Newburgh: How did we get here?

On Wednesday, January 8th the Newburgh Professional and Business Association held a free membership event at the Fullerton Mansion. NPBA membership chair Lisa Gervais did a great job organizing the second-ever event thanks to the generosity of the Fullerton proprietor, Michael Green. Newburgh historian Mary McTamany provided an outstanding outline of Newburgh's rich history in innovation, invention, residing dignitaries and historical poignancy.  

Here are some highlights from Mary's presentation that will help you see Newburgh in a new light: 

Notably, Newburgh is known as:

*Birthplace of the U.S. Republic*

* George Washington. refused to be crowned king of America here *

Peace and Independence declared here in 1783 on lawn of Hasbrouck House*

* Washington’s HQ is nation's 1st publicly owned historic site; a mecca for preservationists *

* First Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton while he lived at Fishkill during the revolutionary war * (1775-1783 )

Federalist papers: series of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. This document (the Federalist) provided all the reasons to support the new plan of government described in the U.S. Constitution, and responses to each of the criticisms of the plan.

 * The beautiful landing at Denning's Points *

William Denning—mercantilist, financier, important in financing for the revolution—visited the point with his son.  Denning served on a committee of 60 refusing to accept British goods,  was on board of treasury for Washington’s cabinet, volunteered for the militia and gave financial support for the new nation. His son, William Denning II, much  later, purchased the point.  

* Hudson River School of Art centered many studios of famous artists here *

The Hudson River School was a mid-19th century American art movement embodied by a group of landscape painters whose aesthetic vision was influenced by romanticism. The paintings for which the movement is named depict the Hudson River Valley and the surrounding area, including the Catskill, Adirondack, and the White Mountains; eventually works by the second generation of artists associated with the school expanded to include other locales, like New England and the Maritimes.

* Scenes of Newburgh printed on fine 19th C. English chinaware prize worldwide *

* Distinct American style architecture began here with Andrew Jackson Downing *

-* Highland Gardens collective of architects, landscapers and The Horticulturist journal *

* Purple Heart established here, designed by George Washington himself while on Liberty Street *

 * Longest running Hudson River ferry ran here continuously from 1743-1963 *

 * Frederick Douglass spoke here on voting and civil rights *

* National women's suffrage leaders held their convention here in 1895 *

* "I Love Lucy" Show born here at the Ritz Theater which hosted many famous acts *

* Newburgh was America's television test city in 1939 *

* Fluoride to prevent tooth decay tested here too *

* A clinical trial here for the Salk polio vaccine in the early 1950's *

* Iran hostages returned home after 444 days, touching Newburgh ground first *

* Center of the 19th Lyceum movement of intellectual public debate *

* Anti-slavery and underground-railroad activists *

* Speed skating, fast-pitch softball & rowing world champs *

* Downing Park created by Olmstead and Vaux who trained here & built Central Park *

* Motorcylepedia*

Ted Doering grew up in New Windsor, NY.  He began building choppers in the late 1960s. While favoring Harleys, he collected custom and original Harley motorcycles and memorabilia.  Together with his father, Gerald Doering, the two opened Motorcyclepedia in April 2011.  Now, the rest of the world can experience and enjoy the father and son's extensive motorcycle and memorabilia collection.  Ted presently serves as the museum's Director.

*Storm King Art Center*

Previously covered on Happy Hudson Valley in Fall 2013


So, Newburgh, this is how we arrived at our rich history of vast greatness, giving us so much to work towards. 

I expect nothing less from you.

Notable Notes submitted by Richie Rosencrans:  a graduate of SUNY New Paltz, majored in History and English. Richie is the Visitor Education Programs Coordinator at Gomez Mill House Museum/Historic Site; Member of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands Board of Managers; Treasurer of the Fullerton Cultural Center Corporation, and Fullerton Mansion Coordinator. Richie facilitates all social and educational community-oriented events at the mansion and is also the resident caretaker.