The delicate sounds of an antique Newburgh piano will drift through the 1830 Crawford mansion on Sunday, April 14 when the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands opens for the season. The Crawford House will open at 1 p.m.
Visitors can view a new exhibit of art by The Four Pastellists, local painters who specialize in pastels. The artists – Cathy Cahill, Lily Norton, Cathy Praeger and Judy Byrne – will be on hand to talk about their beautiful landscapes and still lifes.
In the parlor at 2 p.m., Janet Salt Frommer, a music teacher who is organist at Saint Andrew’s Church in New Paltz, will play the Society’s 1854 Carman and Fancher pianoforte, a treasured item in the collection of the Historical Society. Long silent, the beautiful old instrument was meticulously restored thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Jorgensen, who paid for the restoration in memory of their friend, Lynn Fisher. Mrs. Fisher, an active trustee of the Historical Society, died in 2018.
The Carman and Fancher piano company operated on lower Broadway in Newburgh from 1843 to 1885 and was reported to have made some of the finest instruments in America. A brochure on the history of the company will be available to visitors. The square rosewood pianoforte is a work of art just like the lovely pastels that will be exhibited for the season in the Crawford House by The Four Pastellists.
A donation of $5 per person is requested for the afternoon’s program that will end at 4 p.m.
The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands was launched unofficially when the Hasbrouck House (Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh) was in danger of demolition after the Revolutionary War. The current Society, incorporated in 1884, has always been an advocate for Newburgh’s history. The Society’s headquarters, 1830 Captain David Crawford House, was purchased in 1954 to save it from demolition and symbolizes their dedication to preserving and protecting Newburgh’s assets.
The Crawford House, an historic house museum and Society’s headquarters, located at 189 Montgomery Street within the City of Newburgh’s Historic District is open for tours by appointment. For more information about admission, tours, or programming please call (845) 561-2585.