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Library News
New Flat Files
2015 Calendar Feature

Building and Grounds News
Insulating the Attic


On October 15, 2014, an exciting tour of Newburgh’s rich history took place as 90 Newburgh Free Academy students walked around the city under the direction of English teacher Virginia McCurdy. Mrs. McCurdy orchestrated a multi-faceted adventure for her eleventh grade students who were very interested in all aspects of the community’s story.

The day included a ferry trip from Beacon, followed by a visit to Washington’s Headquarters where students learned about the importance of Newburgh during the Revolutionary War. Later they visited the Newburgh Brewing Company and stopped for lunch at a local restaurant, the Wherehouse— both are buildings that have been adapted from earlier uses.
After lunch the students came to the Captain David Crawford House, the lovely circa 1830 home of a leader in Newburgh’s early progress as an American commercial center. Docents reported that the students asked many questions, were thrilled with the format of the day’s events, and had been very excited to learn so many interesting facts about their community.
Image: The NFA students sat for a photo on the front porch steps of the Crawford House. Image provided by Virginia McCurdy.


Despite the cold weather we have had this past winter, the Crawford House has remained much warmer than in the past thanks to the installation of some new attic insulation last October. The project was the result of investigations by the Historical Society’s Buildings and Grounds Committee into the best way to go about keeping the Crawford House energy efficient. After interviews with several home improvement contractors, the Committee settled on Ray Fritzsche of Accurate Construction Services who offered the most feasible plan for the best price.

The project called for loose fiberglass insulation to be blown in beneath the attic floor boards. In order to accomplish this, volunteers had to move all the collections, files and other stored material out of the way of the workers, then Ray and his crew could pry up the floor boards every ten feet and blow in the insulation. The two-day project took about 20 hours to complete at a cost of $3,375, which the Historical Society was able to afford thanks to a generous legacy gift from a former Newburger who passed away in California last winter.
Image Top: The Accurate Construction crew tirelessly applying loose insulation.

Image Right: Volunteers generously assisted with moving the collection.
Members receive the print version of the Riverview newsletter. Included only in the print version is an additional page on the reverse side of the 2015 Calendar of Events featuring an interesting article based on materials in our collection.

Become a member today and start receiving our stories.


Do you have fond memories of growing up in Newburgh? Do you have a couple of photographs that might help us tell that story? The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands is seeking photographs from the public that depict familiar scenes of their childhood in Newburgh. For the upcoming exhibit, “Growing Up In Newburgh,” we’d like photos showing families at Downing Park in spring, marching in a parade, lined up for the movies, ice skating at the “Polly,” sleigh riding, shopping downtown, taking the ferry, going to Pete’s Hot Dogs, dance at your first prom or just playing at something really fun.

We want this exhibit to bring back memories and help our community see our city as we first saw it, through children’s eyes and those of their proud parent photographers.
As Russell Lange, curator of the exhibit, expressed in his proposal, “This is an exhibit we can build together as a community to tell our story.”

Photos can be mailed, emailed, or arranged to be scanned at the Society’s headquarters, the Captain David Crawford House, by May 1, 2015. For more information about the exhibit or submitting photographs please visit the Society’s websiteemail them at, or call (845) 561-2585.
Images provided by members of themselves photographed as children at Downing Park for winter fun and standing in the storefront of the family business.


Fifty local artists will present their work in the Stone Floor Gallery at the Crawford House from April 12th-May 17th in the Artists Choice exhibition. An Opening Reception will be held for the artists and the general public on Sunday, April 12th from 3-5 pm, and will serve as the first event of the Society’s 2015 program season. In April 2014, the Society held its biennial “Feast of the Arts” art auction, as it has done for many years. In the off-year, the Society mounts the invitational Artists Choice exhibition as a gesture of gratitude for the artists’ generous participation in the auction. In this way, the Society strengthens its relationship with the local arts community and adds to the cultural life of the Newburgh area. The Reception is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Painting of Capt. David Crawford House by local artist, William Noonan.


1:00 - 4:00 PM

April through October
House tours and exhibit
also available by appointment.
Call us today!
Pieces from the Society's postcard collection were featured in a 2015 calendar printed by Ulster Savings Bank. See our postcards on the February and May pages. The Savings Bank was so impressed with the library they made a $250 contribution towards their efforts!


In the quiet winter months, the Society’s Library has been improving. Hundreds of documents, prints, maps and old photographs are held in our archives. They have long needed more stable and protective housing. This year, four used but good quality flat files were purchased and oversized collection items were brought together. The files provide room to sort, clean, inventory and wrap fragile items in acid-free sleeves to prolong their lives. Library volunteer Camille Corallo has that inventory job well underway. Nearby, a work table from the Habitat For Humanity ReStore provides a bright place to view things like old maps and two mismatched walls of the east library room were repainted a sunny gold by Dave McTamaney. Member Rich Fenwick donated talent and muscle to help with refurbishing the room as well. Now new shades are sought for two remaining windows and a more welcoming place for researchers is taking shape.
Print and photographic materials had been boxed and stored on shelves. Retrieval was always heavy and difficult and there was no room to add more. The cabinets offer stability, ensuring the valuable collection will be protected for many years to come.


The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands is a member supported organization.
$35 Individual
$15 Student
$50 Family
$100 Century Club
$250 Crawford Associate
$500 1830 Society
$1,000 Captain's Circle
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5 Good Reasons You Should Join the Society:
  1. Your contribution builds community pride among all who visit our headquarters and attend our events.
  2. You help us maintain Newburgh’s architectural gem, the 1830s Crawford House. We do not receive any ongoing support from local, state or federal governments.
  3. You benefit from our wonderful programs and events such as our walking tours and talks.
  4. Your donations help us to meet our mission to preserve and protect our house collections and library archives.
  5. 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

Anne Coon

Board Vice President

Carla Decker
Board Member Emeritus

Tom Knieser

Russell Lange
Board Member Emeritus

Mary McTamaney
City of Newburgh Historian

Editors: Mary McTamaney
& Allynne Hopper Lange
History Feature
(available to members only):

J. Warren Cahill
Board Member
Board of Managers
Allynne Hopper Lange,
Anne Coon,
    Vice President
Jim Hoekema,
    2nd Vice President
Roy R. Spells,
Mary McTamaney,
J. Warren Cahill
Lynn Fischer Eberle
Gayle Clark Fedigan
Brigidanne Flynn
Susan M. Knieser
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.
Copyright © 2015 Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands, All rights reserved.

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