296 Fair Street Kingston, NY 12401
Hours: Seasonal Visiting Hours
Mid-April through October: Sunday 11-5
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM
Phone: (845) 338-2786
Historical Description: One of twenty-one colonial houses in the Stockade Area, the residence of Dutchman Abraham Van Gaasbeck, a colonial merchant, located in the heart of Kingston, served as the meeting place for the first Senate of New York State in September and October 1777. The Provincial Convention adopted the State's Constitution in the village on April 20, 1777. The arrival of the British expedition at Rondout Creek in October forced the delegates to flee to Hurley. Major General John Vaughan and his British troops burned the capital, including the Van Gaasbeck house on October 16 before continuing north in an attempt to divert American forces from the already doomed Lieutenant General John Burgoyne and his army at Saratoga.
The Site: Visitors to the site may tour the two-story museum building built in 1927, thirty-nine years after New York State acquired the rebuilt Senate House as its second historic site in 1887. Among its treasures are major art works by John Vanderlyn and other members of the Vanderlyn family of Kingston, dating from the 1720s through the 1870s, as well as notable paintings by Ammi Phillips, Joseph Tubby, James Bard, and Thomas Sully. The Senate House is now furnished as a residence of the early Revolutionary period.
Directions: Thruway, I-87, take exit 19 for Kingston and proceed around the traffic circle to Washington Avenue, Business District Exit. Take Washington Avenue to Schwenk Drive at the second traffic light. Turn left and take Schwenk Drive through the stoplight at the shopping center entrance and straight up the hill to a stop sign. Bear left onto Clinton Avenue, the site's parking lot is immediately on the right.
Research Patron: Peter Bienstock