NEWS RELEASE: Historic Huguenot Street to Honor Esopus Munsee at Spring Fundraiser Featuring Representation of Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation and Exhibition of 1677 Esopus Munsee Land Agreement
NEW PALTZ, NY (April 14, 2017) – Historic Huguenot Street is pleased to announce that on Saturday, April 29, between 5–7PM, it will honor the Esopus Munsee at its inaugural Spring Celebration. The event commemorates the 340th anniversary of the signing of the 1677 land agreement between the Esopus Munsee and the Huguenot refugees who established the New Paltz Patent.
To honor the Esopus Munsee as the original residents of the land, the Museum has invited representation from Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation. Ms. Bonney Hartley, Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, will speak at the event. Today, Munsee people continue to thrive as several federally-recognized Indian Nations in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and in Canada. Historic Huguenot Street looks forward to a continuing partnership with Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation to more fully integrate the story of the first people of the Hudson Valley into its future tours and programming.
In further recognition of this momentous year, Historic Huguenot Street will display the original 1677 manuscript carrying the marks of the five Esopus signers, their twenty-three Sachem witnesses, along with the signatures of the twelve Huguenot patentees and their sixteen witnesses, as well as Sir Edmund Andros, Governor of New York. The accompanying exhibition will showcase Esopus Munsee artifacts found during the Museum’s decades-long archaeological study conducted in partnership with the State University of New York College at New Paltz, and led by Anthropologist Dr. Joseph Diamond.
Guests will be treated to an exclusive preview of an authentically-constructed replica wigwam currently being built on site with locally sourced materials. Barry Keegan, Munsee Native American crafts expert and museum consultant, will be on hand to talk about its construction, and to utilize the wigwam—along with his replicas of bows, arrows, axes, dugout canoes, fire-making tools, and pottery—to recreate Esopus Munsee culture and life as it would have existed in the region at the time of the Agreement. Mr. Keegan is the former Supervisor of Native American Programs at the New York State Historical Association and Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, NY. He has built more than 80 replica wigwams and longhouses for cultural organizations throughout the country, as well as served as a consultant to the History Channel, among other clients. Historic Huguenot Street’s wigwam will serve as a semi-permanent representation and commemoration of the Esopus Munsee presence in the New Paltz area.
“The Event Chairs, Sponsors, and Board of Historic Huguenot Street, are proud to host this year’s extraordinary event,” says Board Chair Mary Etta Schneider. “We have enhanced our tours to better incorporate Esopus Munsee history and culture, and will continually augment our programming with both existing and ongoing findings from the archaeology excavations conducted on site.”
In addition to its focus on celebrating local Esopus Munsee heritage and culture, the Spring Celebration will also serve as an introduction to Historic Huguenot Street’s new Executive Director, Marybeth De Filippis.
“How fortuitous for me to join Historic Huguenot Street during this extremely significant anniversary year, and exactly at the time of this important celebration,” said Ms. De Filippis. “I so look forward to working with Ms. Hartley, and the team and Board at the Museum, to more fully develop and share the story we tell here about the Esopus Munsees—the original residents of our beautiful area.”
Hors d’oeuvres, catered by Main Course, as well as wine and other beverages will be served. Those interested in attending or sponsoring this inaugural reception, or supporting the Museum’s continued preservation and programming efforts, may register at huguenotstreet.org/springcelebration or donate at huguenotstreet.org/donate.
Funding for the wigwam and its related educational programming was generously provided by the Vernon D. and Florence E. Roosa Family Foundation Memorial Fund of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
Historic Huguenot Street is also very grateful to Event Chairs Marianne Murray and Richard Rowley, Mary Etta Schneider, and an Anonymous Donor; Event Co-Chair Stephen P. Lumb, Event Vice Chair Drs. Thomas and Corinne Nyquist; Committee Sponsors Dr. Donald P. Christian and Sandra K. Christian, G. Angela Henry, Dr. James and Linda Merrell, Vals Osbourne and José Moreno-Lacalle; and our Organizational Sponsors Alfandre Architecture, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Professional Computer Associates (PCA), and Woodland Pond at New Paltz.
A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century. It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve the nationally acclaimed collection of stone houses. Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.
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