By Nathan Mayberg
WOODBOURNE December 30, 2003 The Woodbourne Reformed Church is now listed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places.
The United States Department of the Interiors National Park Service chose the church for representing the "religious and social history of one of the Town of Fallsburgs earliest settlement groups. The first permanent settlers of the Neversink Valley were of Dutch descent."
Some of the early leaders and members of the congregation are buried in the nearby cemetery, with grave markers dating back to 1837.
Settlements had been built in the area in the 18th century, but many were disbanded during the American Revolution. Permanent settlement did not pick up until the turn of the 19th century. The heirs of Thomas Beckman, who claimed a large portion of the land between the hamlets of Neversink and Woodbourne, began selling farms to pioneers.
The churchs congregation organized in 1802 in nearby Hasbrouck. The church was built in 1827 but burned down in 1836. The group constructed a new house of worship in 1837 and added a new tower and façade in 1849, which can still be seen today on Route 42 in Woodbourne.
Ralph English, a member of the Woodbourne Reformed Church, called it "quite an honor and achievement" to be named to the register.
In a press release, the National Register calls the church a "distinguished example of Greek Revival-style ecclesiastical architecture. . . . The small Sunday school/chapel [retains] the form and iconic bell from the school and additions made to serve as a chapel/meeting room for the church."