The price of beauty: birds, feathers, eradication and conservation

The price of beauty commonly refers to an individual’s cost of attractiveness. It frequently becomes the punch line as we force ourselves to accept discomfort. The “price” can also refer to the large amount of money one spends on maintaining attractiveness, how health may be affected by certain beauty practices or, more broadly, society’s role in it all. Sometimes, however, the demand for attractiveness goes beyond individual sacrifice and takes a toll on the environment enough to lead to extinction, murder, prison and inspire acts of conservation.

Recycle and Reuse: Signage

The shed is filled with dust, cobwebs and things that go bump in the night. Like many others, our shed develops into a cluttered mess by the end of the year. During the much need cleanups, lost items are found while others are discovered. This year we came across more than a few old signs that were used to promote for a spring house and jazz tour. Unfortunately,the tour date was painted on which made the signs unusable since they were last used in 2003. However, thanks to our friends at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, we came across an idea that gave these unusable signs new purpose.

Holiday Tour of Private and Public Spaces Rarely Open

Visitors to Newburgh's Historic District are awed by its architecture and its views of the Hudson River. For over thirty years, supporters from all over have joined the Newburgh Historical Society in celebrating a treasured architectural history during the annual Candlelight Tour of Homes. The self-guided tour will take place this year on Sunday, December 13, between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The authentically decorated 1830 Captain David Crawford House, the Society’s headquarters located at 189 Montgomery Street, is the starting place for the Tour. The house tour features a diverse assortment of over a dozen public and private spaces within and beyond the City of Newburgh’s East End Historic District. This includes mansions, estates, structures in the rehabilitation process, new construction, architectural gems and some of Newburgh’s most important landmarks.

Celebrating the Life of David Crawford

Here, in the middle of that new water highway was Newburgh just waking up from its sleepy little status as a regional market town after the Revolutionary War. In the fall of 1824, our community’s memories of the Revolution were refreshed by the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington’s trusted advisor and friend. Lafayette returned here to the place where he witnessed the great revolution come to an end and where a lasting peace was declared by Washington from the lawn of the Hasbrouck farm. Lafeyette was curious as to how the young republic had fared. The 10,000 visitors who descended on little Newburgh (a village of fewer than 6,000 in 1824) for Lafayette’s reception caused its civic leaders to see the crucial historical, political and geographical connection this village had to American history and to begin to capitalize on it. Thus when the cannon volleys rang out over the Hudson in October 1825 to signal the new connections the Erie Canal made possible, a few creative Newburghers were planning amid their rejoicing for a greater downtown Newburgh.

Volunteerism at the Crawford House: Leveling the Bluestone Path

In November, Russell Lange and Bill Mocko, two long-standing members and volunteers, dropped by one Sunday to level the bluestone path at the west entrance. Over time the ground beneath the stone shifted causing them to fall under the portico floor at the west entrance to the Crawford House. The Building and Grounds Committee was concerned about potentially destructive water draining over the stones and under the floor and, of course, visitors' safety. In the winter, water that collects may freeze and potentially cause unaware visitors or volunteers to slip and fall.

Connecting Highways for Newburgh Prosperity

It began with the Cochecton Turnpike (today’s Route 17K) that opened western markets for the little port of Newburgh. Cochecton is a town in Sullivan County along the Delaware River. It was the seasonal “hunting home” of the Munsee Indians who populated our side of the Hudson Valley before white settlers came. At Cochecton, a Munsee word (K’schiechton) meaning “a place where land is washed by water” was a spot where the Delaware River washed its shoreline into a little valley with good river landings and abundant natural resources. Having a road to connect The Hudson to the Delaware meant having a way to trade with the western territories at the turn of the 19th century. Before Newburgh was settled in 1709, farming towns had developed inland and along the Wallkill River that runs from New Jersey north through Orange and Ulster Counties.

A Need for Water

People care about where their water comes from. If there was some sort of contamination at a water source, chances are you’d want to know if it affected your faucet, especially considering the potential health risks. This is why learning about the history behind the water you drink is important beyond simple fascination or being able to impress friends with trivial facts. Tracing a local water supply provides comfort from knowing the details of its sources and routes.