Local History

Below is an assortment of stories relating to the history of Newburgh and the surrounding area. We are grateful to all our contributors, especially City of Newburgh Historian Mary McTamaney.

Suffragettes in Newburgh

By Mary McTamaney. Newburgh was selected in 1895 to be the site of the Women’s Suffrage Convention, an annual event that gathered people who carried on the work to secure voting rights for women since they first met up in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848. 1895 was the year that the old guard in the […]

A Giant Step Never Taken

By Mary McTamaney.  Approaching Newburgh from the Hudson River today is a very pleasant experience. Take a ride on the ferry back and forth to Beacon and see how nice we look – a hilly little city rising gently away from the shore. Step off the ferry and look around at a quiet place where only […]

Before We Had Forklifts

By Mary McTamaney. I often approach the Newburgh waterfront from the foot of Washington Street. Although the road is uneven and treacherous with old rail segments poking out of the ground, it is less hectic than driving among through the crowded cars along Front Street. Plus, one can’t resist a quick turn around in the boat […]

Statue of “Mad” Anthony Wayne

By Mary McTamaney Newburgh is a monumental city. In 2016, the Society’s opening day festivities included a slide presentation entitled “Monumental Newburgh.” A panel led by Tom Knieser showcased the many beautiful sculptures and memorials installed in the city. There is a story behind the motivation and creation of each public monument. General Anthony Wayne One […]

Statue of George Clinton

On October 6, 1896, the statue of native son George Clinton was dedicated during a ceremony that the “whole city turned out to witness.” In the photograph above, taken by a photographer standing on a Water Street rooftop, citizens gather to see the unveiling of a statue they were proud to have purchased for the […]

Thomas and Mary Powell

By Mary McTamaney Names linger in our local history, but few recall exactly who they were. One of those is the name Powell. Today, it is most known as an avenue, the one between Gidney Avenue and North Street that leads to Mount Saint Mary College. Yet, in the early nineteenth century, it would have […]

Life of Captain David Crawford

By Mary McTamaney. In October 1825, big crowds gathered along Newburgh’s shore to witness something that would change our community forever. A flotilla of sailing boats and steamboats paraded past our shores toward New York City’s harbor, after having started out in Buffalo along the new Erie Canal. The Erie Canal was an engineering marvel […]

Rev. John Sayre

Newburgh’s Loyalist Community

By Kieran O’Keefe. When Newburgh is discussed in the context of the American Revolutionary War, it usually concerns its role as General George Washington’s military headquarters or the threatened uprising of Continental Army Officers in 1783, known as the Newburgh Conspiracy. However, Newburgh also had a sizable Loyalist community, which is the focus of my […]