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St. Paul's Church National Historic Site

This 18th-century church, located at 897 South Columbus Avenue in Mount Vernon, is one of New York's oldest parishes (1665-1980). It was used as a hospital following the important Revolutionary War Battle at Pell's Point in 1776, and was the scene of various military developments for the next six years. The church stood at the edge of Eastchester village green, the site of the "Great Election"(1733), which raised the issues of Freedom of Religion and Press. The adjoining cemetery contains burials dating from 1704.

Increasing industrialization of the area around St. Paul's Church in the early 20th century led to the decline of the parish. In 1942, as part of an effort to revitalize the congregation and draw attention to the site's historical significance, the interior of the church was restored to its 18th century appearance, based on the original pew plan of 1787. A committee chaired by Sara Delano Roosevelt, mother of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, raised funds for the project.

While the restoration initially succeeded in reviving the congregation, by the 1970s the parish had dwindled to only a handful of worshippers. The last regular Sunday service at St. Paul's occurred in May 1977. In 1980, the site was transferred from the Episcopal Dioceses of New York to the National Park Service. The site opened to the public in 1984 and is operated under a cooperative agreement with the Society of the National Shrine of the Bill of Rights at Saint Paul's Church, Eastchester.

Interpretive tours for the general public explore the fascinating history of the 240-year-old church, focusing on the 18th century. Staff-led tours take you up the 225 year old church tower to see a bell cast in 1758 at the same foundry as the Liberty Bell. You will also see and hear the sounds of the 1833 pipe organ, one of the oldest functioning organs in America. Tours of the historic cemetery -- one of the oldest in the country -- trace the changing nature of religious and secular symbolism as revealed through the stones, over 300 years.

The Museum includes historic games and toys for children. There is also a scavenger hunt, based on the Museum exhibition material, with prizes for winners. Additionally, there is a Historic Cemetery Scavenger Hunt, with prizes for winners.

Visiting St. Pauls

Regular hours for tours and programs are Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with occasional special progams on weekends and weeknights. Call in advance (914-667-4116) for information about those special programs. The site is closed on Federal Holidays.

Specifics on visiting the St. Paul's Church National Historic Site were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
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