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

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell kicks-off National Parks Service Centennial tour with visit to the Hudson Valley

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus is pleased to announce that Historian, Johanna Yaun, joined Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell; U.S. Representative Nita Lowey; and Commissioner of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Rose Harvey on
 Monday, August 22 for Roundtable Discussion
as the National Park Service Celebrates 100th anniversary
Event included the unveiling of the Washington-Rochambeau Historical Trail Marker at FDR State Park in Yorktown, NY

August 24, 2016, Goshen, NY - Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus is proud to announce that the County's Historian Johanna Yaun was invited to join an illustrious gathering of historic preservationists and national park representatives in a roundtable discussion of the next 100 years in preserving historical sites on national parklands.  The invitation came from Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Congresswoman Nita Lowey who were on a country-wide tour of National Parks to meet with historic preservation stakeholders in a roundtable discussion.

The event began at the Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Yorktown for the unveiling of an informative plaque describing the historic moment when the French Army joined General George Washington's troops on the long march to Yorktown, Virginia for the final battle of the Revolutionary War. After the unveiling, the group, led by Jewell's motorcade, made the trip across the river to the Bear Mountain Inn, chosen because the newly-renovated Inn is one of the earliest examples of the Adirondack style architecture that came to exemplify rustic design. Jewell and Lowey, and Acting Director of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, Mark Castiglione each spoke on the rich history of the Hudson Valley, thanked the group for their service to public lands and sites, before inviting each participant the opportunity to present brief reports on issues facing historical preservationists.   

"I am so proud of Johanna for being selected by such an esteemed gathering," says Neuhaus, "she has certainly earned the right to be there.  The County is certainly lucky to have her energy, enthusiasm for history, and rich knowledge of our area." 

Yaun was honored to be invited to speak about Orange County's place in history and advocate for the future of municipal historians as the economic and technological advancements continue to challenge the profession.  "This was an opportunity to meet with my colleagues, and representatives from Washington, D.C. I hope this is the beginning of a real dialogue, one on the federal level, on how to better balance respective priorities that are inherent to historical preservation and environmental conservation."

Yaun was able to present Secretary Jewell with a letter welcoming her to the Hudson Valley, along with a report outlining her ideas and suggestions to bring back to Washington in anticipation of how Federal policies could support local initiatives in the next 100 years.
Upcoming Events
Storming of Stony Point Talk at Fort Montgomery 

Thursday, Aug 25, 7 PM

The Storming of Stony Point was one of the boldest endeavors of the American Revolution. On the night of July 16th, 1779 Brigadier General Anthony Wayne led his 1,150 men of the Corps of Light Infantry in a bayonet-only assault up steep hills against a heavily defended British garrison, capturing it's nearly 500 defenders along with fifteen pieces of artillery in just under a half-hour. This signal victory resounded throughout the United States, and proved to the British just what the Americans were capable of. Although Stony Point was held for only a few days, its taking was enough of a setback to halt any British plans to push up into the vital Hudson Highlands. Join historian and writer Michael J. F. Sheehan, Senior Historian of Stony Point Battlefield as he discusses the details of this exciting episode in the American War for Independence.

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
690 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery, New York 10922
Tavern Trail at Chateau Hathorn in Warwick

Friday, Aug 26, 5:30 PM to 7 PM

Visit the next stop on this summer's journey to Orange County's most historic inns and restaurants as the 2016 Historic Tavern Trail of the Hudson Valley visits Chateau Hathorn, 33 Hathorn Road, Warwick, New York on Friday, August 26 at 5:30 p.m. 

Chateau Hathorn is a mansion built in 1891 for businessman Victor Audubon Wilder, and was designed by the noted Arts & Crafts-Style architect E.G.W. Dietrich. The estate fell on hard times during The Great Depression of the 1930s and in the 1950s became an equestrian center, the Warwick Dude Ranch. It was restored to its former glory and reborn as a grand restaurant reminiscent of the great chateaux of Europe by the evening's hosts, the Zueger family, who restored  the building including its interior woodwork and fireplaces to their original beauty. 

Guests wishing to stay for optional dinner at 7:00 p.m. must RSVP directly with Chateau Hathorn at (845) 986-6099 or Chateau Hathorn's menu offers a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, meat and fish entrees and homemade desserts, many featuring local ingredients. Chateau Hathorn's website address is: and the menu is posted at:

Before the 5:30 Tavern Trail event, all are invited to attend a 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. informal "Early Bird Tour" of the historic Old School Baptist Church in Lewis Park between Church, High and Main streets, in the center of Warwick. Built in 1810, this Meeting House with its unusual barrel ceiling was acquired and restored by the Warwick Historical Society in the 1950s. For more information, call the Warwick Historical Society at (845) 986-3236 or visit:

Chateau Hathorn
33 Hathorn Road
Warwick, NY 10990
In Washington's Shadow: Walking Tour of African American History in Newburgh

Saturday, Aug 27, 3 PM

It's Last Saturdays in Newburgh, and this month has a special addition of an African American walking tour. This is a great way to not only see the city, but to also learn about local history and the black lives that have shaped the City of Newburgh.

The tour focuses on a once prestigious family of musicians named The Alsdorfs, the AME Zion Church of Newburgh and a Colored School.

Reception to follow at 4 PM.

AME Zion Church
109 Washington Street
Newburgh, NY 12550
Through the Eyes of the Cornerstone - Newburgh's Ole Faithful

Saturday, Aug 27, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Photo Exhibit:  Historical highlights of Newburgh's multi-generational businesses

See the famous Ritz Marquee that's been there when Frank Sinatra performed, and also where Ricky and Lucy Ricardo first appeared (Of course, we mean the great Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz).
There will also be images and historical highlights of proprietors who carry long standing traditions begun in Newburgh by their ancestors, like former brothels and antebellum toll booths, old horse and buggy dealerships, great restaurants, printing presses, bakeries, furniture stores, bowling alleys, specialty shops, clothing stores, hot dog joints and much more. This ongoing series of environmental portraits and historical highlights of multi-generational businesses will honor those who have served the Newburgh community for up to 100+ years. Win over $1000 worth of Door Prizes (randomly selected) if you sign in on Saturday evening, August 27 at Cornerstone Residence at the Ritz Lobby, 6:30 pm, 111 Broadway, Newburgh. This is the same same night as "Newburgh Last Saturday," when galleries and showrooms are open for viewing. 
Safe Harbors of the Hudson
Ritz Lobby at 111 Broadway
Newburgh, NY 12550
Crafter's Showcase at the Fullerton Cultural Center

Saturday, Aug 27, 11 AM to 4 PM

In tandem with Newburgh Last Saturdays, there will be local craftspeople showing and selling their wares on the grounds, from 11 to 4, while the "Newburgh Book Exchange will be open in the Carriage House (behind the main house) at the same time, offering free books to anyone in the community. There will also be free tours of the Fullerton Mansion at 1 and 3, including the recently-discovered story of Newburgh-born composer William Fullerton, Jr, who made quite a splash in London before his untimely death in 1888.

Fullerton Mansion and Cultural Center
297 Grand Street
Newburgh, NY 12550
Re-enactment Day on Constitution Island

Saturday, Aug 27, 10 AM to 4 PM

The Constitution Island Association is celebrating its Centennial and will honor Constitution Island's role in the Civil War and American Revolution. Watch as soldiers from both wars fire muskets, rifles and cannons! See what camp life looked like for troops through inspections, drills and tactical formations. You'll get to visit the soldiers' camps and take a guided tour to the island's redoubts and batteries. Music from the West Point Band's Hellcats, and the West Point Cadet Black Knights Drill Team will demonstrate their crack drill skills. Be prepared for the thrills of tall tales by master storyteller Jonathan Kruk. Hotdogs and drinks will be available, or pack a picnic lunch.

Brewery Fundraiser for the Newburgh Historical Society

Sunday, Aug 28, 1 PM to 4 PM

Join us at the Newburgh Brewing Company for an afternoon fundraiser. Drink beer, wine, or soda (or not) and have some great food for a good cause! Amateur volunteer bartenders are no longer the way it's done - you'll be served (more efficiently) by the Brewery's cheerful and experienced staff. But the staff is generously donating all their tips to benefit the Historical Society!

There will music (not too loud). There will will be historians and preservationists wandering around, admiring the splendid adaptive re-use of the old paper box factory building. There will also be raffles and prizes, including gift certificates to popular local restaurants, etc.!

So please join us at the Newburgh Brewing Company for pleasant Sunday afternoon, and please tip generously.

Newburgh Brewing Company
88 S Colden St, Newburgh, New York 12550
Exhibition at Karpeles in Newburgh

Ongoing until August 31, Mondays to Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM /Sunday, Noon to 4 PM

Exhibition of rarely seen works of Dona McPhillips Couch, a distinguished historical painter, famous for large-scale group portraits of American heroes.

94 Broadway, Newburgh, NY. 845-569-4997.
Civil War Weekend at Museum Village

Saturday and Sunday, Sept 1& 2 from 10 AM to 5 PM 

41st Annual Civil War Weekend at Museum Village!

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 will witness re-enactments of standard Civil War tactics and troop movements as the two armies meet in battle. Visitors can stroll through the camps, meet and talk with the troops and civilians, 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
Orange County Historian | Goshen, N.Y. |  845-545-7908 |  jyaun