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

Historical Society hosts two part lecture on the Great War

Memorial Day remembrances this year take on deeper meaning as we mark a century since the end of “the war to end all wars.” World War I pulled most of the globe into fearful mobilization as men and women departed to foreign battlefields or devoted all their free time to support services to keep their family and friends as safe as possible. Today, it is hard to imagine the many ways a full-blown world war consumed community energy and fueled patriotic passion.

The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands shares the story of Newburgh in the World War in two consecutive programs. 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

Author Speaks on Newburgh’s Role in Grapes of the Hudson Valley

NEWBURGH, NY – During the early years of the nineteenth century, the Hudson Valley was the “breadbasket of the United States,” which was one historian’s way of describing the rise of commercial agriculture. A high demand for American foodstuffs by Europe led thousands of farmers to migrate to New York, taking advantage of the fertile land west of the Hudson River and a close proximity to the markets of New York City. Continue reading