New Exhibit Showcases Newburgh Manufacturing


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Kilmer Wire WorksSunday, June 22nd, marks the opening of a new exhibit by the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands entitled “Made in Newburgh”.

The exhibit, which shares its title with the theme of this year’s Newburgh Illuminated Festival, aims to highlight the manufacturing history of Newburgh. Between 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. visitors can expect to be welcomed by the Society’s members as they glimpse into the history of the city’s industries and how they shaped Newburgh.

Among the items featured in this exhibit and on the tour of the Captain David Crawford house, headquarters of the Newburgh Historical Society, is a beautifully crafted piano and a large bladed machine that is an early lawn mower. A wall display illustrates the placement of 18th to 19th century mills and factories that used the Quassaick Creek as a power source. Also, digital screens allow visitors to browse through old photographs and print ads.

C&CMowerADThe Society is co-sponsoring a preview of the exhibit in the form of a talk that will take place at the Newburgh Free Library between 7:00 P.M. and 8:30 P.M. on June 19th. Presented by Russell Lange, a Society member, this free lecture will cover the rise and fall of Newburgh’s industries, focusing on the forces that have shaped the city’s economy. From steam engines to pocketbooks to trousers, manufacturing shaped the history of Newburgh and the lives of its citizens. Following the talk will be a discussion on what will drive Newburgh’s economy since large scale manufacturing has faded from the Newburgh scene.

The Newburgh Illuminated Festival is a city-wide event designed to celebrate the rich history of the City of Newburgh. The festival’s symbol is the incandescent light bulb, which is associated with the illustrious Thomas Edison who made his mark in Newburgh history when he electrified the city in 1884, the same year as the Society’s incorporation. One can easily imagine the pride shared among the citizens as their city became one of the first to be wired in the 19th century. However, Edison’s contribution is only one of the many cogs collectively assembled into Newburgh’s rich history. The Society’s new exhibit features many other aspects of this story.

Sweet Orr & CoThe 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 thrived as an advocate for Newburgh’s history. The 1830 Captain David Crawford House, purchased by the Society in 1954, symbolizes their dedication to preserving and protecting Newburgh’s assets.

The Captain David Crawford House, located at 189 Montgomery Street within the City of Newburgh historic district, is opened for tours on Sundays between 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. during the 2014 season. The “Made in Newburgh” exhibit is a temporary display open to the public between June 22nd and August 30, 2014. Admission is $5.00 per person. For more information about admission, tours, or programming please call (845) 561-2585.

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