Upstater Destinations: Church Park Historic District Walking Tour, Goshen

  |  April 5, 2012

First Presbyterian Church in Goshen, via Wikipedia

The village of Goshen is rife with historical landmarks. The Church Park Historic District, which was listed with the National Registry of Historic Places in 1980, is a triangular area in the heart of the village consisting of Church and Main Street, Park Place, Webster Avenue, and extending all the way up to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.

The First Presbyterian Church of Goshen is a good place to start. The church was built in 1871 and features a three-panel Tiffany window. The church also the site of the Maney-Hawkins Meditation Garden.

Directly at the end of the church’s walkway on South Church Street stands the Minisink Memorial. The Battle of Minisink during the Revolutionary War was an unmitigated disaster, and the monument marks a mass grave where the militia men’s bones, which were salvaged from the battlefield site 43 years after the battle took place, were laid to rest.

Minisink Memorial via Wikipedia

Right next door to the north of the church is the Orange Blossoms Monument, erected in 1907. The monument, designed by Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson, commemorates a Goshen regiment that fought with valor in the Civil War. The moment is directly across the street from the Goshen Methodist Church, built in 1884, as well as the Orange County Courthouse, an impressive Greek Revival building circa 1841 that is now the home of the Orange County Historian’s office.

Orange Blossoms Monument via Wikipedia

Goshen United Methodist Church, via the GUMC website

Orange County Court house via Wikipedia

Within the triangle is the Orange County Government Center. It’s worth a look (not that you could miss it) even if to provide contrast between its architecture and the more period building surrounding it. These days, thanks to the area being designated an Architectural Design District, any new structure must be in keeping with the historical nature of the area.

Orange Co Gov't Center, via Wikipedia

The south side of Main Street, known as “Lawyers Row”, consists of a number of Federal style buildings. Follow this street up to the Orange Inn, built in 1790 and now a nice restaurant called Limoncello, and north to the harness racing museum and the Goshen Historic Track, the oldest continually operating harness racing track in America (or the oldest harness racing track in the world, according to their website).

Limoncello at the Orange Inn

The Goshen Chamber of Commerce website lays out two, much more detailed walking tours, both of which hit all of the historical high-points of the village. And just to give you give you a bird’s eye view of our recommended walking tour, we included a GMAP of the area. The “A” marks the First Presbyterian Church. Now get out there and enjoy some history!

About Kandy Harris

Kandy is a writer and musician/music teacher living in Saugerties, NY.

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