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.