Sometimes, I think there would be less interest in fiction, if we only knew more local history. Perhaps I have just been spoiled by the stories that keep bubbling up — as if emanating from the floorboards — in one 1868 house in Newburgh, New York.
Prior owners called it The Fullerton Mansion, although it’s somewhat undersized for a mansion and the original owner, the once-famous trial lawyer Judge Fullerton, is long forgotten. (The same goes for his composer son; see “Lost Newburgh Composer Willie Fullerton”, New York History Blog, June 20, 2017.)
Even less known are the Cathcarts, who owned the house from the first decade of the 20th Century until the depths of the Great Depression. Continue reading
The Newburgh Historical Society is holding their annual self-guided Candlelight Tour on Sunday, December 10, between noon and 5 pm.
The 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 public and private spaces within and beyond the City of Newburgh’s East End Historic District. These include city and suburban houses homes in the rehabilitation process and some of Newburgh’s most important landmarks. Continue reading
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site will host a Quill Pen Writing Workshop on Saturday and Sunday, October 7th and 8th, at 2 pm each day.
This all-ages workshop uses original documents as a model to assist participants in creating their own 18th century style letter using a quill pen, just as General Washington’s aides-de-camp did while headquartered in Newburgh. Continue reading
The Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands will host their second Tavern Talk, focusing on Cold War Intelligence, on Tuesday, October 3rd, at 7 pm, at the Newburgh Brewing Company.
This year, Assistant Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point and former U.S. Intelligence professional, Dr. David Gioe, will speak on data breaches before the internet and the case of Oleg Penkovsky, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Continue reading
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