897 South Columbus Ave., Mount Vernon.
Open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; first Thursday of the month (except July), 1-9pm; second Saturday of the month, 12-4pm.
St. Paul's Church and the Visitor Center are accessible.
St. Paul's Church (NPS), 914-667-4116.
St. Paul's Church
A historic church and museum in Mount Vernon, New York
Built during the Revolutionary era, Saint Paul's Church is one of the oldest churches in New York. Although the church offered its last service in 1977, it is still an active site, offering a wide variety of historical programming. Saint Paul's maintains a busy annual calendar of special events including, living history, educational and children's programs as well as walking tours. The site's highlights include a 300 year old cemetery and a famous Revolutionary-era steeple bell. The adjacent carriage house serves today as an American Revolution museum.
The original St. Paul's Church, a small wooden structure, was completed in 1700. It was at the center of life in the farming community during colonial times. The oldest legible gravestone in the church cemetery dates to 1704, a time when the village was so small that only initials were needed to identify the graves. Buried in this storied graveyard are both American and Hessian soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War.
In 1763, construction of a new church got underway, but progress was interrupted by the Revolutionary War. It was near here that the famous Battle of Pell's Point took place, in which a band of Massachusetts Continental Army soldiers, outnumbered 5:1, held back the British-Hessian Army long enough for George Washington's troops to escape. When the Hessians occupied the area, they demolished the wooden church for firewood and used the partially completed stone-and-brick church as a makeshift hospital. The church's prized steeple bell, cast by the same foundry that produced the Liberty Bell, was buried during the Revolutionary War for safekeeping so that it would not be melted for ammunition. After the war, it was unearthed and hung in the belfry of the newly completed church. Regular steeple walking tours let visitors see this historic bell up close.
St. Paul's is operated under a cooperative agreement with the Society of the National Shrine of the Bill of Rights at Saint Paul's Church Eastchester, whose knowledgeable staff is available to answer any questions. The church was designated as a National Historic Site in 1943 and became part of the National Park Service in 1980.
Things to Do
Special Events in July
For more information call 914-667-4116.
Church Tower Walk
Every Friday, 3pm
Enjoy a talk and a walk up the 74 steps of the centuries-old Church tower, leading to the historic bronze bell. Weather permitting.
Independence Day Celebration
Enjoy a traditional July 4th celebration featuring music, speeches, refreshments, reading of the Declaration of Independence, and tolling of the historic St. Paul's church bell—13 times.
Tour of Pell's Point Battlefield
Take a walking tour of portions of the Split Rock Golf Course in Pelham Bay Park, site of the Revolutionary War battle of Pell's Point. Space is limited and reservations must be made in advance through St. Paul's. Call 914-667-4116 for details.
The Battle of Princeton
7/12, talk at 1pm, open 12-4
Join archeologist and historian Wade Catts at 1pm for a talk on the Battle of Princeton, one of General Washington's great victories in the Revolutionary War. Catts will explain how this 1777 New Jersey battle played an important role in the American cause. After the talk, enjoy a tour of the historic church, bell tower and cemetery.
Bayonets, Musket Balls & Ship's Bread
Enjoy a costumed demonstration about the life of a Revolutionary War soldier. Refreshments provided.
A Clash of Cultures: Anne Hutchinson's Brief life near St. Paul's Church
Learn about the interface between the local Lenape Indians, the Dutch commercial colony of New Netherland and the bold Puritan rebel Anne Hutchinson near St. Paul's in the 1640s.
Living history, concerts, tours and lectures.