Catskills, Then and Now: Senate House at Kingston, New York

April 11, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Stockade District, Kingston, Ulster County

 

The Senate House in the historic Stockade District of Kingston was the meeting place of the first New York State Senate in September and October 1777. The elected representatives met in this simple stone house that was constructed in 1676 and owned by Abraham Van Gaasbeek, a local merchant. The patriots adopted a government system that included a governor, a lieutenant governor, senate, assembly and judiciary, a system that is still in place today. Members of the Senate spent little time working there as they had to evacuate Kingston in October as British troops under the command of Major General John Vaughan made their way north from Manhattan, plundering the Hudson Valley. The British attacked Kingston on October 16, 1777, burning over 300 homes, barns and buildings. New York State acquired the property in 1887. The Senate House is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information about this historic building check out The Old Senate House, 1777, City of Kingston, N.Y., published in 1883 and authored by Frederick Edward Westbrook.

 

The first vintage postcard was published by the Hugh C. Leighton Company located in Portland, Maine. The postmark shows that it was mailed in 1911. The second vintage postcard was published by the Kingston News Service located in Kingston, New York. The postmark shows that it was mailed in 1949. My photograph was taken in the autumn of 2013 over a century after the first postcard.

 

1911

Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the old Senate House in the Stockade District of historic Kingston, New York.Kingston, N.Y. Old Senate House and Clinton Ave.Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the old Senate House in the Stockade District of historic Kingston, New York. The postcard was published by the Hugh C. Leighton Company located in Portland, Maine. The postcard was manufactured in Germany. The postmark shows that it was mailed in 1911.

 

1949

Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the historic Senate House located in the Stockade District of Kingston, New York.Old Senate House, Kingston, N.Y.Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the historic Senate House located in the Stockade District of Kingston, New York. The postcard was published by The Kingston News. The postmark shows that it was mailed in 1949.

The caption on the back of the postcard reads: “OLD SENATE HOUSE (Clinton Avenue near North Front Street) – oldest public building in the United States. Built in 1676, it was the meeting place of the first Senate of New York State in 1777. George Washington opened a Masonic Lodge here in 1782. Owned by the state, and contains a valuable collection of Colonial articles.”

 

2013

The Senate House in the historic Stockade District of Kingston was the meeting place of the first New York State Senate in September and October 1777.The Birth of New York StateStockade District, Kingston, Ulster County

The Senate House in the historic Stockade District of Kingston was the meeting place of the first New York State Senate in September and October 1777. The elected representatives met in this simple stone house that was constructed in 1676 and owned by Abraham Van Gaasbeek, a local merchant. The patriots adopted a government system that included a governor, a lieutenant governor, senate, assembly and judiciary, a system that is still in place today. Members of the Senate spent little time working there as they had to evacuate Kingston in October as British troops under the command of Major General John Vaughan made their way north from Manhattan, plundering the Hudson Valley. The British attacked Kingston on October 16, 1777, burning over 300 homes, barns and buildings. New York State acquired the property in 1887. The Senate House is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information about this historic building check out The Old Senate House, 1777, City of Kingston, N.Y., published in 1883 and authored by Frederick Edward Westbrook.


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