Historic Nicoll House Available for Tours on Labor Day Weekend

The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands has announced that the privately owned Nicoll House, perhaps the oldest house in New Windsor, will be available for tours on Saturday, September 1st. This will be a rare opportunity to visit this 1730’s farmhouse built along the Moodna Creek on the sight of the first settlement in New Windsor, and which has been carefully maintained over the years by a succession of conscientious homeowners who have appreciated the historic significance of the home. Continue reading

Historical Society afternoon fundraiser Beer, Band & Bounty

Join the Newburgh Brewing Company for an afternoon fundraiser on Sunday August 19. Drink beer, wine, or soda and have some great food for a good cause. Historians and preservationists will be wandering around, admiring the splendid adaptive re-use of the old paper box factory building. The Brewery’s cheerful and experienced staff will serve you, but they are generously donating all tips collected between 1pm and 4pm to benefit the Historical Society. Continue reading

Preservation group leads walking tour of Algonquin Park

As an industrial complex for the manufacture of black powder throughout most of the nineteenth century, Orange Mills in Newburgh was designed to withstand destruction by accidental explosion. Workers in the wooded acres along Powder Mill Road carefully combined volatile ingredients that were refined into gunpowder which they packed and shipped around the country. Machinery, powered by the Quassaick Creek that winds through the property, was carefully operated from a slight distance. Wood and copper tools were used to avoid unwanted sparks, and stone structures were built with thick walls intended to redirect explosive forces. Accidents were unavoidable and the mill survived twenty explosions over the course of its operation. Many of those explosions were heard and felt miles away. Now, over a century since it closed, Orange Mills is being reclaimed by nature. Continue reading

High School Students Visit Crawford House

On November 2, 2017, a group of 83 students from the Newburgh Free Academy visited the Crawford House. Led by Ginny McCurdy and other NFA teachers and chaperones, the student explored the 1830 “rich people’s house” up and down. Historical Society board members Warren Cahill and Jim Hoekema explained the history of the house, it’s architectural style, and the many artworks and furnishings inside. This was the final stop in a day of visits to historic sites, but the field trip was only one part of a program to increase students’ awareness of the Hudson Valley and its history. Continue reading

History Talk on Renaissance Man Albert J. Myer

Albert Myer was an inventor, a reinventor, a medical doctor, and a US Army general during the Civil War. He was the sole survivor of six children; so, it may seem that destiny played a part in his productive life. The Historical Society, together with Orange County Community College, arranged for historian Bob Gilbert to bring his presentation about the ingenious Newburgh-born General Myer to SUNY Newburgh’s Kaplan Hall on April 11, 2016. The lecture was entitled “Renaissance Man: General Albert Myer, Founder of the International Weather Service and the U.S. Signal Corps.”
Continue reading

‘Please don’t call it a War Memorial’

On April 3, opening day for the Historical Society’s 2016 season, a number of local experts and community volunteers gathered to present a program on “Monumental Newburgh” about the monuments and public sculptures in the city of Newburgh. Photographer Tom Kneiser led with a slide show of photos showing the variety of such monuments. Other speakers then expanded on the topic with additional presentations.

Speaking of the Orange County Veterans Memorial at the corner of Liberty Street and Leroy Place, David McTamaney, a veteran support advocate and once a combat photographer in Vietnam, declared, “It is not a memorial to war. It’s a memorial to those who’ve died at war!” Continue reading