Before Hudson: 8,000 Years of Native American History and Culture

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Before Hudson: 8,000 Years of Native American History and Culture
Levanna projectile point - Image Source

Collection Facts


Historical Context

It is easy to think that the history of New Paltz begins with the Huguenots, but our story begins more than 8,000 years ago, long before Hendrik Hudson’s journey and generations before the Huguenots settled on the bank of the Wallkill River. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, small groups of Native Americans occupied the area around what is now New Paltz. The native inhabitants of this area have been known by many names. The Waoranecks and Warranawankongs are the bands most associated with Ulster County. The Dutch came to call these people collectively the Esopus, which is the term the Native People used to describe the place where they lived.

In 1998, Dr. Joseph Diamond, Professor of Archaeology with the State University of New York at New Paltz, established an annual summer field school at Historic Huguenot Street that continues today. Year after year, Dr. Diamond and his students have uncovered thousands of artifacts bearing witness to a rich history that had been previously untold.

Scope of Collection

This collection includes images of historic Native American artifacts found in New Paltz, including pottery, beads, and projectile points.