Candace Schuster, Executive Director

Executive Director Candace SchusterThe Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands is pleased to announce the appointment of Candace Schuster as its new Executive Director. Effective August 15, 2016, Ms. Schuster will oversee the administrative functions of the organization, which is headquartered at the Crawford House, 189 Montgomery Street, Newburgh NY 12550. 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).

Ms. Schuster has worked for 10 years in administrative roles at Vassar College, and previously was director of Vintage Village in Highland, NY.   Continue reading

Materials donated by Darwin Davidson

Davidson Donation

On July 19, 2016, the Historical Society gratefully accepted a donation of Newburgh-related materials from Darwin Davidson. Raised in the Newburgh area but now living in Deer Isle, Maine, Mr Davidson is descended from the Davidson family who owned and operated the Davidson Brickworks along the river in New Windsor the 19th and early 20th centuries. Continue reading

Proposed storehouse & grain elevator for Homer Ramsdell & Co. 1890

A giant step never taken

[ 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 restaurants and parking lots dominate mixed with a couple of other enterprises like a fine independent cinema, an architectural firm and a hair salon.
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2016 Volunteer Fair at WHQ 003

Spring Outreach Activities

The Historical Society’s mission is to protect and promote Newburgh’s history. Mostly this means opening the Crawford house to visitors from April to October, plus a series of lectures, exhibits, and other programs. But in April and May of 2016, several board members and volunteers took the mission on the road. Here are a few instances of how this played out: Continue reading


Historian Puts a ‘Premium on Empathy’

[ Matthew Colon ] During a recent visit to the Captain David Crawford House, headquarters of the Newburgh Historical Society, Dr. Kevin M. Burke became another of many natives to admire the award-winning exhibit, “Growing Up in Newburgh.” Unlike most visitors whom may have been motivated by nostalgia, Dr. Burke as a professional historian is equally interested in how the historical record becomes the starting point for a conversation. Continue reading

Newburgh men work at the old crane beside the railroad tracks a century ago.

Before we had Forklifts

[ 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 launch parking lot to see how high and fast the Hudson is flowing along. This is the route I took to the Downing Film Center recently and, as I drove into the ferry parking lot from the south, I passed the old crane still standing just west of the pavement there. 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.”
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Tom Knieser. Photograph by Brian Wolfe.

‘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