Ulster County invites you to the Persen House, one of our oldest, most significant buildings. This house has witnessed so 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 12401 and let us take you on a tour!
The Persen House, named after its longest resident Matthewis Persen (1739-1819), and owned by Ulster County since 1914, has undergone extensive restoration since emergency repairs in 1999 revealed its historical significance. A Historic Structure Report discovered that it was built in five phases from 1661 to 1922. The house has witnessed the entire history of Kingston and even pre-dates the formation of Ulster County, so by touring the house, guests learn many important aspects of our local history!
The Matthewis Persen House Museum & Cultural Heritage Center Museum functions as Ulster County's Heritage Gateway. Cultural heritage groups from throughout the county guest host at the House each weekend and share their treasure troves of history and culture with the visitors. In the 2010 through 2013 seasons, the Persen House received over 9,900 visitors, including 281 international visitors from 28 different countries.
Historical societies and cultural groups from around the county have lined up again this season to host at the house on Kingston Market Saturdays. This year will welcome nine new Guest Hosts and the first music concert featuring "Heritage Folk Music" welcoming the 2014 summer equinox on June 21, 2014. Please see the Persen House Annual Schedule for all Guest Host information and activities taking place this season! It is sure to be an exciting year as we keep Ulster County's history alive!
Nina Postupack, Ulster County Clerk is sponsoring an exhibit, titled "People of the Persen House - Discovering the Van Imbroch Family". This exhibit invites the visitor to join us as we discover who the Van Imbroch's were, where they went, and why they matter. You will be introduced to Agent 1664 who will guide you through the mystery of discovering the Van Imbroch family. The exhibit also features some of the artifacts found in the house that date to the time period of the Van Imbroch's. Did these items belong to the Van Imbroch family and could they have actually been used by them?
In addition, the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History hosts an exhibit at the Persen House titled, "Rondout Revisited", which highlights the three stages in the history of the Rondout. The three phases highlighted in the exhibit include circa 1820, circa 1914 and The Urban Renewal Years.
The house is open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 4pm from May 24, 2014 through August 30, 2014. Then Saturdays from 10am to 2pm up through November 22, 2014. Admission is free so please join us at the Persen House! Tours can be arranged by appointment as well!
For further information about this and other outreach programs of the Ulster County Clerk's Office or if you are interested in guest hosting at the House please call Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack at (845) 340-3040.