We Quizz the Public Strolling Through Downing Park

By Matthew Colon

I surveyed a total of 100 visitors to Newburgh’s memorial Downing Park for a good reason: while researching a topic to write about or develop into a presentation, I seek insight. Whether that be insight into a time period, an object or person, I look through many sources for commonalities to thread into a narrative. It doesn’t hurt to consider the topic’s historiography; regarding how historians have researched or written about a topic. Over time, interests begin to expand, narrow or change altogether. Then there is the audience to consider. What have they chosen to read, listen in on or remember? Continue reading

The Way West

By Mary McTamaney

Fall foliage is just passing its splendid peak of perfect colors. Anyone I walk or ride with can’t help pointing to an especially vibrant shade of red or orange as leaves flutter to the ground. It is a time when, despite the need to conserve fuel and avoid gas expenses, people can’t help one or two rides into the countryside. When relatives from abroad visited recently and wanted to take a short trip to test out their rental car, they went west along the two-lane highways that pass hills and farms and reveal the beauty of Orange County. They came back amazed at the extent of our natural resources. Continue reading

An Able Man: ‘The Mayor of South Street’

By Kathleen Cox


The following was originally a term paper titled, “An Able Man,” by Kathleen Cox for the college course, “Special Needs Learning,” she completed in spring 1999. Kathleen is a native Newburgher where she has worked and lived her entire life and cares passionately about Newburgh. In 2014, she was named a champion during Newburgh’s Annual Croquet Tournament at Downing Park. Her term paper has been published here with permission. Continue reading

Excerpt: The Rev. John Brown, D.D.

By Raphael A. Weed

Of all Newburgh’s galaxy of brilliant and distinguished clergy-men of other days, perhaps the most outstanding was Dr. John Brown, for many years rector of St. George’s. He occupied its pulpit from 1815 to 1878 and was both beloved and admired. He was a man of great activity and business ability, and his sagacity and acumen gave him an influence in the village far beyond the interests of his immediate parish. Continue reading

History of the Shade of Trees in the Village of Newburgh

By Rev. John Brown, D.D. (1791-1884)

In the Spring of the year 1827, being the owner of a large garden at the corner of First and Liberty streets, I made application to the Village Street Commissioner for permission to plant trees around my premises for shade and ornament. At that time the streets on the hill were in a state of nature, rough and uneven. Not a single tree had been planted in the streets for use or ornament. The Commissioner, like some of our City Fathers in the present day, did not see the use of Shade Trees, but thought it improvement to cut trees down. He however, as the official organ of the Corporation, gave his reluctant consent that we might plant trees. Continue reading

Newburgh History

Early History

The City of Newburgh is located on the west shore of the Hudson River on the lands once occupied by the Waoranek peoples, part of the Lenape tribe of the Algonquin nation.

In 1609, Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing under contract to the Dutch government on his ship the Half Moon, was the first European to explore the river as far north as Newburgh. Sailing past present day Newburgh, Hudson’s first mate noted in his journal that this was “a pleasant place to build a town.” Continue reading