Hurley Historic District
The Hurley Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a 1976 National Park Service nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.
Hurley was founded in the Spring of 1662 by a few Dutch and Huguenot settlers from nearby Kingston. By permission of Director General Peter Stuyvesant, the new town called Niew Dorp (i.e. New Village) was laid out on the fertile bottom land of Esopus Creek. The village was scarcely started when it was burned to the ground in a raid by the Esopus Indians. The Dutch defeated the Indians with little trouble, but in a matter of months, the victors were themselves conquered by the English who seized New Netherland in the name of the Duke of York. English rule was not harsh, but in 1669, English governor Lovelace gave Niew Dorp another name, calling it Hurley, after his ancestral home of Hurley-on-Thames. Despite its English name however, Hurley remained a Dutch provincial town in language, customs, and architecture. Many of the old stone houses along Main Street are still occupied by descendants of the early Dutch settlers. Scattered nearby but away from the limits of the historic district of Main Street, are a few other old stone houses.
The Hurley Reformed Church at one end of the Hurley Historic District, was built in 1853, replacing an earlier one of 1801. Nearby, the Crispell House is the first stone house at this end of the street and was built in 1790. It is at #35 Main Street.
Although somewhat altered later, the house still boasts its Dutch doors and original hardware, as well as its very deep window sills on the stone house. The Ten Eyck House across the street was built in 1780, and is said to have been a stop on the underground railway in the next century. It is quickly recognized as being influenced by the English manner of building although maintaining the traditional stone structure of the old Dutch town.
At #33 is the Dumond House, or Spy House, one of the most historic in the town. Here in this house built prior to the Revolution, a famous spy, Lt. Daniel Taylor, who used to run messages between Sir Henry Clinton and General Burgoyne, was confined in 1777 and hanged outside on October 19, 1777.
Further down the street is the Polly Crispell Cottage (unnumbered just north of #15) built in 1735 and having many well-preserved details of building of the period...wide board floors, beamed ceilings and a pair of handsome chimneys.
Along a single street in the sleepy little village of Hurley, New York, lies a most unusual concentration of early Hudson Valley Dutch style stone houses. Despite the usual alterations wrought by the years since their construction, these stone houses preserve to an exceptional degree the flavor of an early Dutch street in New York state. Although only a few of the dozen or so houses along the main street have been even minimally researched and documented, one visiting Hurley cannot fail to appreciate the distinctive character of the town's heritage.
Hurley Historic District is the most outstanding authentic colonial stone house community. Unlike many reconstructed "museum villages," Hurley contains not restorations or reproductions but the original homes of Colonial America. Each of the stone houses has some rare feature or an unusual legend connected with its history.
Previous National Landmark staff reports, Washington, D.C.
Stone House Day Brochure, Hurley, New York 1975.