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 October
For more information call 914-667-4116.
Lincoln Is Elected
A presentation exploring the Presidential elections of 1860 and 1864, helping to illuminate themes in the site's feature exhibition, "A Conservative Union Parish: St. Paul's Church and the Civil War". Call David Osborn at 914-667-4116 for more information.
There will be a presentation in the museum at 1 PM exploring the history of Columbus Day. Children can enjoy special crafts projects related to the Holiday, in addition to scavenger hunts focusing on the historic church and cemetery, with prizes. Tour the historic Bell Tower.
Tour of Pell's Point Battlefield
Take a walking tour of the Split Rock Golf Course, in Pelham Bay Park, site of the Revolutionary War battle of Pell's Point. Reservations must be made in advance through St. Paul's; space is limited; call 914-667-4116 for details.
Candlelight Tour & Historic Music Program
Explore the historic cemetery by candlelight, visiting the graves of soldiers and civilians who lived through the American Revolution; hear a performance of 18th century music by Linda Russell & Companie, in the historic Church; refreshments served -- part of the Battle of Pell's Point Encampment.
Battle of Pell's Point Encampment
An encampment that commemorates the nearby 1776 Battle of Pell's Point. It includes talks on the American Revolution, musket firing and militia drill, period music and dancing, dramatizations, crafts and cooking, historic children's games and toys, with dozens of costumed re-enactors, representing the armies that fought in the Revolutionary War.
Living history, concerts, tours and lectures.