Ulster County CourthouseCounty Ulster Courthouse
County Ulster Courthouse
Since 1683, the building on this site has accommodated the activity of district and state civil servants. Today's Ulster County Courthouse, built in 1789, has featured prominently in the state of New York's heritage. Kingston was established in 1658 by the Governor of the Netherlands, Peter Stuyvesant, as a fortress on the Hudson River, but in 1666 the British took over New York.
In 1683, when the county of Ulster was founded, the town had a two-story brick edifice built on Wall Street to act as a prison, courthouse and related district authorities. Throughout the Revolutionary War, this courthouse was central to the establishment of the first New York State administration. When the British conquered New York in 1776, the New York citizens entrusted with the creation of a new state charter escaped from New York and finally reached Kingston in February 1777.
Deputies, headed by John Jay, resided at the Ulster County Courthouse, convening a constituent convent and adopting a new charter in April 1777. The Supreme Court of the State of New York opened its first session in the courthouse in September, with the assembly in a taverna and the Senate session in the old stonehouse of Abraham VanGaasbeck.
However, a new New York administration became a "government on the run" again a mont ly later, when General Vaughan of Britain and 1600 regular guests of Britain came and burnt Kingston to the ground. 2,000 people were killed. In 1789, the town was gradually reconstructed and the courthouse was gradually superseded by a large two-storey brick building, now the centre of Ulster County Courthouse.
A number of important incidents also took place in this courthouse; Sojourner Truth, the renowned abolitionist and feminist, successfully rescued her boy from enslavement by reasoning his case here. The county invested $5.5 million in 1997 to renovate the inside of the facility to enhance the court, heat, air condition, sanitary and electric installations.
Considering the importance of the courthouse, the restorers also conducted an external revaluation without endangering the structural heritage of the edifice. Today Ulster County has one of the most beautiful and historically important farms in New York. Ulster County Courthouse is situated in the old Stockade district of Wall Street 285.