The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church
272 Wall Street
Kingston, NY 12402
Phone: (845) 338-6759
Hours: Open 9 AM - 2 PM weekdays
Although the present Reformed Protestant Dutch Church (Old Dutch) was constructed in 1852, the congregation was organized in 1659. October 16, 1777, the British burned the edifice that had been built in 1679 and enlarged in 1752, along with the rest of the village. Among the notable persons interred in the present churchyard is George Clinton, brigadier general in the Revolutionary War, first governor of New York State, and vice- president under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. He is surrounded by some seventy Revolutionary War soldiers, many of whom were Clinton's officers. George Washington visited the church in November 16, 1782.
The 1852 Renaissance Revival style church, designed by Minard LaFever, is Old Dutch's fourth sanctuary. Noted nineteenth century designer Calvert Vaux called the architecture "ideally perfect." The church was constructed over its own ancient burial grounds. In order not to disturb the graves, trenches were dug for the walls, and no cellar was excavated. In the churchyard are gravestones dating from 1710. Stones bearing a St. Andrew's Cross identify the eighty-one members buried beneath the present church. The steeple bell, tradition says, was cast in Amsterdam in 1794 from silver and copper items given by families when they presented their children for baptism.
From NYC or Albany: Kingston is at exit 19 on the New York State Thruway (I-87). From the traffic circle after exiting the Thruway, take the second exit to Washington Avenue. At the first actual street, North Front Street, turn left and go three blocks. Take a right to Fair Street, and after two blocks, turn right onto Main Street. The Old Dutch Church occupies the full block at the intersection of Fair, Main, and Wall Streets.
Research Patron: Jane Hawkes Liddell