Great Newspaper Resource at the Library of Congress

The New York Sun-Library of Congress

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Over the last few years there has been a proliferation of newspaper databases that are fee based. I’m always on the lookout for free databases. I have covered Hudson River Valley Heritage as a resource, and most people by now are aware of Fulton History’s extensive database. There is another database that is also free, and it is housed in the Library of Congress. This site is part of a larger site called Chronicling America.

Newspaper research has become easier since the time of microfilm and microfiche. Sometimes the researcher still needs to use these technologies for papers that are not digitized. However, more and more newspapers are being digitized. What used to take hours or days now takes second or minutes.

The Library of Congress’s newspaper database is part of the “National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), which is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC). ” Their goal is to create an Internet-based, searchable database of “U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages.” They hope to eventually have content from all fifty states. Unfortunately, there are no Upstate New York newspapers at this time. What they do have is the New York Tribune from 1841. This is the earliest example of a New York newspaper, but it only covers two years. The earliest and most complete newspaper is the New-York Daily Tribune. It covers the years 1842-1866. Finally, The Sun also spans a large period of time from 1869 to 1916. These specific dates are not a coincidence. The program intentionally targeted material from 1900-1910. It then focused on the period from 1836-1922.

Some of the newspapers, from New York and beyond, do have news relating to some upstate stories. In some instances even stories about Ulster, Orange, and Sullivan Counties. This is one more free database for the researcher. Check back often because this site as well as others upload new titles.

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The price of beauty: birds, feathers, eradication and conservation (Part 2)

<–The price of beauty (Part 1)

 
In Newburgh, when the lens cap was removed from Remillard’s studio camera to reveal a confident young woman as confirmed by her soft eyes and warm smirk, Minnie Remillard’s feather hat provided an elegance, dignity and individuality that she was comfortable with. Remillard’s camera lens likely saw many customers dressed with plumage decorations considering he was “being rated high in financial circles.” There were certainly enough milliners involved in the trade to satisfy the demand. According to industry listings in Newburgh directories between 1856 and 1900, there were as much as twenty-seven milliners in business at one time. In the state of New York there were 22,500 identified as milliners in the 1910 U.S. Census. More than half that number concentrated in New York City where one ounce of aigrettes could sell for as much as $80.

 
Legislation or with Dogs and Shotguns

Feathers became a staple in the fashion industry as they were incorporated in millinery, fans, gowns, capes, parasols and muffs. Birds were also hunted to make artificial fishing flies and as specimens and taxonomy development by collectors and ornithologists. It’s estimated that in the early years of the twentieth century, the plumage trade claimed the lives of 200 million birds a year.

Detail. Chadborne & Coldwell Ad.

Feather fashions were also reinforced by unrelated industries attempting to appeal a specific customer type or associate their products with the elegance of a fashion savvy woman. Trade cards for the New England manufacturer of C. L. Jones & Co.’s Tulip Soap routinely featured women and young girls in feather hats (top image, see Part 1). Locally, the Newburgh manufacturers of Chadborn & Coldwell lawn mowers featured many women in their advertisements, one of which is fashionably dressed while pushing an Excelsior Side Wheel Mower in a feather trimmed hat.

Although many, including ornithologists, believed that the supply of wild birds were inexhaustible, others took notice to their rapidly decreasing population. Influential naturist and writer, John Burroughs, regularly identified with ornithologists and birders throughout his career. In 1886, he published an essay in Signs and Seasons expressing a deep concern for fate of birds by collectors and especially profiteers when he wrote, “the professional nest-robber and skin-collector should be put down, either by legislation or with dogs and shotguns.”

Other writers, politicians, members of supporting groups, the clergy, women’s organizations and humane societies joined in the effort to inform the public about human influence on bird populations. Throughout the 1880s the idea of identifying, observing and enjoying birds in the wild grew in popularity and by the end of that decade some of the earliest field guides to American birds are published.

Then there was the rise “economic ornithology,” a branch of bird study that set out to justify the existence of birds by identifying their positive or negative impact. Raptors and passerines were helpful to farmers by eating harmful insects and small rodents. Fishermen followed gulls and terns with the belief that circling flocks indicated school of fish. Other bird species were seen as beneficial as guano producers and scavengers.

High-tension power lines that cross migration routes are a major threat to Whooping Cranes.

George P. Marsh, an American environmentalist, discussed in his 1864 book Man and Nature the “new circumstances” affecting bird populations by humans, which included the hazard of lighthouses. Migratory birds traveling at night were attracted to the light beams, which caused death by collision. Modern lighthouses are fitted with re-engineered lights and are no longer dangerous.

Today, there are new “new circumstances” threatening bird populations that include power lines, communication towers, uncovered oil waste pits, wind turbines and airplanes. A big killer of birds is buildings. According to a report by Scott Loss of Oklahoma State University published in 2014, it’s estimated that between 2 to 10 percent of the bird population in the country suffer this fate annually.

It may be hard to imagine the Hudson River as a thriving estuary for shorebirds as staging posts or wintering grounds due to the overshadowing, but significant history of industry and trade.

The milliner industry countered arguments by saying these groups were overreacting to a long-standing industry that employed thousands of workers. Curious customers were told that feathers were plucked harmlessly or collected during molting. However, hunters knew that the best time to harvest high quality and valued feathers was during breeding seasons when birds grew new feathers to attract breeding mates.

 
Popular Birding

Image captured in New Windsor, New York ca.1909 shows a full bird arranged as a decoration on the woman's hat.

The movement to protect birds gained momentum despite the efforts by the milliner industry. Advocate organizations like the American Ornithologists Union and Audubon Society continued to grow in membership and influence. Unsatisfied with laws covering birds before 1890, the Audubon Society hired wardens to patrol the east coast, protecting bird colonies and breeding grounds from threats like milliner agents. In July 1905, Warden Guy Bradley became the movement’s first martyr when he was shot and killed by poachers while protecting waterbirds in Oyster Key, Florida.

Bird preservationists continued to advocate for better laws to protect threatened species. By the end of the eighteenth century, Labrador Duck and Great Auks became extinct and the days of the Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet and Heath Hen were numbered. In 1900, Congress passed the Lacey Act, which prohibited the sale of poached game across state lines. Plumage became illegal to import when the Federal Tariff Act was passed in 1913. Then the United States was encouraged to sign a treaty with Great Britain (on behalf of Canada) in 1916 to protect migratory birds, which passed into law two years later. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act made it unlawful to “pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill,” or “sell” a migratory bird of any of its parts (includes nests, eggs and feathers).

This battle against the plumage trade was won.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act remains the bedrock federal protection for all native wild birds. To kick off the treaty’s centennial year this January there has already been a violation. An 18-year old Texan was arrested and charged on January 14 with illegally shooting and killing two whooping cranes, a species recognized as critically endangered. The International Crane Foundation claims that there are 600 Whooping Cranes in the world. He faces up to six months in prison and a $15,000 fine.

After World War II birding in America grew rapidly popular and small birding and wildlife clubs were forming across the country. Today, it’s reported by U.S. Wildlife Service that bird watching is the number one outdoor recreational hobby in the country. Locally, an Orange County chapter of the Audubon Society meets monthly in Goshen. There is also the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club that meets in Cornwall. Both organizations host talks and lead excursions into sanctuaries to study, protect and enjoy birds.

Balmville Tree, 1908 postcard. Collection of Elizabeth Werlau.

Between 1948 and 1987 one such group existed in Newburgh called the Goudy Wildlife Club. It was named for Frederic and Bertha Goudy, influential typographers in the print world, because of their “great love of nature, especially birds.” They managed bird sanctuaries at the Goudys’ former estate in Marlboro, Old Town Cemetery in the City of Newburgh and Algonquin Park in the Town. They worked with the Palisades Park Commission to organize bird counts in Orange County that were published in the Newburgh News. In 1954, they reported 100 species of bird spotted, 109 in 1955, 151 a year later, and so on.

The group was also instrumental in the preservation of Newburgh’s beloved Balmville Tree. When the historic tree appeared unhealthy, they oversaw a much needed tree surgery in the 1950s. An increment core taken from the tree in 1953 determined the tree’s true age of 254 years, which debunked myths that surrounded it. And they conducted a campaign to raise funds for its long term care.

They succeeded at motivating the youth by holding contests in bird house building and essay writing on nature. School children, members of the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts were always welcomed.

Although birding remains popular through today, the group’s membership dwindled by the 1980s. In a letter to the Audubon Society by the Club President, Miriam H. Petraeus, admitted the club was disbanding “because of the aging of its members and our inability to attract younger members.” The group’s final act was to close their bank account and distributed monies under the directive that “having been collected locally, should be used locally.” The Newburgh Historical Society received their donation with a letter dated February 4, 1987. Providing closure, Miriam wrote, “through this small way, we can feel that we have contributed to the beauty of the Crawford house, and so to the uplift of Newburgh, the city of our beginning.”

The Goudy Wildlife Club finally closed their books, but not before finding a priceless beauty in nature as it is, actively preserving it and teaching it to anyone willing to learn. They’ve become a local presence in a larger history that is still learning to provide an elegance, dignity and individuality without an irreversible cost to nature.

The last page of the Wildlife Club’s minutes is titled, “The Final Chapter,” composed by Miriam Petraeus in May 1987, outlines the last few years of the group’s existence. The final sentence: “We hope there will be others to follow in our footsteps.” Read More »

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The price of beauty: birds, feathers, eradication and conservation (Part 1)


The price of beauty commonly refers to an individual’s cost of attractiveness. It frequently becomes the punch line as we force ourselves to accept discomfort. The “price” can also refer to the large amount of money one spends on maintaining attractiveness, how health may be affected by certain beauty practices or, more broadly, society’s role in it all. Sometimes, however, the demand for attractiveness goes beyond individual sacrifice and takes a toll on the environment enough to lead to extinction, murder, prison and inspire acts of conservation.

 
Mad Hatting

Minnie M. Remillard was a regular in her father’s Water Street photography studio. At the age of nineteen, Abraham B. E. Remillard migrated from his home country of Quebec to New York in 1855, eventually taking up residence in the rapidly growing Village of Newburgh on the Hudson River. First listed as an ambrotypist (photographer) in an 1856 directory, he started a career in photography that proved to be prosperous. Minnie was born in 1863 and as soon as she was old enough to sit through the photographic exposure, she became her father’s model. Her portrait was captured many times at that studio until Abraham left the business in 1892. This collection of photographs now at the Newburgh Historical Society reveals Minnie at various ages, poses and fashions.

Minnie Remillard, ca. 1880. Collection of Newburgh Historical Society.

The most recent photograph in the collection was likely captured sometime in the 1880s judging from Minnie’s apparent age. The shape of her brow and heavy-lidded eyes are features she inherited from her father. Her dress falls in line with fashion of the late nineteenth century when the idealized female silhouette shifted attention away from a fuller lower body to upper body, neck and head. Her hat nearly as large as her head, adorned with a decorative brooch and ostrich feathers, is especially interesting.

How much of the ostrich did it take to fill in this hat? How frequently were bird feathers worn as hat and bonnet trimmings?

The market shooting of birds to fill the demand in the millinery trade – the business of designing, making and selling hats – exploded in the late nineteenth century. Before 1850, ornamental plumage was popular in both Europe and Colonial America among the wealthy and aristocrats, but feathers were drawn from a few species of birds. Population surges and overall economic prosperity throughout the nineteenth century sparked more consumption, higher demand and the supply pool of feathers was expanded to include a variety of other species.

The world’s biggest consumers included England, France and the United States.

T. Gilbert Pearson, American conservationist and a founder of the National Audubon Society, delved into French custom records for an accurate number of plumage sold on the markets. He determined that 50,300 tons of plumage (approx. weight equivalent of 20,530 Hummer H3s) entered France between 1890 and 1929.

Detail. Harper's Bazaar, 1896.

One anecdote provided by American ornithologist and bird preservationist Frank Chapman illustrates feather consumption in New York City in 1886. He claimed that during two afternoon excursions through Uptown Manhattan three-quarters of the 700 women’s hats he counted displayed feathers from forty different kinds of native birds.

At first, any concern for bird populations was held by a minority. Harper’s Bazaar, an unusual voice among them, expressed in an 1896 issue that if a movement doesn’t arise to respond to “this lavish use of feathers,” then “some of the rarest and most valuable species … will soon be exterminated.” However, through the turn of the century this publication continued to guide trends in feather fashions.

The New York milliner industry eventually grew to cater to the tastes of the entire country, from Maine to Texas. Read More »

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A Look at Christmas Past

santa-cartoon-1871 Library of Congress


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So it is the holiday season again. A time for shopping, cooking, and to make New Year’s Resolutions. Historically speaking, it feels as if it is a ritual as old as time itself.  It made me want to reflect on yesteryear, and what newspapers were reporting on this time about 100 years ago.

There of course were the advertisements hoping to lure shoppers in with the promises of bargains. In 1910, S. Baker and Son, on the Strand in Kingston, took out a full page in a local paper. They proclaimed that their store was a “Mecca for Christmas shoppers.”  They declared that they had “toys for the little ones, substantial gifts for the older ones; in fact everything to make a joyous Christmas for one and all.”

Churches celebrated the days leading up to Christmas by putting on shows for their congregations. On December 22, 1911, the M.E. Church in Kerhonkson performed “Joy to the World.” It was packed house. Even the first Christmas trees were a reason to celebrate in the local newspapers.

It was proclaimed a joyous occasion when the first train load of Christmas trees arrived by way of the Ulster and Delaware railroad on December 19, 1907. They had recently been cut down in the Catskills. People became excited as the train unloaded its cargo signaling the countdown to Christmas with dreams of a white Christmas.

As Christmas approached on December 19, 1907, wishes for a white Christmas came true. Seventeen inches of snow fell on December 19.  It left parts of Ulster County looking like a winter wonderland. Although we won’t have a white Christmas this year, it is still a magical time as Christmas trees appear, Santa Clause makes his presence known, and this year’s holiday season becomes history.

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A Note to Our Readers

Abraham and Tad Lincoln(1864) Library of Congress

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As the year comes to a close, History & Heritage would like to take this opportunity to thank our readers for another good year! We have seen the interest in this site continue to grow.

We look ahead to 2016 with more coverage of local history events, articles, press releases and trends in local history. It is our hope to add at least two more writers. In addition we are pleased to announce that we will be covering noteworthy book releases that deal specifically with Ulster, Orange, and Sullivan Counties. If you would like to have your book considered to be featured on History & Heritage, please send examination copies to History & Heritage: The Hudson Valley & its Hinterlands C/O Erik Gliedman 40 Mulberry St
Middletown, NY 10940.

We wish our readers a happy holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

Posted in Appalachian Mountains, Bringing the Wicked to Justice, Catskill Mountains, Cemeteries, Covered Bridges, Education, Firefighting, Historic Sites, Hudson River, Landmarks, Lost Landmarks, Monuments, Museums, Orange County, Picturing the Past, Press Releases, Shawangunk Mountains, Strange Stories, Sullivan County, Ulster County, Wars | Leave a comment

Grant Visits Newburgh

Grant 1865 - Library of Congress

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There have been many notable individuals who have visited Washington’s Headquarter in Newburgh during its one hundred and sixty six years. One of its most prestigious was a visit by President Ulysses S. Grant. He visited the historic site on August 7, 1869. It was part of a larger tour for the 18th President of the United States.

Mayor George Clark was the first mayor of the newly incorporated city of Newburgh. When he heard that Grant would be touring the area, most notably West Point, he sprang into action. With the good wishes of the common council, Clark, along with J.T. Headley, Alfred Post, and James W. Taylor waited on President Grant. During a meeting of the common council of the City of Newburgh, on June 17th, 1869, an invitation was extended to President Grant to visit Newburgh as well as Washington’s Headquarters. They asked when would be a convenient time for him. Grant accepted the invitation, and believed he would visit in July 1869.A committee swung into action in anticipation for what was billed as the first ever visit of a sitting president to the city. Grant decided to visit Newburgh on August 7, 1869.

A special carriage road was constructed for a procession that would start at the wharf when the Steamboat M. Martin docked. It was no coincidence that this steamship was chosen. The M. Martin was used by Grant during the Civil War. F.Van Loon Ryder wrote, that the Martin was chosen as General Grant’s dispatch boat…After the Confederate Capitol fell to Union forces, President Lincoln and General Grant visited Richmond and held conferences aboard the M. Martin.” The escort would include municipal authorities, military, firemen, civic societies, which brought the President of the United States to Washington’s Headquarters, Newburgh. The local G.A.R. post refused to participate. They were “displeased with the ousting of a one-legged soldier from the office of post master of this city and the substitution of a politician in his stead.” This was after, they alleged, Grant assured the veteran that he would remain in his post.

Washington's_Headquarters_Newburgh_NY-Library of Congress

Mayor Clark cabled to Grant, at West Point, that the Steamship M. Martin would be docked at the wharf at 10:00 am. Grant replied to the mayor that he would depart aboard the steamer at 10:05 am. Aboard the ship were Secretary of State Fish, General Pitcher, General Porter, Mayor Clark, and J.T Headley among others. Grant arrived at 11:00am, and was paraded by carriage through the streets of Newburgh to Washington’s Headquarters. Clark gave a short speech, followed by a toast. Grant deferred his own speech saying, “You do not expect any person to make two speeches in one day; therefore you will not expect me to respond.” After a tour of Washington’s Headquarters, Grant was wined and dined at the home of Mayor Clark.

President Grant left Newburgh in the early evening. Once again, Grant and his entourage, left Newburgh aboard the M. Martin. They headed south, but this time not to West Point.  Newspapers reported that his next stop was Cold Spring. This first presidential visit to the city of Newburgh was talked about for a long time.

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Historic Ulster County in Gingerbread

A Holiday Display at Bevier House Museum
December 5 and 12, 2015

(Marbletown, NY) – A delightful holiday season exhibition of historic Ulster County buildings, created from gingerbread, will be on display at the Bevier House Museum in Marbletown during two consecutive Saturday open house celebrations.

The gingerbread house exhibition will take place on Saturday, December 5 and Saturday, December 12, both days from 11:00AM to 4:00PM. Admission to this winter wonderland will be $10 for general public, $25 for families (4 individuals), $7 for Seniors and children under 12, and $5 for UCHS members. Free for children 4 and under.

The event is sponsored by Ulster County Historical Society.

The gingerbread houses include the French Church on Huguenot Street, the 18th century Tack Tavern in Marbletown, the Saugerties Light House, the Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, the Cragsmoor Stone Church, John Burroughs’s Slabsides in West Park, the Stone Ridge Library, Locust Lawn in Gardiner, the Kripplebush School House, and the Andrew Snyder House (a/k/a the “tile” house) in Rosendale.

The exhibit is a collaborative effort of several local historical societies, including Historic Huguenot Street, the Hurley Heritage Society, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. Also contributing are the Stone Ridge Library, area bakers such as the Hudson Valley Dessert Co., historians, individuals and members of the Ulster County Historical Society board.

The Bevier House Museum will be decorated magnificently for the holiday season. The gingerbread house exhibition will feature live holiday music, a gift raffle and gingerbread cookie decorating for children. Visitors can partake of Christmas cookies and hot cider.

The Ulster County Historical Society (UCHS) was established in 1859 and thrived until 1862 until its founder, State Senator George C. Pratt, was mortally wounded in 1862 at the Second Battle of Bull Run. Revived in 1930 by Judge G.V.D. Hasbrouck, the UCHS has a twofold mission: to act as curator and collector of significant Hudson Valley artifacts, documents and cultural items, and to educate the public on the pivotal role that Ulster County has played in the formation of the nation. The Bevier House on Route 209 in Stone Ridge serves as the UCHS museum space. UCHS sponsors numerous educational and cultural events from May 1 through the end of December.

For information on future UCHS events, visit www.ulstercountyhs.org.

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What are your Memories of the Kerhonkson Bridge ?

Kerhonkson Bridge-AJ Schenkman

During my time living in Kerhonkson, this old bridge was replaced by a newer structure. Although the newer bridge symbolized hope for revitalization of the hamlet, there was a lot of history surrounding the old bridge. One of the more notable figures was the ghost of Sam Kettle.

I am no longer a resident of Kerhonkson, but I learned a valuable lesson during my time there.  I saw, by way of the firehouse, how history can unify a community. This is centered around the proud role that Kerhonkson played in the canal history of New York State, railroad history, the French and Indian War, and even the American Revolution. Friends of Historic Kerhonkson was founded to build a community spirit around this long history.

What are your memories of this bridge?

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Holiday Tour of Private and Public Spaces Rarely Open

Decorated front parlor of the Crawford House.

Visitors to Newburgh’s Historic District are awed by its architecture and its views of the Hudson River. For over thirty years, supporters from all over have joined the Newburgh Historical Society in celebrating a treasured architectural history during the annual Candlelight Tour of Homes.

The self-guided tour will take place this year on Sunday, December 13, between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The authentically decorated 1830 Captain David Crawford House, the Society’s headquarters located at 189 Montgomery Street, is the starting place for the Tour.

The house tour features a diverse assortment of over a dozen public and private spaces within and beyond the City of Newburgh’s East End Historic District. This includes mansions, estates, structures in the rehabilitation process, new construction, architectural gems and some of Newburgh’s most important landmarks.

The Society’s goal is to get visitors through the doors of local houses to see their inner beauty. Generous homeowners put up decorations showcasing their homes’ historic significance or their modern take on holiday expression.

Tickets can be purchased online through the Society’s website, newburghhistoricalsociety.com, or by calling (845) 561-2585. Visitors can save $5 off the regular $30 ticket price by purchasing tickets in advance. A guide booklet and a custom map will be provided to add historical context and enrich the visitor experience.

 
 
The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands was launched unofficially when the Hasbrouck House (Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh) was in danger of demolition after the Revolutionary War. The current Society, incorporated in 1884, has always been an advocate for Newburgh’s history. The Society’s headquarters, 1830 Captain David Crawford House, was purchased in 1954 to save it from demolition and symbolizes their dedication to preserving and protecting Newburgh’s assets.

The Crawford House, a historic house museum and Society’s headquarters, located at 189 Montgomery Street within the City of Newburgh’s Historic District is open for tours on Sundays between 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. or by appointment. View the “Growing Up In Newburgh” exhibit, a community exhibit featuring the photographs and memories of Newburgh from the 19th century through the 20th century. For more information about admission, tours, or programming please call (845) 561-2585.

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The Tower of Victory

Tower of Victory-AJ Schenkman

General Washington made Jonathan Hasbrouck’s house his military headquarters from April 1782 to August 1783. It was in this fieldstone dwelling that Washington received word that the war was coming to a close, and thousands of troops quartered in nearby New Windsor, were to be furloughed home.  The 100th anniversary was due to occur in the fall of 1883. In addition to a celebration, it was decided that a monument of some kind needed to be constructed.

There were two centennials in the 19th century at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh, New York. The first occurred in 1876 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the nation’s independence from England. In 1883 there was a second centennial celebration marking the 100thanniversary of the “disbandment [of troops] under proclamation of the Continental Congress of Oct. 18, 1783.”

Tower of Victiory with Roof-AJ Schenkman

The centennial celebration was to be held on October 18 1883. It was eventually decided that a structure needed to be built to commemorate the anniversary. Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of late President Abraham Lincoln, was placed in charge of the project. According to The Centennial Celebration and Washington Monument at Newburgh, NY Report of the Joint Select Committee, “Mr. Maurice J. Power, who has had a wide experience and great success in monumental structures,” was to prepare a design. Mr. John H. Duncan of New York was the artists and architect. Work on the Tower of Victory commenced in 1886 with financial help from the United States Government, and New York State.  It was completed in the winter of 1887.

Once constructed, A. Elwood Corning, late city of Newburgh Historian, wrote that the tower had “four large archways opening in to an atrium, one on each side, and in the center of the atrium, upon a polished pedestal of red granite, would stand a life size bronze statue of Washington.” Washington was in the act of sheathing his sword symbolizing the end of hostilities. The statue was sculpted by William Rudolph O’Donnell.

Hasbrouck House and Tower of Victory-AJ Schenkman

In addition to the atrium, each side of the Tower of Victory represented a branch of the military service that served during the American Revolution. They are located in parapets near the top of the structure. These are as follows: dragoons, artillerymen, riflemen, and line officers. The statues are all made of bronze. According to one report by Col. John M. Wilson, the “cost of the four statutes would be $5,000 each.” Many agreed a gate would be needed to prevent vandalism. An ornate bronze gate would cost over $10,000.

The foundation of the tower was in part made from Rosendale Cement. Stone was quarried near Newburgh, as well as from a quarry in Albany. Finally, white Indiana sandstone, was incorporated into the tower, and the floor “blue stone flagging.”

According to a descendant of the Hasbrouck Family, Walter Case Anthony, who wrote a history of the property, believed that many in Newburgh were unimpressed by the Tower of Victory. He wrote about his dislike in the third person. “Like many other citizens of Newburgh he does not admire the Tower of Victory and deems it a disfigurement of the place.” Anthony believed it to be too ornate.

Once completed, the citizens of Newburgh and beyond were able to ascend the tower by way of a staircase to the top of the tower. Once at the top, there was an observation deck allowing the visitor views of the property, in addition to sweeping views of the Hudson River. This would come to an end with a hurricane in the 1950s. The roof was badly damaged, and eventually removed. When the roof was removed, the tower was locked and citizens, for the most part, were not allowed to tour the monument.

The Tower of Victory has again made the news. A century of exposure to the elements, it is badly in need of repairs and restoration. The replacement of roof has also been deemed a priority. A campaign was launched to raise money for a full restoration. When the restoration is completed, citizens will enjoy the Tower of Victory for another century.

Posted in City of Newburgh, Historic Sites, Hudson River, Landmarks, Monuments, Museums, Orange County, Revolutionary War, Wars | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment
  • Blog Author

    AJ Schenkman

    A.J. Schenkman is the author of numerous books and articles. He is Consulting Historian for Historic Huguenot Street and Town of Gardiner Historian. Read Full

    Elizabeth Werlau

    Elizabeth Werlau is an English teacher in the Hudson Valley and is the historian for the Town of Plattekill in Ulster County. She has authored and contributed to several books on regional history, including her most recent publication, Murder and ... Read Full

    Debra Conway

    A former Features writer/Columnist for the Times Herald-Record and Director of Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History in Narrowsburg, Debra Conway is currently the Executive Director of The Delaware Company, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ... Read Full

    Matthew Colon

    Matthew Colon is the Director of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands. He has interpreted the American Revolution at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site since 2009. He currently assists other history focused volunteer ... Read Full
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