Rosendale, NY – Perrine’s Bridge in Rosendale was the setting as Ulster County Executive Mike Hein unveiled one of four historical informational markers recently installed at Ulster County heritage sites. In addition to Perrine’s Bridge, sites included the Matthewis Persen House, the Ulster County Courthouse, and the Poorhouse Burial Grounds. These historic locations are just a sample of the many historic treasures that have helped to shape the culture of Ulster County.
“Ulster County has a vibrant cultural history and the installation of these historical informational markers will help make history come alive for our visitors and residents alike,” said County Executive Hein. “I am pleased that these amazing landmarks now have important historical facts beautifully displayed to accompany the site, allowing all those passing by to appreciate its history. As we approach Ulster County’s Cultural Heritage Week, October 17 – October 26, it is a great reminder of the historic wonders we can enjoy right in our own backyard.”
The Matthewis Persen House is one of the oldest, most significant buildings in Ulster County. The house is named after its longest resident Matthewis Persen (1739-1819) and has been owned by Ulster County since 1914. The Persen House has been burned down at least twice, has witnessed wars and revolution, and was housed by doctors, tailors, grocers, druggists and innkeepers. The house has been a part of the entire history of Kingston and even pre-dates the formation of Ulster County.
The Ulster County Courthouse was constructed in 1789 and has shaped both local and New York State history. When the County of Ulster was formed in 1683, the city had a two-story stone building constructed on Wall Street to serve as a jail, courthouse and related county offices. In 1789, after the British burned Kingston to the ground, the city replaced the courthouse with a larger two-story stone structure that currently serves as the center of the Ulster County court system.
The Poorhouse Burial Grounds in New Paltz was established in 1828 after the County purchased property to be used as the County poorhouse and stood for 150 years. The two plots of land, and buildings included, made up the site of the County Poorhouse and included fifty and one-half acres. The Poorhouse was demolished in 1985 and is now home to the County Fairgournds and the public pool.
Perrine’s Bridge is one of Ulster County’s last covered bridges built around 1844. The bridge joins Esopus to the Town of Rosendale, and is thought to be the second-oldest covered bridge in New York State and the only one of the Burr Arch Truss design remaining in the state. Today, the bridge remains open to the public and marks a spot along the Wallkill that is popular for fishing and kayaking.
Additional information can be found at the Office of Ulster County Tourism at ulstercountyalive.com/landing/arts-and-culture. A link to the Ulster County Cultural Heritage Calendar can be viewed on the Ulster County website at www.UlsterCountyNY.gov or at www.ulstercountyalive.com.