Visitors to Newburgh's historic district are awed by its architecture and its views of the Hudson River. Itâ€™s not only Grand, Liberty and Montgomery streets that impress, but also the historic neighborhoods of the Heights, Quality Row, Colonial Terraces and others. There are historic sites like Washingtonâ€™s Headquarters, the Dutch Reform Church and, of course, the Captain David Crawford House. Beautiful architecture extends into the surrounding towns of Newburgh and New Windsor.
The goal of the Historical Societyâ€™s annual Candlelight Tour is to get visitors through the doors of local houses to see their inner beauty. Generous homeowners put up decorations showcasing their homesâ€™ historic significance or their modern take on holiday expression.
The process begins in mid-summer when committee members begin to contact homeowners welcoming them to put their homes on the tour. There is no question that doing so requires preparations and decorating, but the rewards are worth it.
As autumn approaches, the committee meets to assess the progress, evaluate the homes and lay out the tour. The houses are photographed for sketching and their histories written for the tour booklet and map. To offset the cost of these materials, we solicit advertisements from local businesses.
This whole process involves several members as well as the director. This year the tour committee is working with the decorating committee to maintain the natural beauty and quality of the Crawford Houseâ€™s decorations.
As it has for more than thirty years, the Candlelight Tour introduces visitors to the outstanding architecture and decor of Newburghâ€™s most cherished treasures.
Image Top: Formal dining room of the Crawford House decorated for the Candlelight Tour. Photo by Tom Knieser.
Image Left: Members of the Candlelight Tour Committee include a variety of interested supporters providing invaluable skills, which have maintained this successful event for over thirty years.
2015 Candlelight Tour
Tickets Are Now On Sale
Save $5 off the regular admission price of $30 when tickets are purchased in advance. Tickets may be purchased through the links below, our website or over the phone, (845) 561-2585.
Tour Takes Place on
Sunday, December 13th
12 PM - 5 PM
A tour of private & public spaces rarely open.
The Candlelight Tour features a dozen decorated homes including a diverse assortment of public and private spaces â€“ mansions, structures in the rehabilitation process, new construction, architectural gems, and some of Newburghâ€™s most important landmarks. For years, community members within the second largest historic district in New York State have generously decorated and opened their homes to visitors in support of local history. The 1830 Captain David Crawford House, located at 189 Montgomery St., Newburgh is the starting place for the Tour.
Members receive the print version of the Riverview newsletter. Included only in the print version are additional pages featuring interesting articles based on materials in our collection.
The award winning exhibit, â€œGrowing Up in Newburgh,â€ the brainchild of Historical Society member Russ Lange, has been fascinating visitors to the Crawford House all summer long as they admired the delightfully hung photos of Newburgh from days gone by. The award, presented by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, was in recognition of the community collaboration displayed by the exhibit.
Mr. Lange asked the community to send in pictures and memories of their experiences as youngsters in Newburgh. The result was the submission of over 120 photos, which were then organized into categoriesâ€”parades, ponies and trikes, Brownies, First Communion, etc.â€”and dynamically hung from the ceiling of the â€œStone Floor Galleryâ€ at the Crawford House.
In addition to the photos, members of the community visiting the exhibit were asked to post their memories. Old time Newburghers remember the tulips in Downing Park or ice skating at the Polly, â€œthe fabulous parades going down Broadwayâ€ or making a â€œwhipâ€ the Delano-Hitch ice rink. A high schooler from the â€™60â€™s wrote, â€œAfter school I would meet my boyfriend in Downing Park. I had my first kiss on the hill in the park.â€
A group of current NFA students from Ms. McCurdyâ€™s class visited the exhibit writing their memories of Fourth of July fireworks, the River Rose, doing homework at the Two Alices, and running across the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. One studentâ€™s plaintive note said, â€œThings have changed. A lot is abandoned.â€
The community let the Society into their photo albums, toy rooms and hearts. In exchange, the Society gave them a voice; a way to visualize their Newburgh experiences both past and present. Here is where the Society met its goal.
Image Top: More than 60 students contributed to the interactive â€œAdd your storyâ€ wall, quickly filling it up.
Image Left: Students from the local Newburgh Chapter of the Boys and Girls Club browsing through the new exhibit.
The exhibit is on display through December 2015.
Fund History While You Shop
While shopping for friends and family during the holiday season or any other time, please consider the options below and make a contribution towards the Societyâ€™s efforts. Click on any item to find out more information about how your Amazon.com purchases can benefit your favorite historical society or consider purchasing an past Newburgh Free Academy yearbook for your favorite alumni, family member or friend. Read moreâ†’
A limited amount of surplus non-accessioned Newburgh Free Academy yearbooks are available for purchase. They are perfect gifts during the holiday season. Bring the good feeling of nostalgia to a family member or friend. All proceeds benefit the Societyâ€™s library and archives.Click on the image to the left to view yearbooks in stock.
A greater focus has been given to the financial status of the Society. Not only is this important for the future of our organization, but it brings to the foreground possible weaknesses and threats, which can be turn into strengths and opportunities. The Society has already found benefit from this closer attention.
Please contact the Society to request a detailed report.
Income Increase Since 2013
Gift Shop: 167%
Library Donations: 40%
The past season has been successful in terms of programs with many interesting ones from our first one on the history of Downing Park held in April (1), to our most recent one on grapes grown in the Hudson Valley (2). A guided tour of St. Georgeâ€™s Cemetery in July (3) was well attended with over one hundred people. A program on growing up in Newburgh with a panel of local people speaking was a good addition to the â€œGrowing Up in Newburghâ€ photo exhibit which opened in June with great interest from local citizens. The exhibit, curated and produced by Russell Lange, won an award from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network at their October annual conference.
The Society offered a wonderful variety of events for the public this year, sometimes holding two events a month. The programs provided the community with interesting and thoughtful conversations together.
The Society was also pleased to announce the winner of this yearâ€™s scholarship, Douglas Indzonka of New Windsor. His interest in history has led him to many projects, archeology being an area of interest this past summer. There was a presentation of a check for $1,000 by Carla Decker, the scholarship benefactor, to Douglas at the Crawford House in June (4).
Become a Member!
Please consider becoming a member and supporting the Newburgh Historical Society.
Members Matter! The Newburgh Historical Society is a member supported organization.
Membership benefits are varied and help the Museum continue to fulfill its mission of education, historic preservation and community outreach. Read moreâ†’
Your contribution builds community pride among all who visit our headquarters and attend our events.
You help us maintain Newburghâ€™s architectural gem, the 1830s Crawford House. We do not receive any ongoing support from local, state or federal governments.
You benefit from our wonderful programs and events such as our walking tours and talks.
Your donations help us to meet our mission to preserve and protect our house collections and library archives.
Your contribution allows us to maintain our access points to our community (newsletter, online access, etc.).
This issue's contributors:
J. Warren Cahill Board Member
Matthew Colon Executive Director
Allynne Hopper Lange
City of Newburgh Historian
Roy R. Spells
Editor: Mary McTamaney
(available to members only):
City of Newburgh Historian
Board of ManagersAllynne Hopper Lange,
President Jim Hoekema,
Vice President Roy R. Spells,
Treasurer Mary McTamaney,
Secretary Alan Axelrod
J. Warren Cahill
Lynn Fischer Eberle
Gayle Clark Fedigan
Glenn T. Marshall
Richard E. Rosencrans
Executive Director: Matthew Colon
About Society:The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands was incorporated in 1884. Serving as stewards of our history, the Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving and interpreting historical documents, artifacts and personal mementos of the Newburgh area. The story of our unique local history is told through these Society collections.
Society Mission: The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands preserves the history of the Greater Newburgh area be promoting and appreciation of the region's unique attributes and protecting its architectural, cultural and historic resources.
Library Volunteers:Camille Corallo, Mary Durbin, Patricia Favata, James Halpin, Cathy Nugent.