Photo Friday: a 19th century photographic journey (photo 14) – “At Attention”

On the Street has been on a short hiatus for the past month, but we’re back.  We’d also like to congratulate Julie Traywick. Julie is the winner of our Photo Friday contest and can redeem her prize for a free tour here at Historic Huguenot Street.

Additionally, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Faiqa and I’m a new intern here at Historic Huguenot Street. I’m a junior at SUNY New Paltz, studying Secondary Education and History.

I will be the new blogger on our site and hope to continue the Photo Friday posts, as they provide a glance into the past two centuries of local history. Working here for only a few weeks has already taught me that some of the streets of New Paltz share the same names of these old houses and the people that lived in them. I hope to learn all that I can and invite you to participate in my discovery of Huguenot Street.

This week’s photograph features twelve cadets standing at attention. They are standing at what was the New Paltz Normal School. Behind the cadets we can see bales of hay that were used for bayoneting practice. New Paltz has a long history of sending troops off to war. As early as the American Revolution, there have been soldiers from New Paltz and its  surrounding areas participating in warfare.

The history of the New Paltz Normal School is a interesting one. The building once stood near the foot of Huguenot Street, where condominiums now stand. The term “normal” was used to designate schools that taught students to become teachers. From the school’s onset, its intentions were to groom and educate future teachers. These cadets are standing outside of a building that was very important to the early New Paltz community. The Normal School went through several additions, one major renovation and a devastating fire which occurred in 1906. Eventually, the decision was made to move the school to its current location on the SUNY New Paltz campus. In 1909, the State University of New York opened the new Normal School and gave the name “Old Main” to the cornerstone building.

As a current student at SUNY New Paltz, it surprised me to know that Old Main was so closely tied to Huguenot Street. It reassures me that I am studying education at a school that has been training teachers for decades.

For more on the history of the Normal School, see our exhibit, Education in a Valley Fair, on HRVH.

~Faiqa

This entry was posted in Education, History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Photo Friday: a 19th century photographic journey (photo 14) – “At Attention”

  1. Mary Etta says:

    Faiqa, Welcome to HHS! This is a terrific blog – personal and informative. i am looking forward to the next one. I believe that some of the buildings at SUNY New Paltz are also named for the early settlers of New Paltz.

  2. Paul Doolittle says:

    Wow, that is a very stressful and fatiguing way to hold a rifle at attention. Good thing we don’t do it that way anymore.

  3. Peter LeFevre says:

    Very interesting blog. I never knew this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s