Frog Alley Park in Uptown Kingston will host the fifth annual “Scarecrows at Frog Alley” on Saturday, October 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will take place at the ruins of the Louw-Bogardus house in Kingston, off North Front Street, adjacent to the Wiltwyck Fire Station in the Stockade Historic District.
Scarecrows at Frog Alley features stylish scarecrows creatively crafted by members of the community, competing for prizes that include Best Design, Most Original Concept and Most Frightening Creation. Artwork from Kingston elementary schools will be on display and the Forsyth Nature Center will bring some of its farm animals.
The event is a joint endeavor of the Junior League of Kingston and Friends of Historic Kingston. The latter are the custodians of the ruined site, having purchased what was left of the 17th-century Louw-Bogardus house in the 1970s to save it from the wrecking ball. The property is one of the oldest known sites of a working sawmill and gristmill in Kingston, and has yielded significant archaeological remnants of early Dutch porcelain and 17th-century bricks. Today the nonprofit preserves the property as an outdoor historical teaching venue and small park.
The original section on the right-hand side of the property was built – most likely in the 1660s – by a laborer named Pieter Cornelissen Louw, who had a milling business. By the end of the American Revolution the property belonged to the Bogardus family, who were masons. After serving as rental property from 1816 to 1929, it was sold to a Harold Shaw, and remained occupied until it was gutted by a fire in the 1960s, three centuries after it was built.
And Frog Alley? Well, that name came about literally, from the land being used as a footpath at one time that traveled through a swamp populated with frogs. When the Friends of Historic Kingston bought the ruins in 1975, the Common Council voted to change the name of the street from Converse Street back to its original moniker of Frog Alley.
Scarecrows at Frog Alley, Saturday, October 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free, Louw-Bogardus House ruins, Frog Alley, Uptown Kingston; (845) 339-0720, www.fohk.org.