Explore. Learn. Protect.
The National Park Service's Junior Ranger program began in the 1960s and was adopted to help children and their families explore and learn about their national parks, cultivating future generations of park stewards. Participate in our Junior Ranger program, and learn about the rich and fascinating history of St. Paul's Church National Historic Site. Download your own copy of our Junior Ranger booklet for the site to bring with you when you visit St. Paul's. Finish the activities to be sworn in as a St. Paul's Church Junior Park Ranger!
Dear Junior Ranger:
Welcome to the St. Paul’s Church National Historic site junior ranger program. We recommend that you download the booklet and complete the activities, if you cannot visit our site at this time. When you are done, you can print out the pages and, mail them to us at: St. Paul’s Church N.H.S., attn.: Junior ranger Program, 897 S. Columbus Av., Mt. Vernon, NY 10550. Or, if you prefer, attach the completed booklet to an e mail, and send to the website e mail, at Contact Us. Either way, please be sure to include your return address so we can send you the badge.
Our site has now fully re-opened, and we welcome visitors according to our usual schedule of operations -- from January to June we are open Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, and the second Saturday of each month, noon to 4 PM; from July to December we are open Tuesday to Saturday, 9 to 5. In that regard, if you visit us, you should be able to complete the junior ranger progam.
However, we understand that public health or other concerns may prohibit actual visitation to our national historic site. For that reason, we have compiled this addition to the regular book to help you answer some of the questions and activities that might be difficult to answer, even with a formal visit. In doing this, sometimes we refer you to other parts of the St. Paul’s website to find the answers. Some of the questions can be answered without the need of additional information.
Are you ready to begin, okay, let’s go:
Spell It Out:
On the eve of the American Revolution, an enslaved African American woman named Libbe lived with the family that owned her, at the Crawford’s tavern, across the street from St. Paul’s Church.
On July 11, 1776, a community leader named John Thomas, who lived in Harrison, New York, gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Westchester County, on the steps of the court house at White Plains. .
The Battle of Pell’s Point, an important engagement between the American and the British, was fought about a mile from St. Paul’s Church on October 18, 1776. A brief article about the battle appeared in a Massachusetts newspaper on October 31, 1776.
Captain William Evelyn, of the Light Infantry Company of the Fourth Foot, British Army, died from wounds received at the Battle of Pell’s Point.
To learn about the scene of the heaviest fighting at the Battle of Pell’s Point, please look at an article titled “Battle of Pell’s Point,” on this website, following this link:
Exploring St. Paul’s Church
You should be able to identify the two kinds of materials that were used in constructing the church by looking at any of the pictures of the church exterior either in this booklet, or in other areas of the website.
If you need help in determining how the church was used during the Revolutionary War, please look at this article on the St. Paul’s website:
For an answer to the question of why the pew walls in the church were so high in 1787, please take a look at this article. https://www.nps.gov/sapa/learn/historyculture/st-pauls-church-history.htm
People who did not make donations to the church, and did not own one of the rectangular pews, would be the ones who sat in the gallery, which was free.
To learn about when the pipe organ was built, take a look at this article on the St. Paul’s website.
For information on the St. Paul’s bell, please read this article on the St. Paul’s website: https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/for-whom-the-bell-tolls-the-story-of-the-st-paul-s-bell.htm
Three people who have held the office of President of the United States have attended religious services at St. Paul’s Church. To learn their names, please read through this article on the St. Paul’s website. https://www.nps.gov/sapa/learn/historyculture/people-presidents.htm
In 1977, the last regular religious service was held at St. Paul’s Church.
Cemetery Scavenger Hunt: (If you visit us, you should be able to complete this section without the assistance provided below.)
On a sandstone block, just above the entrance to the western door of the church, the year 1765 is inscribed.
Please look at an article that describes the story behind the plaque commemorating Revolutionary War soldiers buried at St. Paul’s, which includes information on the number of soldiers listed:
Look closely at the picture of the back of the church in the booklet and count the window panes going across on a typical row.
To learn the name of the soldier whose gravestone is decorated with a Trophy of Arms, please look for a picture in this article on the St. Paul’s website. https://www.nps.gov/sapa/learn/historyculture/stpaulschurchcemetery.htm
Elizabeth Wright is buried at the sandstone grave marker with a skull and crossbones.
To learn the name of the family buried at the large underground burial vault, please look at this article on the St. Paul’s website.
There are four names on the Benson family market, but actually only three people buried there. One of the people listed – Margaret -- is actually not buried there.