Schoharie County

Church named to state, national historic registers

The village will soon be home to another state and nationally recognized historic site, Gov. Andrew

The village will soon be home to another state and nationally recognized historic site, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.

The 218-year-old St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Main Street will be placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places along with 27 other sites in New York state. Buildings and sites on these registries are eligible for state grants and federal funding that can assist in revitalization projects.

“It’s wonderful to have this recognition for such a beautiful and important building in our community,” said Schoharie town Historian Anne Hendrix.

The church is among many buildings in the historic town that date back 200 years or more.

Schoharie resident Arlene Price played a vital role in conducting the research necessary to complete the National Register of Historic Places application for St. Paul’s.

She was confident the site would be accepted, as many similar sites in the area were already listed.

“For a site to be considered, it has to be either architecturally or historically significant. In this case, I think we met both of these requirements with all three of the sites,” Price said.

The historic site will officially include the church sanctuary, which was finished in 1796, the manse/clergy house, which was finished in 1801, and the St. Paul’s cemetery, located directly behind the sanctuary.

“The church has been continuously used in the village since its construction and continues to play a significant role in the community,” added Price.

In the recent past, the site has been host to numerous community events, from youth group meetings to community fundraisers.

The oldest burial in the cemetery dates to 1778, but there are many unmarked graves and missing tombstones that could go back even further.

Veterans of both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 are among those buried in the historic graves.

In her research, Price also found five U.S. congressmen are buried there.

The interior of the sanctuary and manse were heavily damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, but necessary repairs have been made.

Price said the congregation is looking to repair the sanctuary’s slate roof, which sustained damage from the ongoing battering of Northeast weather.

The congregation is looking for another agency to help with repairs, but they first needed to be on the state and national registers to be eligible for assistance.

Price said they are hopeful that with the announcement, it won’t be long before the historical site is in pristine shape.

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