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
Call 914-667-4116 for information and reservations.
Rebecca & Benjamin Turner Commemoration
Celebrate the Mt. Vernon School District's renaming of two public schools honoring Rebecca and Benjamin Turner, former manumissioned slaves who lived in the shadows of St. Paul's. Event includes music on the historic Erben pipe organ, student presentations, traditional African drummers and a floral homage at the grave of Rebecca Turner in church yard.
Hear Lisa Parrot New York based jazz virtuoso, liven up the historic church with the deep sounds of the Baritone Sax, accompanied by keyboard. Also, enjoy a talk about the history of St. Paul's.
Autumn Music & History
10/9 - Hear Pamela Sklar perform selections of music for flute from across the world.
Explore 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. Tour the historic church and burial yard.
Join a walking tour of the Split Rock Golf Course, in Pelham Bay Park, site of the Revolutionary War battle of Pell's Point. Reservations required. Call 914-667-4116 for reservations and information.
Candlelight Tour & Colonial Concert
Tour the historic cemetery by candlelight. Visit the graves of soldiers and civilians who lived through the era of the American Revolution and hear a performance of 18th century folk music by Linda Russell & Companie in the historic church. Refreshments served.
Commemorate Revolutionary War
Join a day-long commemoration for activities including: talks on the American Revolution, musket demonstrations, militia drills, period music and crafts. Also see dozens of re-enactors representing the armies that fought in the Revolutionary War.