News and Event Updates from the Office of the Orange County Historian

Historic Goshen Track Seeks Support After Devastating Fire
Fire destroys barns, stables at Goshen Historic Track

No horses or humans were hurt

On Wednesday, August 23rd around 6 pm, a fire started at the Goshen Historic Track and quickly spread. There was no loss of life and more than 30 horses were rescued from their burning stalls.

The following day, work crews were able to salvage some mementos from the historic stables and blacksmith shop.

The track will be entering its 108th season of harness racing in 2018. Goshen Historic Track is the oldest active harness racing track in the world. Donations are currently being accepted to help rebuild. To donate, click here .

For more information about the fire at Goshen Historic Track,  click here.
Community Updates
The County and Borough historians of New York State met for a full day conference at the New York State Museum. The event was hosted by the New York State Historian Devin Lander.
County Historian Johanna Yaun on Warwick Town Historian Richard Hull's "History Alive" podcast 

The August 24th episode of "HIstory Alive" originally aired live on WTBQ. It is now available to listen to as a podcast on the Albert Wisner Public Library web archive. 

Click Here to Access the Archive
On August 17th the Orange County Youth Bureau hosted a graduation ceremony for high school interns who were working within several County departments over the last months. The intern in the Historian's office was Rowan Moses-Westphal who not only helped to organize the archives (pictured here) but also took on projects in the office that included data entry, research and writing. 
Upcoming Events, Training & Conferences
42nd Annual Civil War Weekend at Museum Village

Saturday, Sept 2nd, 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, Sept 3rd, 10:00am-4:00pm

Civil War Weekend at Museum Village is one of our premier events of the year. The living historians that will gather here are men, women and children who don authentic dress, adopt a Victorian view of society and war, and take great pride in their representation and portrayal of historic regiments and organizations. These individuals are eager to interpret this very important chapter in our Nation's past.

Here at Museum Village, you will see representations of Federal and Confederate infantry, artillery and cavalry units. Medical demonstrations and civilian life are also a part of the scenery that the visitor will observe. During the weekend you wi ... ll witness re-enactments of standard Civil War tactics and troop movements as the two armies meet in battle. Visitors can stroll through the camps, talk with the troops and civilians, meet with President Lincoln and Harriet Tubman and shop at Sutler's Row, the civilian merchants who followed the Army.

Museum Village will have all of the buildings staffed and interpreted; President Lincoln will be here to give his Gettysburg Address; Harriet Tubman will be walking through the grounds; and, many other time period demonstrations will showcase a past life. Plan on spending the entire day immersed in one of our histories most important time periods!

Adults: $15.00; Seniors: $12.00; Children 4 -12: $10.00


Museum Village
1010 State Route 17M, Monroe, New York 10950

Colonial Cooking at Fort Montgomery

Saturday, September 2 from 11AM to 4PM

18th century cooking was in many ways similar to modern times! Meals were prepared using methods such as boiling, frying, broiling and baking. Our program will demonstrate how multi-dish meals can be created over a single open fire using various cookware and methods.

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
690 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery, New York 10922
Week of Revolution: Brown Bag Lunch at West Point Museum

Sunday, September 3 from 1PM to 2PM

Participants will be treated to a discussion with West Point Scholars speaking about the Revolutionary War period and Benedict Arnold's role in its history. Bring your lunch and your burning questions to the West Point Museum! Limited availability, registration required:

West Point Museum
2110 New South Post Rd, West Point, New York 10996
Psychic Dinner at Limoncello

Saturday, September 9 from 7PM to 1AM

When dining at Limoncello at Orange Inn, you're never eating alone! The paranormal experiences of visitors, staff and guests leave no doubt that this location doesn't just serve the living! 

Disembodied voices calling out your name from the darkened corners, full-bodied apparitions moving from room to room, shadow figures and mysterious banging are just a few of the reports that have come from investigations at Limoncello. You won't want to miss out on the opportunity to hear the stories of visit ors long past! 

Limoncello sits on the foundation of an old prison. The only physical remnants are the old tunnels that lead from the prison to the courthouse. 

4 Course Dinner Starts at 7:30 pm and Ghost Hunt from around 9:30 pm. You will be dining with the psychic, and then the Ghost Hunt will start. 

159-167 Main St, Goshen, New York 10924
The History of the Delaware Valley Lenape Indians

Wedneday, September 13 at 7PM

The Neversink Valley Museum of History & Innovation presents a History Talk on Wednesday, September 13th at 7:00 PM with historian Steve Skye where he will be speaking about "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The History of the Delaware Valley Lenape Indians"

When the European settlers first populated the Delaware Valley they were greeted by Lenape Indians. Join Steve Skye, a historian at the Neversink Valley Museum of History and Innovation as he explores the history of the Lenape from their arrival in the area to their departure westward. Part of a confederacy with other Lenape tribes, the Delaware Valley Lenape fell under the domination of the powerful Iroquois Federation before the arrival of the Europeans.

A pr oud and assertive people, the Lenape suffered under the control of the Iroquois until they were finally able to free themselves in the early post-Columbian period. They played an important role in the American Revolutionary War, fighting with the British forces against the Americans who had cheated them of their land during "the walking purchase" and who were now pushing them out of the territory that remained. After the war, they departed to the west, past Ohio. Only a few stragglers remained in the area.
This History Talk will be held September 13, 2017, at 7:00 PM at the D & H Canal Park Visitor's Center, 58 Hoag Road, (just off Route 209) Cuddebackville, NY. Suggested donation is $5.00 for members and $7.00 for non-members. 

The Neversink Valley Museum is open by appointment on Sundays from noon until 4:00 pm through October 28 please call to plan your visit. For more information about the museum, its mission to preserve local history or any events, call (845) 754-8870 or check the Or email at

The museum is at 26 Hoag Road, in Cuddebackville.
Open House at the Deerpark Museum

Sunday, September 17 from 11A to 4PM

Please join us for Deerpark's "2017 Autumn Open House" to be held at the Deerpark Museum and Grange Building Annex. In the 1863 red brick one-room schoolhouse museum, local folk artist and vintage sign painter Peter Koenig will set up a display of his work. Across the street at the Grange Building, a host of area organizations will feature programs and displays. Museum members will honor the 150th Anniversary of the Grange Movement, which was organized in 1867 to give voice to farmers. The Mt. Hope Historical Society will bring a display of their extensive farm tool collection. The Port Jervis Council for the Arts will present speaker Lori Strelecki, Museum Director for the Pike County Historical Society at the Columns in Milford, PA. Ms. Strelecki's noon time talk and slide presentation will be entitled "Pulp and Circumstance: the Story of John Newton Howitt." At 2pm we are excited to present R.J. Storms and his Old School Blue Grass Band, who promises to fill the rafters with down-home music. 

Intersection of 25 Grange and Big Pond Roads in Huguenot, NY
World War I Teacher Workshop A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Free for teachers

Join us on Thursday, November 9 for a one-day World War I teacher workshop. 

This free workshop is offered by the staff of the New York State Museum, State Library, State Archives, and Public Broadcasting Office at the Cultural Education Center in Albany, NY. The workshop is designed to aid educators in teaching the history of World War I.

With hands-on learning, presentations, guided tours, and break out discussions, participants will learn about the history of the war through the current A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War exhibition at the State Museum and learn how to apply that knowledge in the classroom. Participants will also develop an understanding of the educational resources available at the Cultural Education Center (CEC), including the State Museum, State Library, State Archives, and Public Broadcasting Office. Participants will expand on the information and tools given to them throughout the workshop during brainstorming and development sessions, where they can gain CEC staff insight as well as fellow educators opinions. 

*Note: The New York State Museum is an approved provider of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE). If you are employed in a New York State school, your employing district approves all professional development activities to accrue towards your continuing professional development requirement. 

Eligibility: Teachers of Social Studies 

Applications are due November 3, 2017. The number of participants is limited to 30.
Teacher CTLE Credit: 7.5 CTLE hours

Cost: Free; participants are responsible for providing their own lunch

History in the News
Horses rescued as fire destroys stables at Goshen Historic Track

GOSHEN, New York (WABC) -- Firefighters in Orange County battled a three-alarm fire at Goshen Historic Track Wednesday night.

With smoke spewing into the roadway and flames raging out of control, the fire started inside one barn and then spreading to another.

Firefighters in Goshen Wednesday night could only do so much.

The three-alarm fire at the Goshen Historic Track burned next to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.

Museum director Janet Terhune was forced to watch the devastating loss of a National Historic Landmark.

Tower of Victory restoration is underway in Newburgh

"Save the Tower" is a plea heard often for the Tower of Victory when you see it at Washington's Headquarters on Liberty Street in Newburgh.

A fundraising campaign was initiated by the Palisades Parks Conservancy for the restoration of the monument, and work has begun. Records show that the monument has stood for more than 130 years as the nation's only monument to the lasting peace that came after the end of the Revolutionary War.

The choice Robert E. Lee made is relevant to us today

Robert E. Lee famously had a decision to make. The West-Point graduate who had been stationed in New York and carved out a military reputation for himself had to choose between his state and his country. Today it may be difficult to recognize the magnitude of that decision. Outside of perhaps Texas which once had been an independent country, the issue has been resolved. People generally identify with the country.

In an article on renaming Lee Barracks at West Point, Benjamin Haas, who like myself is a West Point graduate, argued that the United States Military Academy should remove Robert E. Lee's name from a building that houses cadets.  Whatever the ultimate answer is to that question, we should recognize that it is a thread of a much larger, interwoven conversation about the selective and expressive use of Confederate Generals' names by federal, state, and local governments and institutions. And we should try to understand the different uses of these symbols, which are sometimes for competing and sometimes for overlapping purposes. More specifically, in focusing on the federal use of such names at West Point and in the US Army, I suggest we consider why they were originally dedicated and what that says about us, then and now. In thinking through these questions, we should conduct individualized and contextualized assessments about the appropriateness of their continued use in public spaces. One size does not fit all.

Village of Warwick Celebrates 150th Anniversary

WARWICK -  The Village of Warwick celebrated its 150th - or sesquicentennial - anniversary of its incorporation Aug. 2-5 with a variety of events - from ribbon cutting to a parade.

The official four days of ceremonies, which began with a ribbon cutting on Aug. 2, concluded with a free barbecue, live music and spectacular fireworks. 

The yearlong series of celebratory events began with an apple drop on New Year's Eve.

Warwick Time Capsule Opened

The big day for the Village of Warwick Sesquicentennial celebration was Sat., Aug. 5, beginning with the much-anticipated opening of the 1967 time capsule at Veteran's Memorial Park. People young and old gathered for the ceremony.
Joining the Village for the opening were Mayor and Mayoress Stephen and Christine Cross from Warwick, England. 

Local Gun Show Features Military Relics, Controversial Artifacts 

TOWN OF NEWBURGH - Erasing history is not an appropriate way to mend wounds from the past, according to the collectors who displayed guns and war artifacts that some might find controversial during a gun show Sunday.

Sunday's show at the Ice Time Sports Complex will be in Saratoga Springs next weekend, where it has already received heavy criticism, according to David Petronis, owner of the New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Association.

This Alexander Hamilton Graphic Biography Is A Deep-Dive Into The History Of The Hero And Scholar

The stage play rushes past his youth, and entirely leaves out Hamilton's role in darker events from American history like The Newburgh Conspiracy, The Pennsylvania Mutiny, The Whiskey Rebellion, Shay's Rebellion, and the schemes of several northern, New England states to secede from the Union in the very early 1800s," Hennessey says.

Another unique thing about the graphic novel when compared to the musical was Hennessey's insistence on facts verses dialogue, something he believes is crucial to telling Hamilton's story in the fullest way possible.

Orange County Historian | Goshen, N.Y. |  845-545-7908 |  jyaun