Newburgh Historical Society Needs Photographs for its New Exhibit “Growing Up In Newburgh”

Cutting grass with a junior-size lawnmower alongside Uncle Jack on his Johnston Street Lawn.

NEWBURGH, NY – Do you have fond memories of growing up in Newburgh? Do you have a couple of photographs that might help us tell that story? The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands is seeking photographs from the public that depict familiar scenes of their childhood in Newburgh. For the upcoming exhibit, “Growing Up In Newburgh,” we’d like photos showing families at Downing Park in spring, marching in a parade, lined up for the movies, ice skating at the “Polly,” sleigh riding, shopping downtown, taking the ferry, going to Pete’s Hot Dogs, dancing at your first prom or just playing at something really fun.

We want this exhibit to bring back memories and help our community see our city as we first saw it, through children’s eyes and those of their proud parent photographers.

Family posing near the tulips and pergola of Newburgh’s Downing Park during Easter in 1952.

As Russell Lange, curator of the exhibit, expressed in his proposal, “This is an exhibit we can build together as a community to tell our story.”

Photos can be mailed, emailed, or arranged to be scanned at the Society’s headquarters, the Captain David Crawford House, by May 1, 2015. For more information about the exhibit or submitting photographs please visit the Society’s website (www.newburghhistoricalsociety.com), email them at historicalsocietynb@yahoo.com, or call (845) 561-2585.

The “Growing Up In Newburgh” exhibit will open to the public on June 7, 2015.

The Crawford House, located at 189 Montgomery Street within the City of Newburgh’s Historic District, is open for tours by appointment during the winter season. Admission is $5.00 per person. For more information about admission, tours, or programming please call (845) 561-2585.

 

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.

Posted in City of Newburgh, Hudson River, Museums, Picturing the Past, Press Releases, Town of Newburgh, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Thank You New Paltz First Responders

New Paltz NY

NEW PALTZ, NY (April 13, 2015) – Historic Huguenot Street will launch its 2015 Spring Season on Saturday, May 2 from 10 am – 5 pm. To recognize the role the community plays in the success of Historic Huguenot Street’s tours and programming, the Grand Opening will feature a variety of free activities for all ages across the National Historic Landmark District, including live music, colonial games, and historic vignettes performed throughout the day.

In addition, Historic Huguenot Street will be hosting a picnic in honor of the brave work of New Paltz first responders from the Police Department, Fire Department, and Rescue Squad. The public is invited to stop by the Deyo House lawn to recognize these individuals and their generous contributions to our community (in case of rain, the picnic will take place in Deyo Hall, 6 Broadhead Avenue). All first responders and their families are welcome to tour the historic houses free of charge.

“This year’s programming promises to be our best yet,” said Mary Etta Schneider, President and Board Chair. “Our professional staff is dedicated and passionate about the preservation and interpretation of our village’s history. The contributions of our new Scholarly Advisory Board, plus input from the local community, ensure that our tours and interpretations will be both academic and engaging.” The HHS Scholarly Advisory Board is chaired by SUNY New Paltz Professor Dr. Louis Roper.

The interactive “In-the-Moment” tours that debuted last year have been updated for the new season and will continue on weekends and during newly extended Friday evening hours. In addition, Historic Huguenot is introducing a variety of new docent-led guided tours and a number of special interest tours, led by experts in material culture and historic preservation.

Rates and a schedule of tours are available at huguenotstreet.org/hours-rates.

A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century.  It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve the nationally acclaimed collection of stone houses.  Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York Department of Education, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.

A.J. Schenkman, Historic Huguenot Street’s Consulting Historian, teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books include “Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County,” “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More,” and “Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh: Home to a Revolution.”  A.J. has columns in both The New York History Blog, and is a history blogger for The Times Herald Record. He has been featured in numerous publications, venues , radio, and television.

 

Posted in Education, Firefighting, Historic Sites, Press Releases, Town/Village of New Paltz, Ulster County | Leave a comment

Weatherman Abraham Hasbrouck

Abraham Hasbrouck House Green Street Kingston-Author

A frequent refrain in my household is, “when will the cold and the snow end!” Weather forecasters proclaimed this winter to be the worst in the history of the Hudson valley. A bold claim for sure. Though unofficial, Abraham Hasbrouck recorded in his diary winters that seemed to be as bad if not worse during his lifetime.

There are several copies of Abraham Hasbrouck’s diary. Some sources report that the original diary has been lost, and some believe that General Henry Sharpe was the last person to have the original manuscript. He was married to the daughter of Abraham Bruyn Hasbrouck.  A.B. Hasbrouck was the grandson of the original keeper of the diary.

The two most popular transcriptions of the dairy belong to The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and one that appears in the Kenneth E. Hasbrouck Sr.’s mammoth genealogy on the Hasbrouck family in America. This copy, according to Kenneth E. Hasbrouck Sr.’s, was transcribed from Joseph E. Hasbrouck of Modena. One of the difficulties when working with these various documents is that transcribers sometimes omitted parts of the diary, while others corrected spellings, and in some cases, added their own words.

Abraham Hasbrouck, who started the diary, was born in 1707, in Guilford, New York, just outside of New Paltz in Ulster County. He was the grandson of one of the founders of New Paltz, who shared the same name. In order to differentiate the many Abrahams, the founder of New Paltz is known by local historians as the “Abraham the Patentee,” a reference to the patent (land grant) that he helped secure. Abraham the Patentee’s family had fled Europe because of religious persecution (they were Protestants in a largely Catholic country) and they arrived in Esopus in the 1670s, settling at what became New Paltz. His first son Joseph married Elsie Schoonmaker in 1706, shortly after securing a large grant of land in Guilford. Abraham Hasbrouck, the keeper of diary, was their first son.

Today, the diary is mostly used by genealogists in order to ascertain birth dates, relationships, families, death dates and other information about family members or events related to the Hasbrouck family. There is an interesting aspect of the dairy often overlooked or not included. Abraham Hasbrouck made observations about the weather most notably unusually harsh winters. The three harshest winters that Hasbrouck recorded were the winters of: 1740/1, 1779/80 and 1784/85. They were characterized by their long duration, cold and large amounts of snow.

The winter of 1740/41 started in December. This winter was characterized by the large amount of snow and the extreme cold. Snow was not measured in inches, but instead in feet. In many places in Kingston, where Hasbrouck lived, the snow was 4 to 5 feet high. He continued that drifts were so high that citizens had to shovel roads through snow to get from one place to the other. During this winter the Hudson was frozen solid enough that Hasbrouck was able to ride his horse and sleigh on the River until March 20th 1741. The winter of 1740/1 was etched in the memories for many years to come until the winter of 1779/80.

Abraham Hasbrouck recorded from his residnence on Green Street, that like the hard winter of 1740/1 this winter too started in Decemeber. It would be remebered not so much for the snow, but for the severe cold. It was “so severe a cold for most part of the winter that the like has never been known by the oldest living in the country.” It seemed to surpass the Cold Sabbath of 1778; called such because the cold came on suddenly on a Sunday in January. Once the low temperatures set in, mills did not run and firewood ran low. The populace suffered during this winter as suppplies ran low.

In response to the dwindling firewood and supplies, indivdiuals used the frozen Hudson to journey by horse and sliegh to New York City as well as Staten Island. Some even crossed the Long Island Sound, which was frozen solid, from New London, Connecticut to Long Island in search of firewood to keep warm. Eventually warmer temperatues and a thaw came to Hasbrouck’s world in late March 1780. Between 1780 and 1785 the winters appear to be typical because Hasbrouck does not mention them. This changed in the winter of 1784/85.

Unlike the winter of 1779/80, this next hard winter was to be remebered not for the cold, but like the Hard Winter of 1740/1 for the large amount of snow which started in December 1784. Hasbrouck recorded that he was able to ride his horse and sleigh across the Hudson at the mouth of the Rondout until April 9th. It would continue to snow in Kingston until the 19th of April 1785. There was still snow on the ground until April 23, 1785. He commented that the snow during the winter was mostly “stiff and hard and not great for sleighing.”

Abraham Hasbrouck’s Diary is a good source for investigating the weather in Kingston, New York. However, it does have its limitations as a record of weather events. We do not know exactly how cold it was because there is no actual number; just severe cold. It also does not shed light on how much snow was actually on the ground or how it was being measured. One thing is for sure, I have never witnessed the Hudson River completely freezing over from Kingston to New York City or the Long Island Sound completely freezing over to allow for horse travel.

A.J. Schenkman, Historic Huguenot Street’s Consulting Historian, teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books include “Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County,” “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More,” and “Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh: Home to a Revolution.”  A.J. has columns in both The New York History Blog, and is a history blogger for The Times Herald Record. He has been featured in numerous publications, venues , radio, and television.

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Walk and Talk the American Revolution: A School of Instruction at the New Windsor Cantonment

The critical role of New York during the Revolutionary War is unavoidable. The remnants of this history lie among its residents. Historic markers, landmarks and historic sites constantly remind us of the area’s significance, drawing visitors from all over. They exhibit stories about the aggression between the patriots and loyalists, the military struggle for the important Hudson River and the bystanders caught in the middle. Throughout the year reenactors will be called upon to participate in major events as walking exhibits of the past. Looking for an authentic experience, visitors will crowd before them and witness demonstrations of camp life, musket and cannon firings.

 

Image courtesy of New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site

Brigade School

Where do these Revolutionary War enthusiasts learn to walk and talk like their 18th century counterparts? Who teaches them how to interpret history to the public? For the past 53 years, fresh and seasoned living historians have been coming to the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site for just that. The Brigade of the American Revolution returns to the place of the Continental Army’s last encampment with their School of Instruction on April 25th and 26th between 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. For the first time this two day event will be shared between two sites. Following a day of the Brigade School and weapons firing demonstrations at the Cantonment on Saturday will be more of the same at Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site on Sunday. The firing demonstrations take place at 2:00 P.M. each day.

Through lectures and demonstrations, members of the Brigade of the American Revolution reveal a wide variety of 18th century period life and what it takes to recreate it. New Windsor Cantonment staff offer presentations on military medicine throughout the weekend.

3rd New Jersey Regiment courtesy of Dragoon Photography.

The remarkable variety of dress worn by participants provides a living window into the past. Standing ready to defend the interests of the King and Parliament are Green-coated Loyalists, Germans in blue and British regulars in red.  Among the Patriot forces, you will not only find Continentals dressed in blue coats, but also regiments in gray, brown or whatever color happened to be available at the time. In addition to seeing colorfully uniformed soldiers maneuvering to the music of the fife and drums, visitors can expect to see women and children, the family members of the soldiers who traveled with the army.

Reenacting is a long standing tradition. The Brigade describes itself as a “non-profit living history association dedicated to recreating the life and times of the common soldier of the American War for Independence.” Since the organization’s birth at the New Windsor Cantonment in 1962, it has displayed this dedication through organizing and sponsoring events, educational seminars and distributing publications among their supporters.

 
Why They Do It

Although dressing in period clothes and reenacting the lives of the past is a tradition described as a form of patriotic expression, on a personal level each participant has their own motivations. So, a few reenactors were sought after and asked, “how did you get into reenacting and what keeps you doing it?”

Bob Winowitch is an event coordinator for the upcoming Brigade event and has a vast experience in living history. Involved in reenacting for 43 years; he has seen a lot. He’s witnessed the organization grow to about 1,500 members, making up over 100 units from the tri-state area to New England, the Midwest, West Coast, Southeastern United States and Canada. He simply answered, “My interest is in this time period and the friendships I’ve developed over the years!”

Image courtesy of Michael Sheehan

“It’s not enough to read how to fire a cannon, I want to go out and do it,” was the response by Michael Sheehan, a historic interpreter at Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site and a member of Lamb’s Artillery Company since 2008. He has spent a lot of time in the history books, visiting other historic sites and soaking up information anywhere he can. He’s even contributed an article to the Journal of the American Revolution, but he still asserts, “to wear the exact clothing that 18th century soldiers wore, to march, drill, cook, and fight as they did is the ultimate learning experience.”

Reenacting isn’t all about building a library of information and the trivial details. For some, it is also about sharing the experience with friends. According to Paul Christophani, a United States serviceman and an active member with both the 3rd New Jersey and 5th New York Regiments, “We focus on education, but we also know that having fun for you and with friends is what makes the experience what it is.”

Image courtesy of Jana Violante

Jana Violante said that last summer was her first in reenacting, “It was fantastic. I’m totally hooked.” Woman weren’t allowed to serve alongside men on the battlefield but those like Jana are dedicated to recreating the role that women played as camp followers and keepers of morale. She was introduced to spinning, weaving and various fiber processing techniques while working at Van Cortlandt Manor and Philipsburg Manor historic sites. “That’s where my true passion stems from. Reenacting allows me to wear my research, craft and garments in real life conditions and experiences,” she said.

Certainly, living the life of a soldier, even if it is temporary, comes with some of the hardships: wearing wool in the summer and sweating, freezing in the winter, cutting your finger on a musket flint, or marching up and down hills before taking formation for a battle. These could be turn-offs to the hobby, but some may say that it adds to an authentic experience. Michael Sheehan expressed, “Going through the difficult aspects of the soldier’s life gives you a full appreciation for the sacrifice soldiers of the Revolution … have to go through in a way that literature alone cannot provide.”

 
Sounds Interesting?

Admission to both sites’ activities is free. For more information please call (845) 561-1765, extension 22. For a complete schedule of programming and more information about the Brigade of the American Revolution, visit their website, www.brigade.org. The New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is located at 374 Temple Hill Road in New Windsor. Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site located at 289 Forge Hill Road in Vails Gate, a short drive from the Cantonment.

 

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Lincoln’s Funeral Procession Through the Hudson Valley

April 15, 2015, marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln. In the days and weeks that followed the assassination, who Abraham Lincoln was and how he would be remembered by his fellow Americans began a dramatic transformation.

On April 12, author and Woodstock Town Historian Richard Heppner will be the featured guest at the Ulster County Historical Society’s Bevier House Museum, where he will look back at how the news of the assassination was received locally, the outpouring of emotion that emerged around Lincoln’s funeral and, as the slain president’s funeral train moved up the east coast, through the Hudson Valley and into history, how the legacy of Abraham Lincoln began to secure itself in our collective memory.

The museum will be open to those attending the lecture. A special exhibit of collected items focusing on lecture content will be on view in the museum.

The Bevier House Museum is located at 2682 Rte. 209 in Marbletown. The program is $7 for the general public, and free for members of the Ulster County Historical Society. For more information, call (845) 338-5614 or visit the UCHS page on Facebook.

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Old Stone Markers in Kingston

Ulster County Courthouse

From Harry Rigby, Jr.’s “What’s the Answer” – April 20, 1960

The Reverend Albert H. Shultis, through the intermediary of one of his more promising art students, Miss Posy Tomshaw, has requested an explanation of the several old stones around Kingston – he mentions one preserved in front of Dr. Krom’s office – inscribed “Jail Limits.”These interesting old markers date back to a sunnier day when there was a great deal less vicious crime but when a jail sentence for lesser offenses was more common. Indeed, if you owed a legitimate debt but through misfortune you were unable to make payment upon demand or upon due date, your creditor could secure a ‘body attachment’ and have you confined to jail until the debt was paid. Of course, in jail the debtor could not work to earn the means of paying off his indebtedness and therefore it was a self-defeating procedure insofar as securing payment was concerned. I suspect, however, that a body attachment was many times taken to pay off a grudge or in a spirit of vindictiveness.  Confinement under those circumstances was cruel and inhuman, so our more charitable ancestors evolved a method of adhering to the letter of the law but combining justice with human mercy.

These stone monuments therefore were set up on most of the main thoroughfares at a point of one mile from the jail. Most of them were marked “Jail Limits – One Mile.” Prisoners in those days, and this was by no means too long ago, were sentenced to a jail which occupied the basement of the present courthouse on Wall Street in Kingston.  If sentenced for a crime which did not involve violence against the person – such as murder, rape, mayhem, aggravated assault and other similar crimes – and he could find a person to sign a bond for him, the prisoner was allowed to leave the jail after breakfast and return for supper and incarceration throughout the night, doing pretty much as he pleased around town, provided he did not walk beyond the jail limit stones at any time during the day. If the prisoner did violate the limit stones or escape permanently or fail to return to jail at suppertime, his bond was forfeited and the man who had signed that bond was forced to pay the sum of money he had agreed to.

For serious crime where a death penalty was inflicted, the execution took place right at the Ulster County Courthouse. The old gallows are still stored in the cupola and were exhibited last year during the Year of History celebration. A very ingenious gallows it is, built like a see-saw but off-center so that one end of the see-saw board is long than the other. To the short end is affixed a very heavy weight and to the other a short length of rope ending in a hangman’s noose. The shorted weighted end was lifted high off the ground so that the noose could be affixed around the prisoner’s neck. When the weighted end was dropped, the prisoner – who was standing on the ground – was jerked into the air, his neck was broken by the knot under his ear, and he was left dangling several feet off the ground. Old newspaper accounts tell of public hangings, attended by most of the public, who brought their picnic lunches and made a festive occasion of it.

Old drawings of the Courthouse show a stocks in front of it, in which minor offenders were locked for a day or two. Seated on the hard bench with both hands and feet locked in the sturdy yoke, and on full public view outside, the poor offender could do nothing but endure the embarrassment, the jibes, and an occasional overripe egg. The public whipping post was also located in the courtyard where prisoners were lashed.

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Historic Huguenot Street Launches “Stories From Stones”

Abraham Hasbrouck House-HABS/HAER

NEW PALTZ, NY (April 6, 2015) – Historic Huguenot Street has announced an upcoming local oral history project, “Stories From Stones.” The purpose of this project is to collect and preserve the stories of the New Paltz Huguenots, their descendants, the community, and all who have been impacted by Historic Huguenot Street. Documented stories will be shared online at huguenotstreet.org/stories.

See the video.

“The preservation of oral histories provides a unique opportunity to interpret historical events and moments from the perspective of someone who experienced them,” explained Kara Gaffken, Historic Huguenot Street’s Director of Public Programming and manager of the Stories From Stones project. “Recording these irreplaceable personal stories will provide a whole new context for the histories of the people who lived here, just as the primary documents housed in our archives allow us to better understand the past from the perspective of the earliest settlers.”

Throughout the month of April, Huguenot Street descendants and community members are invited to make appointments to be interviewed at Historic Huguenot Street. The documentation of oral histories is being conducted by SUNY New Paltz students Wainabi Jung (Digital Media Production and Visual Arts) and Allison Surgeary (Communications and History) as part of their Spring internships on Huguenot Street. In addition to recording interviews, Historic Huguenot Street is accepting submissions of stories via email and postal mail. Stories have already been collected from participants including Huguenot Street descendant and current Mayor of the Village of New Paltz Jason West, Ulster County Historian Anne Gordon, Huguenot Street descendant and HHS Board President Mary Etta Schneider, and HHS Consulting Historian A.J. Schenkman.

To schedule an appointment to be interviewed by Historic Huguenot Street, or to submit a story via email, please contact stories@huguenotstreet.org. Stories may also be mailed to Historic Huguenot Street, Stories From Stones, 88 Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY 12561. See huguenotstreet.org/stories to see a collection of stories from participants.

A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century.  It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve their French and Dutch heritage.  Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.

A.J. Schenkman, Historic Huguenot Street’s Consulting Historian, teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books include “Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County,” “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More,” and “Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh: Home to a Revolution.”  A.J. has columns in both The New York History Blog, and is a history blogger for The Times Herald Record. He is also a past- VIP for Teaching the Hudson Valley. He has been featured in numerous publications, venues , radio, and television.

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“Covered Bridges” A Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society Program

For all covered bridge lovers, the Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society (TOLHPS) will sponsor a presentation by Ronald G. Knapp, co-author of the book, America’s Covered Bridges, on Monday, April 6, 2015. The program will take place at the Vineyard Commons Theater Building #6 in Highland at 7 pm.

Knapp’s book is subtitled “Practical Crossings – Nostalgic Icons.” For most of us, it’s that nostalgia that inspires our reverence for covered bridges. They beckon us inside with the promise of more than just a river crossing, but also passage into a simpler, slower, more romantic era. If you could, wouldn’t you cross the Wallkill River through Perrine’s Covered Bridge in Tillson rather than race across the wide-open Thruway bridge alongside it?

During his presentation Knapp will show gorgeous slides of covered bridges, including some in the Hudson Valley, and share their stories. But his interest goes beyond the aesthetics and legends. He has surprising answers to interesting questions: Why were they built? What was the length and location of the longest one? What was their environmental impact? No spoiler alert here. Audience members will get the answers.

Knapp taught in the Department of Geography and Asian Studies Program at SUNY New Paltz for nearly 35 years, retiring with the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He is the author of many books on Chinese architecture. In 2013, the Executive Board of the New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS) created the Ronald G. Knapp Award for Distinguished Service to Asian Studies in New York.

How did a leading expert on Far Eastern architecture and society come to write a book on American covered bridges? Born in Pittsburgh, he vaguely recalls seeing some in that state in the 1950s when he visited a family member’s farm. When he moved to New Paltz, he discovered Perrine’s Bridge, which he calls the jewel of the genre in the mid-Hudson region. But really, inspiration for the book was not that local. In fact, he had already written two books on Chinese bridges, including some covered ones there. That led him to attend a conference on covered bridges in China in 2005, where he met an American covered-bridge enthusiast, Terry Miller. He urged Miller to write a book on American covered bridges, but they agreed they were each too busy to tackle the project alone. So they decided to work together, along with Knapp’s frequent collaborator, photographer A. Chester Ong. The three of them made eleven trips all over the United States and Canada, researching candidates for the book.

Their approach in writing the book, Knapp says, was to treat the bridges not so much as artifacts but in context of 19th century history, expressing American ingenuity and entrepreneurship.

“As soon as it was finished,” Knapp says, “I realized there were not many mid-Hudson bridges included,” even though there is a good collection of surviving ones in the area.” Lately he has been taking a look at bridges closer to home. His research extends to some that no longer stand, including the original bridge over the Wallkill River in New Paltz and several that once spanned the Hudson River. Knapp’s presentation will include some regional bridges as well as others selected from his books.

Vineyard Commons, where the April program will be held, is at 300 Vineyard Avenue, about a mile and a quarter from the Hamlet of Highland on Route 44/55, just south of the Hudson Valley Rehabilitation Center. The program is free and open to everyone. To reach the theater, turn into Vineyard Commons and follow signs to Building 6. Early arrivers get the best parking spaces. Free refreshments will be available.

For more information, call 845-255-7742, visit the TOLHPS website at www.tolhps.org, or look for Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society on Facebook.

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Society Kicks Off 2015 Season with Downing Talk, House Tours, and Art Exhibit Opening

Newburgh's Downing Park

Children feeding the ducks at the Downing Park pond, known locally as the “Polly.”

The Newburgh Historical Society invites the public to celebrate 200 years of Newburgh’s favorite son, Andrew Jackson Downing, as it kicks off its 2015 season on Sunday, April 12th, between the hours of 1 P.M. and 5 P.M. This opening day event will begin with a presentation introducing Downing and how the memorial urban park in his name came to be. Following the talk members offer guided tours of the historic Captain David Crawford House and an opening reception for the Artist’s Choice exhibition featuring the work of fifty local artists.

The featured speaker is Dr. Karen Eberle-McCarthy, a retired Mount Saint Mary College professor and President of the Downing Park Planning Committee. Her presentation titled, “On Downing Park,” highlights the influence of Downing on the park’s original designers, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. She will trace the development of the park from its original design in 1897 through the present and describe the future plans for this City of Newburgh jewel.

Crawford House Painting

Painting of the Capt. David Crawford House by local artist, William Noonan.

Dr. McCarthy’s talk will be followed at 3:00 P.M., by the opening reception of the Artist’s Choice exhibition, which is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Generous local artists who donated to 2014’s Feast of the Arts fundraising auction have been invited to each show one of their works. This exhibit is available to the public in the Stone Floor Gallery at the Crawford House from April 12th to May 17th. The art is available for purchase. In this way, the Society strengthens it relationship with the local arts community and adds to the cultural life of the Newburgh area.

The Crawford House, 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. Admission is $5.00 per person. For more information about admission, tours, or programming please call (845) 561-2585.

The general admission rate of $5 applies to both the featured presentation and historic house tours. Members of the Society, as always, are admitted free of charge.

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.

 


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 organizations with promoting local events and contributes as a history blogger for the Times Herald Record as well as other publications.

 

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Excerpt from diary of Nathaniel Booth, July 15, 1849

Nathaniel Booth talks of visiting the Senate House, 40 years before it was open to the public and known as the “Senate House!” Also in this excerpt, a problem at the Newark Lime & Cement Company on the Rondout. The “Vlight Berg” reference is an area that today is known as Hasbrouck Park in Kingston

Sunday 15 July

Cool and pleasant – took a long walk to Rondout and the cement quarry of the Newark Co – This ‘deep cut’ in the “Vlight Berg” has caved in – this deep cut is 200 yards long and 100 feet deep – one third of the wall called “Roof Wall” has fallen in filling the shaft and the cave with masses of worthless rock – the drift or tunnel progresses fast – cholera not so bad – called on Baldwin he lives in the old stone house where the delegates of the State first met – I saw the rooms they occupied as well as that in which the Constitution of the State was drawn up and adopted – It is venerable (for this country) old building and the many associations clinging to it make it a place of frequent visitors – In the graveyard of the Dutch Reformed Church is a cedar post over 120 years old – It is supported in its place by a stone tablet – the upper portion is perfectly sound and retains the flavor peculiar to that wood –

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  • Blog Author

    AJ Schenkman

    A.J. Schenkman teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books Include Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County and Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More, and ... 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

    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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