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

History Alive! 
On Monday, June 12th I was honored to be a special guest on WTBQ 93.5 FM. The Warwick Historian Richard Hull and I discussed several topics including "the Future of History" in Orange County and beyond. The show is archived on the Albert Wisner Public Library website. Click on the music note labeled "6-12-17."

'Through Newcomers Eyes'
Poetry Collaboration
The Orange County Historian, Johanna Yaun, and the Orange County Poet Laureate, Robert Milby, are collaborating on a project to bring the history of the Newburgh area to life through the eyes of the newcomers who arrived between 1709 and the present day.
We will be providing half page first person accounts to local poets who will be asked to channel the individuals into an artistic interpretation of the feelings, anxieties, and excitements, disappointments, successes and historical facts that surrounded their arrival. The narratives are aimed at showcasing the cultural diversity that has been part of the city's history since the very first settlers, Palatine refugees escaping war and famine in the Rhine Valley, journeyed to our shores.
The poems inspired by these newcomers' stories will be compiled into a book and participants will be invited to present their contribution at a poetry reading next year.
If you are a poet in the Hudson Valley or beyond and would like to adopt a character, please contact Johanna Yaun,  to receive the list of first person accounts.
Community Updates
County Historian to host workshop to help history professionals engage Latino population
  Engaging Latinos with the History of the USA:
The Big Picture
Event will be conducted by Sergio Villavicencio, a frequent lecturer in the Latino community

Goshen, N.Y. - Orange County Historian Johanna Yaun will host a workshop for history professionals and historical society volunteers geared to engage the Latino population with the history of the United States from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 24 th at the County's Emergency Services Center, located at 22 Wells Farm Road in Goshen.
The workshop will be conducted by Sergio Villavicencio, an expert on presenting historical lectures to the Latino community.

"Sergio's global knowledge and his own background traveling and working in a variety of Spanish speaking counties will make this presentation very informative and entertaining for those who work with diverse audiences," Yaun said.

As a board member of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, Villavicencio has reached out to various Latino groups to lecture on U.S. history. The workshop, "Engaging Latinos with the History of the USA: The Big Picture," will be divided into three parts: Understanding the cultural differences of the perception of history in the U.S. versus Latin America, connecting the narrative; and keeping Latinos engaged.
Villavicencio's deep interest in history has taken him to over 50 countries, identifying and researching cultural differences and similarities on the ways to approach history.
"This is my first time speaking to the Orange County historical community and I'm thrilled to be able to share my experiences," Villavicencio said. "Those in attendance will be able to incorporate what I've learned into their programs to provide their audiences with a greater understanding of America's past."

This event is free, but RSVP's are appreciated. Contact Cher Vickers at 360-6978 or email

  Click this link for the Orange County press release
Award winning Hudson Valley storyteller Jonathan Kruk portrayed Noah Webster and musician Thaddeus McGregor performed traditional songs at Noah Webster weekend in Goshen on June 3rd.
As part of the Newburgh Illuminated Festival, Washington'[s Headquarters hosted reenactors on their grounds throughout the afternoon of June 3rd.
Orange County Historian, Johanna Yaun, delivered a welcome to the Hudson River Valley Greenway Conservancy and Communities Council at their meeting held at SUNY Orange Kaplan Hall in Newburgh on June 7th.
Muriel Horowitz, Storyteller, performed at Gomez Mill House on June 11 for Sunday at Mill House. The next event will be a June 25th presentation by Major Jason P. Levay, USA- History Instructor, USMA. in which he will speak on the Colonial Era Non-Conventional Warfare in the Hudson River Valley
Upcoming Events, Training & Conferences
History Talk with Frank Salvati on "Queen Esther's Revenge!"

Wednesday June 14 7PM to 9PM


The Neversink Valley Museum of History & Innovation presents a History Talk on Wednesday, June 14th at 7:00 PM with local historian Frank Salvati speaking about QUEEN ESTHER'S REVENGE! 

One fateful day, as the United States continued to be engaged in a great and earnest struggle for freedom from the exactions and tyranny of the British government, a massacre occurred in the Wyoming Valley in North Eastern Pennsylvania. Legends, poems, and songs are written to commemorate that bloody day July 3rd, 1778. 

Join historian Frank Salvati as he tells of one of the most brutal and controversial episo des of the American Revolution. Frank weaves the history of the Wyoming Massacre into the tale of Esther Montour known as "Queen Ester". Of her, Frank says "The Seneca Chieftainess did not share her tribes' hatred of the Americans until they killed her only son Gencho." Esther then vowed, "They will never forget what they have done to me because they will never forget what I will do to them." 

Come and learn more about these fascinating times as speaker Frank Salvati, shares his knowledge of French and Indian War, early Colonial America and these Native American peoples. Frank Salvati is a resident of Port Jervis, New York. He is a passionate student of the Indian wars, with a particular interest in the North Eastern United States. He is a popular speaker on the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolution and the War of 1812. 

Suggested donation is $5.00 for members and $7.00 for non-members. Or email at

The Neversink Valley Museum of History & Innovation
26 Hoag Road, Cuddebackville, New York 12729

Bear Mountain Bridge: Bridges over the Hudson

Thursday, June 15th 7:30PM to 9PM

John C Hart Memorial Library
1130 E Main St, Shrub Oak, New York 10588

After Yorktown: the Path to Newburgh

Saturday, June 17th at 2PM

To many the Siege of Yorktown in October of 1781 is seen as the end of the War for American Independence. Come to Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site's presentation, "After Yorktown: The Path to Newburgh," on Saturday, June 17th at 2:00 PM and listen to why this is far from the truth. Hear about the events that occurred after Yorktown that paved the way for General Washington's stay at the Hasbrouck House in Newburgh from 1782 to 1783.

This special presentation, a Path Through History event, is free with standard admission which includes a guided tour of the historic Headquarters and the freedom to explore the Museum, which houses the multi award-winning exhibit, Unpacked & Rediscovered: Selections from Washington's Headquarters' Collection. 

After Yorktown: The Path to Newburgh is a Path Through History Weekend Event.

For more information call (845) 562-1195.

Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site
84 Liberty St, Newburgh, New York 12550

Bull Stone House Open for tours

Saturday, June 17th 1-4PM

The Bull Stone House and the only example of a New World Dutch Barn still standing in Orange County are located at the corner of the Sarah Wells Trail and County Rt. 51.
The William Bull and Sarah Wells Stone House Association is honored to be participating in the event again this year and opening our historic house museum to visitors interested in local history. There are walking paths through the woods leading to the historic Hamptonburg cemetery where many Bull family members are buried.
The house, barn and grounds will be open from 1-4PM Suggested donation $2 children, $3 adults and $8 families. For more info call 845-496-2855 or email
Path Thru History Weekend at Museum Village

Saturday & Sunday, June 17th & 18th 11AM-4PM

Take a step back in time and stroll through the village green surrounded by over 20 exhibit buildings! We'll have costumed interpreters in our buildings ready to give demonstrations. Visit the School House, Broom Shop, Blacksmith, Print Shop, Drug Store, Log Cabin, Weave Shop, Candle Shop, and much more! Did you know we have one of three complete mastodon skeletons in the entire world? Snack Bar and Gift Shop will also be open. Website for more information.

And Fathers are FREE on Fathers' Day (June 18th)!

Museum Village
1010 State Route 17M, Monroe, New York 10950
Children's Day at New Windsor Cantonment

Sunday, June 18 10AM to 4PM

Sunday June 18, Children's Day at the New Windsor Cantonment. Part of New York's Path Through History weekends, a fun-filled day of family entertainment on Father's Day with the Two by Two petting zoo, magician Mr. Bayly and a host of 18th century games. The program runs 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Path Through History website for more info.

New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site
374 Temple Hill Rd, New Windsor, New York 12553
Loyalist Day at Fort Montgomery

Sunday, June 18 10AM to 4PM

Learn about the Loyalist Troops that helped capture Fort Montgomery as the fort's interpretive staff portrays Emmerich's Chasseurs, one of the units involved in the attack on the fort! Website for more information.

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
690 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery, New York 10922
Local Trolleys Then and Now

Wednesday, June 21 at 7:30 PM - 9 PM

Join us when Ray Kelly returns to the Walden House to present his program on Trolleys. 7:30 PM, Wednesday, June 21st.

The Jacob T. Walden House
34 North Montgomery Street, Walden, New York 12586
Engaging Latinos with the History of the USA: The Big Picture

Saturday, June 24, 10 to 11:30 AM
The workshop, "Engaging Latinos with the History of the USA: The Big Picture," will be split up into three parts:
  • Understanding the cultural differences of how history is perceived in the USA versus Latin America;
  • Connecting the narrative; and
  • Keeping Latinos engaged.
Reservations suggested. Call 845-360-6978, or email

Orange County EMS Center
22 Wells Farm Road, Goshen
Historic Track 180th Season & Golf Outing at Otterkill

Monday, June 26

The 180th season of harness racing at the historic track kicked off last week. Racing continues June 18th and resumes July 1st-4th.
For information about the Historic Track Golf Outing fundraiser at Otterkill on June 26th please contact Linda Myers at 845-294-5333, Patrick English at 201-551-8713 or Frank Baldassare at 201-803-1390.
2017 Cemetery Care Workshops 
July 16 - Temple Beth Jacob Big Rock Cemetery in Newburgh
August 12 - Washingtonville Presbyterian Church Cemetery
October 14 - Gumaer Family Cemetery in Deerpark

(*raindates are as follows: July 23, August 13, and October 15.  In the same order as above.)
Event includes short lecture on the practice of cleaning and repairing stones, and then a hands-on cleaning workshop.  Attendees are asked to come prepared to get down and dirty and educate others on proper cleaning methods. 

Moderated by cemetery preservation expert, Marianne Greenfield.
Please RSVP, each session has only 16 slots available. Contact the Historian office at 845-360-6978 or email
History in the News
Office of Town of Warwick Historian presents awards to local newspapers

Historian: 'They have challenged us to civilly engage with the community to gain a vision ... for the future'

WARWICK - During the Town of Warwick Board Meeting on Thursday, May 11, Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Town Historian Dr. Richard Hull took the opportunity to thank and congratulate the editors and publishers of both The Warwick Advertiser and the Warwick Valley Dispatch for their long, dedicated and distinguished service to the people of the community.

"These are both community papers," said Hull, "and 'community' I believe is one of the pillars or foundation stones of our American democracy."

He also thanked Deputy Town Historian Sue Gardner, the Albert Wisner Public Library and the Warwick Historical Society for archiving past copies of both papers and making them accessible to the public. 

Link here for full article
Newburgh IDs site for remains of historic cemetery for blacks

Historian: 'They have challenged us to civilly engage with the community to gain a vision ... for the future'

 CITY OF NEWBURGH - For nine years Newburgh residents have awaited the return of the remains of more than 100 men, women and children unearthed from a 19th-century cemetery for blacks that had been covered over by the former school building now housing the city's courthouse.

A two-phase plan for reinterring the bones and building a public education program about their history was unveiled on Thursday by Deirdre Glenn, the city's planning and development director, and Benilda Jones, a member of the committee formed to guide the return of the remains.

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