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 May & June
St. Paul's Historic Dinner
The Historic Dinner commemorates the 250th anniversary of St. Paul's Church, whose construction began in 1763. The event features a historical talk, period meal, music, and honoree. Call 914-667-4116 for ticket reservations and details. Site will be open this day from noon to 4pm for regular tours.
Soldiers' Stories & Songs
In celebration of Memorial Day, there will be walking tours recalling the lives and stories of soldiers interred in the historic cemetery, as well as music, living history demonstrations and talks.
18th Century Folk Music
Enjoy a free dulcimer and fiddle concert featuring music by Anne and Ridley Enslow. Light refreshments will be served. There will also be a 6pm tour of the historic cemetary, weather permitting.
Festivities include a hay ride through the historic cemetary and Colonial-era music, dancing, crafts, games, and arms. There will also be special tours of the Church Bell Tower, a recital on the historic pipe organ and talks exploring colonial life.
Lunchtime Music & History
Light refreshments served
5/8: Marking Death in Colonial America, walking tour of cemetery
5/15: St. Paul's Church and the Civil War
5/22: Church Tower Walk
5/29: Collegium Westchester, music for organ, violin and bass
6/5: "A Tree grows at St. Paul's" walking tour
6/12: Peter Lawrence, jazz clarinet, accompanied by keyboard
6/19: Talk and discussion about the Revolutionary War Battle of Pell's Point
Living history, concerts, tours and lectures.