Saturday, October 4, 2008
My husband, Mr. Man can trace his family in America back to 1660 and even further in France. Antoine Crispell came from France on the Gilded Otter Ship and settled just off the Hudson River with eleven other Dutch families. Antoine was a successful farmer and land owner and upon his death he willed this stone house to his daughter Jannetje and her husband Nicholas Hoffman. The couple raised nine children in this Kingston, New York house. Today the Hoffman House is a wonderful restaurant that we enjoy visiting every year. The interior has been restored and it is easy to imagine the Crispell/Hoffman family once living there. We are usually seated in one of the dining rooms, which was most likely the bedroom for many of the children. My children are so lucky that they have such an intimate connection to their paternal family history. They can touch stone walls that their ancestors built 400 years ago!The Gilded Otter is a wonderful new restaurant in New Paltz, New York named after the ship that brought Antoine Crispell to America. The Gilded Otter is another spot the kids enjoy visiting and it's just a short walk down the cobblestone street to the oldest street in America. Some of the original stone houses from the 1660's are still standing and available to tour. The Crispell Family rebuilt the old stone church and it is fascinating to see this glimpse back in time.