Commemorating the 300th Anniversary of the Gomez Mill House in Marlboro, New York, June 19-22, 2014

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  • 06 / Jun / 2014
  • 10 / Jun / 2014
  • 10 / Jun / 2014

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative



LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION commemorating the 300th Anniversary of the Gomez
Mill House in Marlboro, New York, June 19-22, 2014

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to commend the efforts
of those who seek to bring recognition to historical places within the
State of New York, and in doing so, help to ensure that the complete
history of our State and Nation is preserved and shared with present
generations of citizens; and
WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to commem-
orate the 300th Anniversary of the Gomez Mill House in Marlboro, New
York, to be celebrated June 19-22, 2014, at ceremonies in both New York
City and Marlboro; and
WHEREAS, Built in 1714, the Gomez Mill House in Marlboro, New York, is
one of the oldest continuously lived in residences in the United States;
a home to numerous historic families of traders, artists, and patriots,
this institution also holds the distinction of being the oldest surviv-
ing Jewish dwelling in North America; and
WHEREAS, This remarkable landmark was founded by Luis Moses Gomez, a
prominent Sephardic Jewish businessman who with his family fled from
Spain to escape persecution; this leader of the early New York City
Jewish community helped finance and construct America's first synagogue,
the Mill Street Synagogue in New York City for Shearith Israel, the
oldest congregation in America, and also served as its first parnas
(president); and
WHEREAS, At the age of 60, Luis Moses Gomez purchased the 4,000 acre
property in Marlboro, New York, to build the Gomez Mill House; he
erected a single-story fieldstone trading post and dwelling for his sons
to trade European and Caribbean goods with travelers, settlers, and
Native Americans; it remains the foundation and first floor of the house
to the present day; and
WHEREAS, In 1772, ownership of the Gomez Mill House passed to Wolfert
Ecker, a local Revolutionary War hero and post-colonial leader; the site
served as center of patriotic activism against the British and hosted
numerous secret intelligence meetings to further the cause of the War
for Independence; and
WHEREAS, After the war, Wolfert Ecker expanded his timber business and
started the Ecker Ferry, while also becoming the first elected official
in Orange County; he added a second story level to the Gomez Mill House
in the classic colonial-Dutch style; and
WHEREAS, In 1835, the historic grounds were purchased by Edward Armst-
rong, a Scotsman and military officer who planted orchards, added mills
for grain, and built one of the first plank roads; and
WHEREAS, A renaissance family of diplomats, artists, authors, and
entrepreneurs, the Armstrongs contributed greatly to the quality of life
of the people of Newburgh and New York State; their relatives include
former New York Governor Hamilton Fish and former members of the United
States House of Representatives; and
WHEREAS, The Gomez Mill House was then purchased in 1912, by renowned
Arts and Crafts artisan Dard Hunter, who built his iconic paper mill on
the site; it was here he produced America's first completely handmade
book; visitors from around the world have come to visit this place where
Hunter worked and to study his papermaking, typography, and book binding
methods; and
WHEREAS, This property's final owner of historical significance was
the extraordinary human rights activist, Martha Gruening; a white found-
er of the NAACP and confidant of W.E.B. Du Bois, she was a noted poet

and muckraking journalist, as well as an advocate for civil, women's,
workers, and children's rights; and
WHEREAS, Martha Gruening established a Libertarian school at the Gomez
Mill House modeled on the Modern School of Will and Ariel Durant in New
York City; at this school, children of all races, creeds and economic
backgrounds would receive an education without prejudice; and
WHEREAS, In 1979, the Gomez Foundation for Mill House was founded by
the descendants of its former owners and other dedicated community
members; its mission was to preserve this unique historic house, and to
educate the public about the contributions of its former owners to the
multicultural history of the Hudson River Valley; six years later, the
foundation purchased the site and established a public museum chartered
by the State of New York; and
WHEREAS, Today, this important touchstone of the American experience
hosts over 4,000 local, national and international visitors each year,
offering regularly scheduled informative and interactive public programs
and tours; a popular program offered in the Newburgh Educational School
District has brought third graders to the site for the past 19 years;
WHEREAS, The Gomez Mill House with its remarkable history, is a testa-
ment to the tenacity, entrepreneurial spirit, and diversity of all New
Yorkers; and
WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is pleased to have this opportunity to
express its highest admiration for the Gomez Mill House, and for all of
the individuals who have worked to bring proper attention to a place and
time which merits recognition in the grand panorama of the history of
our State and Nation; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the Gomez Mill House in Marlboro,
New York; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the Gomez Foundation for Mill House.


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