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AJHS, Gomez Mill House Reach Creative Accord

Do you know the name and founding date of the oldest Jewish home in North America? It´s the Gomez Mill House, built in 1714 as a trading post by Luis Moses Gomez. The house is located in Marlboro, NY, just outside Newburgh in the Hudson Valley. The Gomez Mill House is one of those rare American homes lived in continuously for almost 300 years. Under a consulting arrangement between the two entities, the American Jewish Historical Society will manage Gomez Mill House, while its ownership continues in the hands of the Gomez Foundation for Mill House.

The Gomez Mill House, Marlboro, New York

Luis Moses Gomez fled the Spanish Inquisition and came to New York. He became a successful fur trader and merchant in both Marlboro and New York City. Gomez served as the first parnas (president) of New York's Congregation Shearith Israel and was one of seven Jewish contributors to the fund for building the steeple of New York´s famed Trinity Church.

After Luis Moses Gomez, the house was in the hands of Wolfert Acker, a Dutch American Revolutionary War activist, Minuteman, and later a town supervisor. The Armstrongs, a family of artists, writers, and farmers, then owned it. Dard Hunter, one of the nation´s most celebrated handcrafted papermakers and printers, purchased the house in the early twentieth century and built a paper mill on Jews Creek, which runs through the property. Finally, the Starin family bought the house, enriched its furnishings and gardens, and placed the site on the National Register of Historic Places.

Gomez House has found its way into current history, too. In 1998, the house loaned its 19th century menorah to the White House, where it was on view as part of the annual holiday display in the West Wing.

The American Jewish Historical Society is honored to undertake the management of the House and has committed its resources and expertise to the preservation and promotion of Gomez House as a teaching tool and point of interest in the vast landscape of the American Jewish experience. Joseph F. Cullman 3rd, chairman of the Gomez Foundation for Mill House and a direct descendant of Luis Moses Gomez, has said, “We are delighted to partner with the American Jewish Historical Society to preserve and promote this oldest Jewish landmark in North America. We want to expand the audience for the house and its programs, and no organization is better equipped to help us reach that goal than AJHS.”

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This section was last updated on August 19, 2014
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