Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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History repeats itself 7th Annual Ulster County Cultural Heritage Week


Hein, right, welcomed guests including George Clinton, New York's first governor
and the fourth vice president of the United States

KINGSTON – One of the Founding Fathers of our nation joined Ulster County Executive Michael Hein Tuesday afternoon, outside the Senate House historic site in Uptown Kingston.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t begin by recognizing our governor, who has joined us here today – Governor George Clinton,” Hein joked to the small crowd of historians and officials, announcing the 7th Annual Ulster County Cultural Heritage Week, kicking off this Friday, October 13.

“I will tell you, for being in excess of 200 years old, he looks extraordinary,” Hein laughed. The gentleman introduced was in fact a colonial re-enactor, one of many who will be participating in scheduled events, culminating with the Burning of Kingston next weekend.

Uptown Kingston served briefly as the first Capitol of New York State during the American War for Independence, until British forces razed the village in October 1777. A mock invasion now commemorates the incident every two years.

Governor Clinton, a Revolutionary War hero, fought alongside President George Washington, later becoming the first New York Governor and fourth US vice president. He died in office in 1812, and is buried outside the Old Dutch Church, just one block away from the Senate House.

“We have an absolute plethora of historic sites that really capture the entire spectrum,” Hein explained. He highlighted, for example, Huguenot Street in New Paltz, one of the nation’s earliest European settlements. “It’s breathtaking, and awe-inspiring.”  

Interest in historic sites significantly contributes to the $500 million annual tourism industry within Ulster County, Hein noted. The economic boost from historic tourism recently helped attract a $10 million development grant from the current New York Governor – Andrew Cuomo.

“How blessed we are, to live in a place like this, so rich in history of every different kind. Just imagine through time, what has brought us here today, and the great shoulders that we stand upon as we speak,” Hein said. “We have the ability to stand in places where George Washington slept.”

County historian Geoffrey Miller and County Clerk Nina Postupack also made brief remarks. An exhibit at the clerk’s office will highlight the reconstruction efforts made by local citizens after their village was burned down by Redcoats.

For a complete calendar of events and activities, visit: http://ulstercountyny.gov/cultural-heritage-week


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