Orange County, New York

pre-colonial period – the Waraoneck Indians lived in the area along the west side of the Hudson River.

1709 – 54 Palatine refugees settled on the Quassaick Creek.

1719 – the Palatine Parish of Quassaick granted to the Palatinate settlers. Their first street was later renamed Liberty Street.

1729 – Neburgh’s first church built at the site of the Old Town Cemetery.

1730's – Scoth-Irish immigrants arrive.

1743 – the Scotch-Irish now outnumber the Palatines. Newburg was named after Newburg, Scotland.

1743 – Alexander Colden established the Newburgh-Beacon ferry.

1747 – the Scotch-Irish take over Newburgh’s first church from the Palatines.

1750 – Jonathan Hasbrouck (a descendant of one of the original Huguenot settlers of New Paltz) built a stone house overlooking the Hudson River. It was located between Liberty Street and Second Street and between Broadway and North Street.

1752 – the Parish of Newburgh was named.

1782 (March 21) – General George Washington moved from Philadelphia to Newburgh.

1782 (April 1) – General George Washington arrive in Newburgh and stays at the Hasbrouck House. He stayed here until the official end of the Revolutionary War.

1793 – Newburgh’s first newspaper, The Newburgh Packet.

1797 – the Newburgh Fire Department formed.

1800 – Newburgh incorporated as a village.

1807 – Robert Fulton invents a practical steamship which would have a big impact on Newburgh.

1815 – Andrew Jackson Downing, the father of landscape gardening, born in Newburgh.

1830 – David Crawford, a steamboat operator, builds a Greek Revival Mansion on Montgomery Street. (Today the house is home to the Historical Society of the Newburgh Bay and the Highlands.)

Early 1830's – the Newburgh Whaling Company founded and lasted three years.

1831 – Homer Ramsdell (1810- ), from New York City after a childhood in Massachusetts, set up a business venture at Maiden Lane and Williams Streets in Manhattan.

1835 – Homer Ramsdell married Frances Powell. The bride was the daughter of Thomas Powell, who controlled most the Newburgh’s riverfront businesses via his freight forwarding business.

by 1840 – Ramsdell sold all his New York City business interests to settle in Newburgh. He helped build his farther-in-law’s operations.

1841 – Newburgh Courthouse built.

1846 – Thomas Powell’s freighting line between Newburgh and New York built the steamer Thomas Powell. Ramsdell came to own the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry, Denning Point Brickyards in Beacon, the Washington Iron Works and, as president of the Erie Railroad, all the railroad traffic that came through Newburgh.

1850 – big celebration of the preservation of American’s first historic site, the Hasbrouck House.

1851 - 1855 – Newburgh prospered greatly.

1852 – Newburgher Horatio N. Swift produced the first US made lawn mower.

1852 – at the age of 37, Andrew Jackson Downing dies while trying to save the life of a fellow passenger in a steamboat tragedy.

1855 – a ladder truck purchased from New York City .

1855 – Uzal Knapp, a 99 year old Revolutionary War veteran, attended the 1855 celebration of the Hasbrouck House preservation. He died some six months later and is buried next to the Hasbrouck House.

1862 – grand opening of the Brewster Hook & Ladder Company.

1865 – the City of Newburgh was incorporated.

1865 – the City of Newburgh celebrated the return of Civil War soldiers on the lawn of Washington’s Headquarters who arrived via the steamer Mary Powell.

1870 – abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Henry Highland Garnet spoke at Moore’s Opera House to celebrate the passage of the 15th Amendment allowing all men to vote.

1876 – St. Luke’s Hospital incorporated.

1876 – the old City Library built on Grand Street.

1878 – Schoonmaker’s opens at 94-96 Water Street.

1883 – opening of the bridge built over the Quassaick Creek to connect Newburgh with New Windsor.

1885 – The Newburgh Daily News.

1886 – the first horse-drawn trolley (Broadway to Water Street).

1886 – the Tower of Victory was constructed.

1893 – the Great Panic of this year crippled Newburgh’s heavy industry.

late 1890s ? – Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, students of A. J. Downing, dedicate Downing Park in the memory of their mentor. The Smith house gave a great view of the Hudson River and was also used as a tuberculosis sanitarium. The house was demolished and a Pergola put in its place to serve as a place for evening parties. The pond at the southwest corner of the park was known as the "Polly." The pond could be easily seen from the WPA-built 1936 Shelter House (restored in 1997). There was a bust of the Italian Dante Algheiri (that was later moved to the front of the Newburgh Free Library on Grand Street.) There was also an observatory. A lot of musical performances were held at the old bandstand.

1896 – statue of George Clinton by sculptor Henry Kirke Brown placed at the corner of Colden and Water Streets, Clinton Square. (The Clinton statue is now at Colonial Terraces.)

by 1900 – brick making was a big industry in the Newburgh area.

1901 – birth of Archie Stewart (later of Stewart International Airport).

1909 – Sculptor Henry Kirke Brown donated a statue of General Anthony Wayne of Revolutionary War fame. It was placed near the Tower of Victory. It had not been bronzed and fell apart by 1910.

1909 – the Hudson-Fulton Day Celebration.

1910 – the Fireman’s Monument was moved from Miller’s Marble Works to Downing Park facing Dubois Street.

1915 – the film Birth of a Nation played at the Academy of Music on Grand Street.

1917 – celebration of the launching of the freight ship the Newburgh. Former President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a speech at the celebration.

1926 – Downing’s house demolished.

1928 – construction of the Hotel Washington.

Great Depression – the Archie Stewart family donated two of their unused farms to Newburg for aviation purposes.

World War II – Stewart field was of immense use due to its close proximity to West Point and its long runway, the longest in the eastern US.

second half of the 20th century – Newburgh underwent a great deal of Urban Renewal.

1952 – Look magazine named Newburgh an All-American City because of its local government.

1956 – the Academy of Music burned in the winter.

1963 – construction of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge (ending service via the Newburgh Ferry Terminal).

1990 – Archie Stewart was aboard the first passenger plane to take off from Steward International Airport.

1992 – the Civil War Monument in Downing Park was replaced and the white alabaster stone cleaned.

1998 – death of Archie Steward.

1999 – the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra performed the first orchestral music in some 30 years at Downing Park’s bandstand.


Kevin Barrett. 2000. Images of America: Newburgh. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press.

Patricia A. Favata.  Images of America: Newburgh, the Heart of the City.  Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press.