October 14 8:00 am - October 15 5:00 pm

Additional Information

Friday October 13 through Sunday October 15
Location – Throughout Kingston New York

The Burning of Kingston is a fun weekend-long commemoration that draws thousands of visitors to Kingston New York. During the weekend actual historical events are reenacted at different locations throughout Kingston. The weekend also includes a Colonial Grand Ball, event exhibits, cemetery ghost tour, Redcoat and Militia camp tours and demonstrations, and more. All listed events are free to the public unless specifically noted.

For complete information about the 2017 Burning of Kingston including a complete event schedule, directions, maps, videos, and how to volunteer, visit the website at www.BurningOfKingston.com


The Story of the Burning of Kingston
At the Vanderlyn Gallery of the Senate House Museum.
Presentation and lecture on the events leading up to the Burning of Kingston, life as a local Kingston colonist at the time, and the events that occurred that day and its aftermath. Pres: by Hank Yost of the First Ulster Militia
Procession of Lights
Drift back in time following the Story of the Burning of Kingston to the first reeanactment of the weekend. Procession leaves from the Senate House and crosses the heart of the Stockade to the Persen House.
The GREAT DEBATE by Colonial Kingston Committee of Safety
Located at the historic Persen House – reenactment of the town residents hearing the news of Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga, discuss fears of British invasion, hear of the British landing at Kingston Point, and debate what to do next!
Old Dutch Church Cemetery Candlelight Tales
Come hear the true story of the Burning of Kingston as the long-dead rise up to provide first-hand accounts of that dreadful ordeal.
Cost: $10/pp

10am - 4pm
Organ music throughout the day
“Revolutionary Express” Trolley Ride
Take a ride back in time on the trolley from Kingston’s historic Rondout district out to Kingston Point Park where you can watch at close-range and comfort the landing of the redcoats off the Hudson River and then battle with colonial militia. ($5/pp – pick up at 10:30 sharp at end of Broadway, includes return trip by 12noon – LIMITED SEATING) For info and tickets:www.tmny.org
A dramatic British invasion reenactment begins with "landing" at Kingston
Point Park along the Hudson River (NOTE: not Kingston Point Beach), battled by small resistance force of Colonists.
(Parking available at park, and city ‘Broadway’ bus shuttle is available)
11 - 5
Visit the Hudson River Maritime Museum to learn about the strategic naval importance of the Hudson River during the American Revolution, and learn to play “Nine Men's Morris”, a game popular in the 18th century. From 11:30 am to 2 pm. Museum open Fri-Sat and Sun from 11am – 5pm ($7/pp, seniors and children $5/pp) www.hrmm.org
Test your meddle at 18th century style bucket-brigade contest! Located: Kingston Volunteer Fireman’s Museum, 266 Fair St.
At Senate House, American colonists flee Senate House with key possessions including important
county and new state capital records.
British Troops arrive at Senate House, replace the Colonists with the British flag, 'dispatch' colonial resisters, and prepare march through Stockade District.
British troops will advance up Fair Street and turn at Main Street in the Stockade District, attacked by remnants of the local militia, with street reenactments along the way.
Red coats will march down Main Street to Green Street
and then Crown Street, and arrive at the historic 4 corners of Kingston for final street battle scene (John & Crown Sts.).
Following the afternoon's fighting, the Redcoats will hold a victor’s ceremony and dispatch with the Mayor of Kingston.
6:30pm – 8:00pm
Militia and Redcoat Camps Open to Public
Reenactor camps open to public viewing with impromptu lectures on the Revolution (Rebellion) at Forsyth Park.
The Grand Ball, with live music and located in the Common Council Chambers of the historic Kingston City Hall, is a fun time to come dressed in 18th century attire (or not!) and dance to the real-oldies! Music from the 1770s is fun for all ages! Free dance lessons provided starting at 7pm, followed by the ball.
Bus shuttle will begin running from Forsyth Park to City Hall (with stops along the way) starting at 6:15pm and running continuously for the evening. Last shuttle from City Hall leaves at 11:30pm

9:00am – 12:30pm
Militia and Redcoat Camps Open to Public
At Forsyth Park, reenactor camps are open to the public for viewing. safety inspections, company drills, and demonstrations.
11am (sharp)
Military Camp Tour and Drill Demonstrations
The only scheduled tour of the camps, along with opportunities for visitors to test their abilities with 18th century drills and camp life.
The 'Battle of Upper Forsyth Park' – a live-action tactical demonstration showing how American and British troops battled in 1777. Location – Forsyth Park.

For more info visit: www.BurningOfKingston.com
Additional Kingston Event Information for October 13-15, 2017


Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack is proud to present a series of activities taking place at the historic Matthewis Persen House Museum and Cultural Heritage Center commemorating the 240th anniversary of the Burning of Kingston. The Matthewis Persen House is one of Ulster County’s oldest, most significant buildings. Named after its longest residing owner, Matthewis Persen (1739-1819), the house is located within Kingston’s Stockade National Historic District. Its earliest portions date from c. 1661 and it is one of four landmark buildings on each corner of John and Crown Streets. This is the only known intersection in the United States with pre-revolutionary stone houses on all four corners. The Persen House has been the home of doctors, tailors, innkeepers, druggists, grocers, and Ulster County government. It was burned at least twice, saw war and revolution, and survived to tell its tale. To walk through this remarkable building is to walk through Ulster County’s rich local history.

Gysbert’s Inventory: A Reflection of 1665 Dutch Life in Wiltwyck
The legacy of the Dutch settlers of Wiltwyck lives on at the Matthewis Persen House. The house sits on Kingston’s historic “four corners” and was originally owned by Gysbert Van Imbroch. An inventory listing Gysbert’s possessions at the time of his death in 1665 is brought to life through illustrations of clothing, kitchen items, and other articles used in 17th century daily life. The inventory also depicts items Gysbert used in his profession as a barber-surgeon as well as his book collection, one of the largest book collections in the New World. Step back in time with Gysbert’s Inventory.

Underground Tales: Artifacts from the Persen House
In 2001, Joseph E. Diamond Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology at SUNY New Paltz, led an archaeological excavation at the Matthewis Persen House. Focusing on the first phase of the house built without a cellar, Dr. Diamond and his team uncovered many of the hidden treasures that slipped through the cracks of the Persen House floor and that were found beneath the bluestone sidewalks. Explore some of the over 20,000 artifacts discovered during the excavation in the new exhibit, Underground Tales: Artifacts from the Persen House.

Colonial Game Day
Throughout the weekend, visitors to the house are invited to try their hand at many entertaining and historic games including Game of Graces, Jacob’s Ladder, Hoop Rolling and Whirligigs, just to name a few. Step behind our “Colonial Kids” portraits to see what you might have looked like in colonial dress. Bring your family and see how different or perhaps similar games and toys were in the 18th century as compared to those of today! Each game offers a unique history and skill set, whether it is pure entertainment, like Jacob’s ladder or a test of dexterity like Game of Graces. Fun for children of all ages!

Loyalty Papers
Visit the Persen House to complete your Loyalty Papers and formally pledge your allegiance to the Patriots, the Loyalists, or both! During the re-enactment the British just might ask you “To whom is your allegiance?” Will you be ready to answer? Will you say the King? Will you support the Revolution?
Make sure you’re at the Persen House at 3:00pm on Saturday, October 14th during the re-enactment of the 1777 Burning of Kingston as there will be a MAJOR battle at and around the House between the British and the local militia. Also, make certain to have your Loyalty Papers to avoid capture!
Scavenger Hunt
Developed for children of all ages! Come to the house and see how many of the items in the Scavenger Hunt you can find. Do you think you can find the Sun Face? How about the late 19th century wallpaper from France? Or the burn marks from the 1777 Burning of Kingston? Put on your detective hat and search the house for these interesting items.

Where: Matthewis Persen House Museum and Cultural Heritage Center
74 John Street at the Intersection of John and Crown Streets
Kingston, New York 12401

When: Saturday, October 14, 2017 10:00 to 4:00pm
Sunday, October 15, 2017 10:00 to 2:00pm

Admission is free and all are welcome!
For more information, please contact Nina Postupack, Ulster County Clerk, at (845) 340-3040

18th Century Autumn Festival at the Senate House
Saturday Oct. 17th 11am - 3pm

Visit Senate House State Historic Site on Saturday October 17, 2015 from 11am-3pm to try your hand at performing 18th century autumn activities. Hands-on activities are fun for the whole family and include dipping candles, making cornhusk dolls and dried apple wreaths and pressing apples into cider. There will be demonstrations of hearthside cooking and meat smoking. The Palisades Park Conservancy is also sponsoring a demonstration of blacksmithing. The 3rd Ulster Militia will be on site, demonstrating 18th century camp life and fleeing in desperation as the British Army advances on Uptown Kingston as part of the citywide commemoration of the Burning of Kingston. Light-hearted entertainment will be provided by Stephen Gratto who engages audience members with stilt walking, balancing acts and juggling. The event is free and everyone is invited to attend. Guided tours of Senate House will be provided at the rate of $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, ages 12 and under are free.
Senate House is located in Historic Uptown Kingston at 296 Fair Street


Camps for both British and American troops will be established in Forsyth Park, with Redcoats at the northern end and Continentals to the south. A large military camp in the 18th century was a very organized affair, with "camp streets" between tents, and specific locations for artillery, cavalry, the camp kitchens, water and latrines. There were even military handbooks printed explaining how camp was to be set up. Individual regiments typically were encamped together, although for certain campaigns, light infantry companies were detached from their regiments and encamped together to facilitate their use as advanced and flanking troops as well as skirmishers.

The individual soldier was usually sheltered in a wedge tent, which resembled a triangle set on its base. While these tents were not large, six soldiers were assigned to each along with all their equipment, making space tight. These six soldiers comprised a "mess" and rations were distributed to the group. Meals were prepared by each soldier in the "mess" on a rotating basis, or by a soldier's wife. One wife per six soldiers was allowed to accompany the army to serve as nurses and laundresses. Officers were housed in much larger and more spacious "marquee" tents, which allowed for more equipage including camp beds, tables and chairs. The camps in Forsythe Park are much smaller, but still show evidence of camp streets and the housing together of individual regiments.

Sunday October 18th Forsyth Park Skirmish (Battle) Description

Sunday's military skirmish will occur in the wooded area on the hill above the camps. In re-enactor language, this will be an "open tactical" with no planned moves or outcome. This allows re-enactors a chance to apply their 18th century military skills in an effort to ambush, outflank, charge and repel their adversaries. The area is part of the Park's nature preserve and has plenty of trees, brush, rock outcroppings, fallen timber and rock walls to maneuver in.