Fort History

The ownership of “The Old Fort” was as follows:

DANIEL DU BOIS (1684-1752). son of ISAAC (1659-1690) and grandson of LOUIS (1626-1696) built the stone house for his widowed mother, Maria Hasbrouck DuBois, about eight years before his marriage to Mary LeFevre. He left the homestead to a son

SIMON DU BOIS (1719-1799) who married Catharine LeFevre, and left it to a son

DANIEL DU BOIS (1750-1817) who married Catherine Bessimer. They had no children, so Daniel bequeathed the homestead to the son of his brother Isaac

DANIEL I. DU BOIS (1795-1852) who married Magdalena Hasbrouck. In the division of his estate, the property was left to his daughter

MARY DU BOIS BERRY (1838-1902) wife of Rowello William Berry. They had two daughters

MARIE ANTOINETTE BERRY LEWIS, wife of Claude Isaac Lewis, and LOUISE DU BOIS BERRY DINGMAN, wife of Dr. John Clarence Dingman of Spring Valley.

After the death of their mother, Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Dingman inherited “The Old Fort” and finally Mrs. Dingman obtained full ownership, although she never lived in the house after her marriage.

Mrs. Dingman died July 16, 1966, and bequeathed the property to her husband, Dr. Dingman, with the suggestion that some arrangement be made to transfer the homestead to an historical group to ensure its preservation for the enjoyment of future generations of Americans.

In accordance with her wishes, Dr. Dingman and Kenneth E. Hasbrouck of the Huguenot Historical Society Inc., New Paltz, New York. entered into negotiations to effect a transfer of the property. On April 10, 1968 a conveyance of the land and buildings was made to the Huguenot Historical Society.

This was made possible through the efforts of the DuBois Family Association and the interest and generosity of about 300 descendants of Chretien DuBois, as well as interested friends. This symbol of American heritage is now assured of preservation with six other stone dwellings on “The Oldest Street in America with its original houses.”

For many years Mrs. Elsie Hanna Oates conducted a restaurant in the Fort. Mrs. Oates is member #1 (honorary) of the DuBois Family Association.