Peacocks in Kingston

There are many towns called Kingston, two in England alone and there is one in New York State as well, the county seat of Ulster County.  European settlers arrived around 1652 and started to farm where the Esopus Indians had been growing maize for generations.  Peter Stuyvesant was asked to mediate after vandalism on both sides broke out.  He designated a stockade at the top of a hill to be settled by the Europeans and this remains the centre of the town.

Most of the big old houses have become offices for lawyers representing clients at the Ulster County Court.  This court house saw the first trial won by a black parent, Sojourner Truth.  Despite her illiteracy she successfully argued her son’s case.

Painted peacocks were on display, showcasing local artists with the intent of raising money to re-build a playground in a local park.  There are 25 overall, but I didn’t know that until after my visit didn’t look for them all.

There are also many murals in the town only one of which being an advertisement.

One other remarkable collection is this set of plaques, similar in style to those denoting historic figures or places, in this case however criticising current society.

For daily pictures from this blog you can follow me on tumblr. at and on Twitter @tash_higman.   You can follow the current journey ‘live’ by liking the Travel-Tales page on Facebook at where I also post additional small titbits that don’t fit into the twice-weekly blog posts.


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