• Guest Hosts 2010-2020


    The Ulster County Clerk’s Office would like to offer our appreciation to the many Persen House Guest Hosts over the past 10 years and those scheduled in 2020 that were not able to hold events.  Their continued dedication, knowledge and generosity of time is what makes the Persen House a true Cultural Heritage Gateway. 


    1st Ulster Militia

    Art Society of Kingston

    Associations of Native Americans of the Hudson Valley – Red Feather Singers & Drummers

    Catskill Interpretive Center

    Cook Family

    D&H Canal Historical Society

    Don Terpening, Revolutionary War Medical Re-enactor

    Dr. Joseph Diamond, Associate Professor of Anthropology at SUNY New Paltz

    Dr. Thomas Mounkhall, World Historian

    Ellenville Public Library & Museum

    Emily Vail, Hudson River Watershed Alliance

    Empire State Railway Museum

    Friends of Historic Kingston

    Geoff Miller, Ulster County Historian

    Gomez Mill House


    Heritage Folk Music

    Historic Huguenot Street

    Historical Society of Shawangunk & Gardiner

    Hudson River Maritime Museum

    Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture

    Hurley Heritage Society

    Jessica Gaddis & Local Artists

    John Burroughs Association Sanctuary at Slabsides

    Kingston Arts & Cultural Affairs Office

    Kingston City School District

    Kingston Cub Scouts

    Kingston Girl Scouts Daisy Troop

    Kingston Land Trust

    Kingston Parks & Recreation

    Klyne Esopus Museum

    Locust Lawn Museum

    My Kingston Kids

    Ontario & Western Napanoch Train Station Museum

    Ostrander Family Association

    Phyllis McCabe, Local Photographer

    Plattekill Historical Society

    Saugerties Historical Society

    Save Native Sites

    Scions of Patria, 17th Century Colonial Re-enactors

    Senate House State Historic Site

    Society for Creative Anachronism – Shire of Nordenhal

    Step Into History: A Scavenger Hunt in Uptown Kingston

    Stephen Blauweiss, Local Historian & Graphic Designer

    Stuart Lehman, Revolutionary War Medical Re-enactor

    SUNY New Paltz Graduate Metal Arts Program

    Susan Stessin-Cohn, Town of New Paltz Historian

    The British Brigade, 16th Queen’s Light Dragoons

    The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History

    Third Ulster Militia

    Town of Saugerties Tourism

    TransArt & Cultural Services

    Ulster County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee

    Ulster County Clerk’s Colonial Game Days

    Ulster County Historical Society

    Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources

    Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild

    Woodstock School of Art

  • 1st Ulster Militia Summer Encampment

    For a glimpse of 18th century life at the time of the American Revolution, join the 1st Ulster Militia for a day in the life of a militiaman.  Members promote the education of the public as to military and social life in the colonial and Revolutionary War eras through demonstrations of everyday crafts and skills and the typical life of the militiaman.


    Visit the 1st Ulster Militia online.

  • 1st Ulster Militia Summer Encampment

    The original 1st Regiment, Ulster County Militia was composed of citizen soldiers from the area now within the boundaries of Kingston, Saugerties and Woodstock.  The 1st Ulster Re-enactment group brings this history alive with firearms demonstrations and battle drills.


    Visit the 1st Ulster Militia online.

  • Association of Native Americans of the Hudson Valley—Red Feather Singers & Drummers

    Drumming, Native American Crafts & Exhibit


    The Red Feather Drummers share Native American storytelling, singing, dancing, crafts & drumming.  Come listen to traditional stories that teach respect for others, animals, nature and the earth.

  • D&H Canal Historical Society and Museum Exhibit


    The D&H Canal Historical Society presents a display containing photographs, documents, post cards and other items relating to the history of the Delaware & Hudson Canal.  The canal was America's first million-dollar private enterprise and an important 19th century industrial enterprise. Learn about the canal’s creation, operation and importance as an engine of economic development in and around Ulster County.


    Visit the D&H Canal Historical Society online.


  • Professor Emeritus of Biology Don Terpening

    Revolutionary War Medical Re-enactor


    Professor Emeritus of Biology, Don Terpening presents various medicines, implements, and techniques that were used by physicians during the Revolutionary War, as well as discussing the role that doctors played and their social standing during this period. 


    Visit Don Terpening online as a member of the 1st Ulster Militia

  • Dr. Joseph Diamond, SUNY New Paltz Associate Professor of Anthropology—Persen House Archaeological Excavation Exhibit


    Dr. Joseph Diamond is an Associate Professor of Archaeology at SUNY New Paltz with over 40 years of archaeological experience. His research and teaching interests center on Northeastern, North American, historical, and physical anthropology. Dr. Diamond was instrumental in bringing the Persen House alive through the more than 20,000 artifacts discovered during his 2001 dig.


    Visit the SUNY New Paltz Anthropology Department online.

  • Ellenville Public Library & Museum

    Early Days of the Ulster County Fair Exhibit

     Photos Courtesy of Ellenville Public Library & Museum


    Ellenville Public Library & Museum (EPL&M) houses an extensive local history collection including a treasure trove of images and ephemera from the early days of the Ulster County Fair which was originally held in Ellenville.  The EPL&M share this unique and wonderful time in Ulster County’s history through their collection of images and memorabilia.


    Visit the Ellenville Public Library online.

  • Ellenville Public Library & Museum and the Ulster County Historical Society

    Ulster County Women of Note Exhibit

     Photos Courtesy of Ellenville Public Library & Museum


    The anniversary of the ratification for women’s voting rights in New York State was honored in 2017. In the spring of 2015, Ellenville Public Library & Museum and Ulster County Historical Society joined forces to develop a year-long celebration honoring Ulster County’s women’s history. A special exhibit titled “Ulster County Women of Note,” highlights Ulster County women, from all walks of life, who exhibited great commitment to their communities and their causes.

    In the spirit of collaboration, organizations such as schools, libraries, historic site and societies, were asked to collect information and images on women of their communities. These pieces of information were then collected by EPL&M and UCHS and put into a design that created 16 panels each featuring a specific person or concept. Participating organizations were: Cragsmoor Historical Society; Friends of Historic Kingston; Gomez Mill House; Historic Huguenot Street; Town Historian of New Paltz; Historical Society of Woodstock; Klyne Esopus Museum; Plattekill Historical Society; Saugerties Historical Society; Stone Ridge Library; and the Ulster County Clerk’s Office. The “UC Women of Note” exhibit traveled around the county, October 2016 through April 2018. Our hope is that viewers will connect with the organizations that submitted on behalf of these women to learn more about them.


    Visit Women of Note on Facebook.

    Visit Ellenville Public Library and the Ulster County Historical Society online.

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    Ulster County Historian Geoff Miller Honoring Retired City of Kingston Historian Edwin M. Ford


    Edwin (Ed) M. Ford served as the City of Kingston Historian for 34 years, retiring in 2018.  In celebration of his dedicated service and commitment to the history of our area, Ulster County Historian Geoff Miller presented a special ceremony in Mr. Ford’s honor.  Among those to speak were Ulster County Executive Michael Hein, Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack and New York State Historian Devin Lander.  Mr. Ford was lauded for his years as a champion and activist for historic preservation, his wealth of knowledge and historical resources, and his strong ties to the local history community.


    Visit Ulster County Historian Geoff Miller online.

  • 11 of 27

    Harambee and Kingston Land Trust

    Slavery in Ulster County During the Revolution

    Lectures, Discussion, Exhibit and Traditional African Music

     Photos Courtesy of Ted Griese, Kingston Land Trust


    As a part of the 2019 Burning of Kingston event, Harambee of Kingston sponsored a special exhibit, lecture and march. The event focused on the lives of enslaved persons during the Revolutionary War and their lives in Kingston during the burning. A special exhibit put together by the Kingston Land Trust and Harambee was on display throughout the day. Also, an informative talk by Rennie Scott-Childress, “Seen But Not Heard: Slavery in Ulster County,” was offered. Evelyn Clarke also spoke on Crispus Attucks, a black patriot slain in the Boston Massacre by British troops.  The lectures were preceded and followed by the singing of African hymns.  Harambee is a Mid-Hudson Valley coalition that supports and promotes the strength of our community through cultural and educational events that enrich the lives of youth and adults alike.


    Visit Harambee and Kingston Land Trust online.

  • 12 of 27

    Kingston City School District

    Elementary School Art Exhibits


    The Matthewis Persen House gives educators the opportunity to merge a lesson with an in-person experience.  The Kingston City School District (KCSD) 4th grade students in 2017 did just that.  After a lesson on the Persen House and the historic “Four Corners” provided by Instructional Coach Michael Circe, the KCSD 4th grade gifted the County Clerk’s Office with their wonderful exhibit “A Fingerprint on History.”  Students from all 7 elementary schools created “stone” houses made from their fingerprints. 

    Another group of 3rd and 4th grade students from Chambers and Crosby Elementary schools, in Gwen Bardon’s art classes, displayed their artwork for several weeks at the Persen House.  Their interpretation of “A Maritime Connection Linking Kingston and the Hudson River” is a colorful way to connect students with local history.


    Visit the Kingston City School District online.

  • 13 of 27

    Plattekill Historical Society

    Granges and Farms Exhibit


    Granges were a farmer's association that sponsored social events and community service.  Ulster County granges started in the early 1900’s.  By the 1930’s, there were over 300 active members in the town of Plattekill’s two established granges.  Members of the Historical Society discussed and exhibited information on these historic areas in Ulster County.


    Visit Plattekill Historical Society online.

  • 14 of 27

    Save Native Sites—Cloud Breakers Society Drumming


    When the first Europeans arrived in Ulster County, in the 1600's, they found indigenous people called the Munsee living here. These Native Americans had occupied this area for hundreds of years, sustaining themselves by hunting, gathering, fishing and farming. By the late 1700's, most of these people were gone, driven west and north to Canada by the incoming Europeans.  Save Native Sites enhances our understanding of the culture and history of these and other indigenous people through a variety of programs and lectures open to the public and free of charge.

    The Cloud Breakers are a group of men that perform traditional music once performed by tribes from the Ulster County locals and across America.  The Cloud Breakers perform in full regalia, not in costume since they are not re-enactors, but true representatives of their Native American heritage.

  • 15 of 27

    Save Native Sites—Lecture Series with Tiokasin Ghost Horse and Jadina Lilien


    Jadina Lilien, Artist and Healing Arts Facilitator of the Ancestral Constellations, began this event with a guided silence connecting us to our ancestors, the heart and the Earth as one living being with a shared destiny.  Jadina Lilien has led workshops in Systemic Constellations nationally and internationally. Some words participants used to describe their feelings after the workshop were inspired, content, alive with a wonder and creativity that was familiar but had been forgotten.

    Tiokasin is a Cheyenne River Lakota native who is an international speaker on peace, indigenous peoples, and mother earth. He has spoken at the United Nations and was a nominee for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. Tiokasin Ghosthorse spoke at the Persen House about our relationship to Earth, and how the Lakota language connects with all of Life.


    Visit Jadina Lilien and Tiokasin Ghost Horse online.

  • 16 of 27

    Scions of Patria Dutch Colonial Re-enactment and Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture House Tours

     Photos Courtesy of Scions of Patria


    The Scions of Patria are a 17th century Dutch Colonial re-enactment group. Members of the Scions of Patria re-enact what Dutch life in the 1660s would have looked like, wearing period dress and demonstrating elements of domestic life.

    Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture give tours and explain how the Persen House has changed through the years.  Now Hudson-Mohawk Vernacular Architecture, the organization promotes recording, interpretation, research, and public education of and about traditional vernacular buildings and cultural landscapes within the Hudson and Mohawk River Valleys.


    Visit the Scions of Patria and Hudson-Mohawk Vernacular Architecture online.

  • 17 of 27

    Society for Creative Anachronism Shire of Nordenhal

    Life in the Middle Ages

     Photos Courtesy of Carrick MacSeáin and Phyllis McCabe

     The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Shire of Nordenhal, host “Life in the Middle Ages” at the Persen House.  The SCA is an educational organization dedicated to reproducing and exploring the very best aspects of pre-17th century cultures.  Members of the SCA’s Shire of Nordenhal offer family-friendly activities and discussion on period clothing, calligraphy, fencing, archery and other countless activities of interest.  They also provide demonstrations of medieval games, dancing, inkle-loom weaving and diverse arts.


    Visit the Shire of Nordenhal online.  

  • 18 of 27

    SUNY New Paltz Graduate Metal Arts Program Exhibition

     Persen: Place & Things—Artists Engage the Matthewis Persen House

    From Top to Bottom, Artwork by Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, Hyun Park, Martin Anderson, and Aran Galligan


    In 2011, MFA Students and faculty presented an exhibition developed in response to the Persen House – its structure, artifacts and history.  Participating artists discussed the ideas and outcomes of their research and artistic exploration. The display included artwork and temporal installations that responded to the unique aesthetic qualities of the raw space, as well as its resonant history and cultural significance. 


    Visit the SUNY New Paltz Metal Art Program online.


  • 19 of 27

    The British Brigade—16th Queen’s Light Dragoons

    Recruiting for the King


    The British Brigade, 16th Queen’s Light Dragoons, stage a British Occupation of the Persen House.  Red Coats are everywhere and they are seeking recruits for the King! There are musket demonstrations, a recruiting officer and arms & uniforms of the American Revolution. 


    Visit the British Brigade - 16th Queen's Light Dragoons online.


  • 20 of 27

    The British Brigade—16th Queen’s Light Dragoons

    Women’s Fashion of the Colonial Era by Hella Beale


    The British Brigade will be exhibiting “Fashion Design from the 18th Century” featuring homemade women’s clothing by Hella Beale! This exhibit features many homemade dresses and the ever-important accessories such as hats, gloves and shoes worn by the women in the 18th century at the time of the Revolution. 


    Visit the British Brigade - 16th Queen's Light Dragoons online.


  • 21 of 27

    The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture & History—Rondout Revisited Exhibit


    The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History presented their exhibit, Rondout Revisited, at the Matthewis Persen House in the 2012-2015 seasons.  Rondout Revisited highlights the three stages in the history of the Rondout.  This three-part exhibit documents the arc of an American river port and its diverse community over 150 years by focusing on changes to Broadway, Rondout's central commercial strip.


    Visit the Reher Center online.

  • 22 of 27

    TRANSART & Cultural Services

    Somebody’s Calling My Name: Free and Half Free

    Exhibit, Music and Discussion Panel

     Photos by Jim Peppler, Courtesy of TRANSART


    This exhibition and its programs make a statement about American history and the significance of all its citizens.  The exhibit is a chronology of people of African descent in the Mid-Hudson River Valley of New York State from its earliest arrivals in the 1600’s to the first half of the 19th century. It traces the history of the people and the community’s efforts to gain legal and social equality from the Dutch period to the end of the 19th century.


    Visit TRANSART online.

  • 23 of 27

    Ulster County Clerk’s Office Colonial Game Days


    Visitors to the Persen House are invited to try their hand at many entertaining and historic games including Game of Graces, Jacob’s Ladder, Hoop Rolling and Whirligigs just to name a few.  Step behind our “Colonial Kids” portraits to see what you might have looked like in colonial dress.  Bring your family and see how different or perhaps similar games and toys were in the 18th century as compared to those of today! 

  • 24 of 27

    Ulster County Historical Society Historic Tools Presentation


    Ulster County Historical Society board member Bill Merchant displays tools and building implements from the UCHS artifacts collections.  The goals of the UCHS are to act as curator and collector of significant Hudson Valley artifacts, documents and cultural items, and to educate the community on the very important role the Hudson Valley and particularly Ulster County has played in the formation of our great nation.


    Visit the Ulster County Historical Society online.

  • 25 of 27

    Woodstock School of Art—Plein Air Demonstration

    and Costumed Figure Drawing Class

     Bottom Photo Courtesy of the Woodstock School of Art


    Woodstock School of Art with instructor Staats Fasold brought his Plein Air watercolor and drawing class to the Persen House.  Plein Air painting and drawing is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape.  Artists were in and around the Persen House as they created beautiful new works of art!

    Woodstock School of Art instructor Les Castellanos presented an experiential art demonstration.  Students demonstrated costumed figure drawing with a live model in colonial dress.


    Visit the Woodstock School of Art online.

  • 26 of 27

    Woodstock School of Art

    O+ Festival Event

    Hands-on Printmaking and Mixed Media Art

     Photos Courtesy of the Woodstock School of Art


    Woodstock School of Art offers an interactive art making event at the Matthewis Persen House.  Visitors can stop by for unique and engaging hands-on experiences in printmaking and mixed media art creation. WSA instructor Melanie Delgado will present visitors with a "Mystery ART Bag" filled with mixed media materials to create their own 'unknown' piece of ART. Savannah Baker, our printmaking instructor, will guide visitors to hand print using black etching ink different X designs with pre-cut linoleum blocks. Finished prints will be hung to dry on an outdoor line, strung in a “X” shape, making the event part workshop / part installation. Participants will be able to take home their creations after they have dried. This is an art opportunity for all ages to experience creating on the X SPOT Art.


    Visit the Woodstock School of Art and the O+ Festival online.

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    Special Thanks to All Guest Hosts!



    For more information about the Matthewis Persen House Museum or to schedule a personal or group tour, please contact the Ulster County Clerk's Office at (845) 340-3415 or archives@co.ulster.ny.us.