exceeding the sum of £525.
From the Academy, we move north across John Street to the Dr. Matthew Jansen House. Our records indicate that in 1663 this house passed into the ownership of the guardian of the late Dr. Jansen’s children and then was divided between his children in 1667.
Transcription of February 15, 1663 Dutch Court Record, English Translation c.1899, Book 1, Sections of Entry on Pages 80-81:
We, the undersigned Aldert Heymanse Roose
Commissary and Elder of the village of Wildtwyck
and Albert Geysberse Commissary and Deacon of the
aforenamed village make known that before us there
appeared the worthy Evert Pels inhabitant of the
village of Wildtwyck who acknowledged having
actually and in good faith borrowed and received
from Roeloof Swartwout and Cornelis Barense Slecht
appointed guardians of the minor children of
the late Mathys Jansen, dec'd, the amount of one thou-
sand guilders …
For which purpose, he, appearer specially
mortgages his lands situated near the village of Wildtwyck and
Moving east across Crown Street from the Jansen House, we come to the Franz Roggen House. Roggen purchased the house and grounds at this location in 1767 for £205. The lands included with the property encompassed a sizeable portion of the block on which it stands.
Transcription of June 29, 1767 Mortgage (segment):
...Between Francis Petrus Roggen of Kingston in the County of Ulster and Province of New York Carrier of the one Part and Jacob Hasbrouck Jun. of the New Paltz in the County of Ulster and Province of New York Yoeman of the other Part for All that certain Dwelling House and Lot of Ground Situate lying and being in Kingston aforesaid, bounded on the South by a Street, on the West by another Street on the North by the Lot of Johannis Masten, and on the East by a Lot now in the Occupation of the Heirs of the Widow Deborah DeWitt deceased Together with all and Singular the Buildings Edifices, Barns Barracks Gardens Stables &c. ...
Finally, we come back across John Street to the southeast corner, the Matthewis Persen House Museum. The Persen House is named for Matthewis Persen, who lived in the house his entire life, from 1739 to 1819. However, the house pre-dates him by 80 years. The earliest portion was built in 1661, for the village of Wiltwyck’s new barber-surgeon, Gysbert Van Imbroch, who lived here until his death in 1665.
The house passed through several owners until 1735 when it was purchased by Matthewis Persen’s father and uncle, Cornelius and Adam Persen. Matthewis grew up here and later purchased the home. In 1770, he turned it into a tavern and public house, which it remained throughout the Revolutionary War. Can you imagine the conversations had by the patrons leading up to the war?
The Persen House holds a special place in our hearts. The County Clerk’s Office has managed the house since 2010 and it has proven to be an exceptional venue for showcasing Ulster County’s history and culture.
Transcription of April 7, 1698 Deed (segment):
This indenture made this 7th day of April 1698: for Kingstowne in ye County of Ulster between Thomas Hall Of Marbletowne in ye County of Ulster heir of George Hall deceased of ye said County of ye one part and Teunis Tappen of ye other part, heir of Jurian Tappen deceased Both of ye said County witnesseth, that ye said Thomas Hall for diverse good Causes & valuable consideration him Hereunto moving, more & especially for & in consideration Of ye full & just summe of seven hundred and eighty Scheppels of good marketable wheat, paid to Robert Bickerstaff deceased, by Jurian Teunis aforesaid deceased, As per a deed of sale under ye hand of ye aforesaid Robert Bickerstaff whose date is ye 11th of March 1688/9: Relation Hereunto being had may more at Large appeare, and Whereas I the said Thomas Hall being ye heir of the Aforesaid George Hall, I do for me my heirs and predecessors As aforesaid have done, I do as heir of ye aforesaid George Hall deceased assigne, sell and transport over unto Teunis Tappen all my Right title of a Certaine house, Barne, and lot of ground, lying and being scituated in Kingstowne in ye County of Ulster aforesaid, being a Certaine Corner house lying on ye Southside of ye Middle Streete And having Cornelius Vernoy’s house and Lott to ye South, And John Cornelisson’s to ye East as per a patent from his Excellency the governor…
On May 25, 2019, the Ulster County Clerk’s Office hosted an unveiling ceremony for the new historic marker. Those in attendance heard remarks from County Clerk Nina Postupack, Kingston Mayor Steve Noble, County Legislator Brian Woltman, and Kingston Historian Emeritus Edwin Ford. Others on-hand to help celebrate this event were County Historian Geoff Miller, Sheriff Juan Figeroa, Chief Deputy County Clerk Alice Lawlis, Deputy County Clerk for Records Management Laurie Hancock, County Archivist & Kingston Historian Taylor Bruck, Gerald Celente (owner of the other properties at the intersection), Persen House Museum staff, 1st Ulster Militia Revolutionary War Re-enactors, friends, neighbors and community members.