Judge Fullerton’s brick, Italianate home has quietly presided over the northern end of Grand Street in Newburgh, New York, since 1868, but the once-famous trial lawyer has long since been forgotten. Visitors sometimes inquire about ghosts or secret passageways or buried caches of coins. I tell them all the same thing: the real treasure is in the history. In this respect, I have been richly rewarded.
Hidden away beneath the visible architecture was a cornucopia of stories. Some took place on the historical stage; others on theatrical stages; some were once known to the world at large, at a time when telegraph wires strung along railroad lines turned locally-printed newspapers into “mass media”; others are deeply personal, private stories of success, failure and loss.
But above all, I found Willie. Continue reading
In 1850, after the State of New York took possession of the Hasbrouck House for back taxes. Eli Hasbrouck appeared in various publications directly related to his cultivation of grapes. He grew what he called the Anna Grape in his garden. It was prized as a variety because it was free from rot. Eli was drawn to the grape because of it color. A.J. Downing thought highly of it. It was said about the grape, “the raisins had the sweet rich flavor and aroma of those from the Muscat of Alexandria.”
Eli married again in 1855; the same year his brother Jonathan died. He married Margaret Van Wyck, of Fishkill, on February 13. The same time period he re-married, Eli was listed in the census as being worth $18,000. His occupation recorded as “gentleman.” Eli was in fact a merchant and farmer. Where Eli lived during this time was listed in business directories as 167 Liberty Street in Newburgh. In addition to his large family, his sister Mary also lived with the family until her death in 1856. Continue reading
When people visit Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, New York they are also visiting a Hasbrouck house. This home and farm, from the 18th to mid -19th centuries, belonged to the Hasbrouck Family until it was acquired by New York State.
Some of what we know about the Hasbrouck’s life there came by way of Eli Hasbrouck. Continue reading
On a summer day in 1998, I stood on Grand Street, waiting. First Lady Hillary Clinton’s press bus had broken down on I-87 and she was now several hours late.
When she finally arrived, she gave an impressive speech and pledged funds ($128,205) through the Save America’s Treasures program to stabilize the upper gallery of an A.J. Davis designed masterpiece, the Dutch Reformed Church.
At 14 years old, I was just beginning to take an interest in historic preservation. I was already aware that Newburgh possessed a vast array of historic structures, but Clinton’s visit was an inspiring notion that the ruins I had grown up around in the post-urban renewal era were finally getting the attention they needed and deserved. The work done with the grant stabilized the building and prevented what would have been an imminent collapse. Things were looking up for Newburgh’s historic district. Continue reading
The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands has announced the appointment of Candace Schuster as its new Executive Director.
Beginning this week, Schuster will oversee the administrative functions of the organization, which is headquartered at the Crawford House, 189 Montgomery Street in Newburgh. She will be available in person at the Crawford House on Mondays and Fridays, 2-5 pm, and on Sunday afternoons 1-4 pm during the house’s open season (through October). Continue reading
At first glance, the inside of the Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh, Orange County resembles a large warehouse of movie poster memorabilia as faces of Steve McQueen, James Garner, Peter Fonda and Elvis line the immense walls. There’s even a poster of – can it be? – of Barbara Streisand astride a motorcycle from the movie, “For Pete’s Sake.” Continue reading
The Newburgh Historical Society will welcome members and guests on Sunday, April 3, for an opening day that will include a slide presentation entitled “Monumental Newburgh.”
Starting at 2 pm, a panel led by Society member Tom Knieser will showcase the many sculptures and memorials installed in the city, with a story behind the motivation and creation of each public monument. Continue reading
Jonathan Hasbrouck III will forever be known as the Hasbrouck who lost the “Old-Headquarters” home (Washington’s Headquarters in 1782-1783) in Newburgh by foreclosure. The State of New York took control of the home and in 1850 made it the first publicly owned historic site in the nation.
Jonathan Hasbrouck III hoped to save it the home from foreclosure, and even proposed a monument on the grounds over four decades before the current Tower of Victory was erected. Today, that tower is in desperate need of restoration. Continue reading
There’s a crisis in historical societies and historic house museums across the nation. Membership dues and visitation are in decline. The costs of maintaining buildings and collections is exhausting resources.
Volunteers are under pressure to digitize archives and make resources more widely available to the public without having the expertise or budgetary supports that would be necessary to do so. Exhibits and programming are stagnant while trustees work tirelessly to triage the symptoms. And the public is largely unaware of the treasures that these institutions have to offer. Continue reading
Heritage tourism is a new name for an old concept. As an archaeology student in Greece, I remember seeing Lord Byron’s name carved on the Temple of Poseidon. His mark among the hundreds of forgotten names reminds us of the well-established motif of traveling to the classical world as part of the Grand Tour. The German word “Bildungsreisen,” used among the nineteenth century elite in Europe, described travel for educational and cultural enlightenment. Continue reading