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

A Village Remembers: 
The Opening of the Warwick Time Capsule 
The Village of Warwick Celebrates 150 years with the opening of time capsule

"The history of the Warwick Valley is varied and full of surprises and treasures, and in many ways a mirror for the history of America."  
 - Dr. Richard Hull, Historian, Town of Warwick

by M.J. Goff 

It's not every day that a village celebrates its 150th anniversary with the removal and unveiling of a time capsule that had been buried fifty years ago, in this case, August of 1967.  Located at the entrance to Memorial Park under a marker that read: TIME CAPSULE To Be Removed In Year 2017, the silver tube was removed and items from Warwick's past were returned once again to the light of day.  Things like newspaper clippings, commemorative plates, advertisements, household items, coins, photographs, and personal letters.  

One by one, the gloved hands of the capsule committee carefully removed the items, and placed them on a red checkered plastic sheet.  Mayor Newhard then took the items to be cataloged and that afternoon they were put on display for the attendees to enjoy.  According to Hull, there were quite a few on hand who came from far and wide to be here.  "I went into the parking lot and saw many license plates from all around the country...from California, Texas.  I am sure," he says, "that some heard about it through their subscription to the papers, or had a connection to one of the items in the capsule.  But, it's remarkable that many people drove 1,000 miles or more to be here for this."

Although the items are certainly historic in their own way, Hull says that the personal letters that were handed out to family representatives must have been the most heartfelt.  Of course the public was not privy to many of the letters' contents, but one can imagine what a treasure a handwritten note might be to a descendant.  In one letter that was placed on display, the writer said that most likely, he'd be "long dead" at the reading, and for anyone listening, to "look over their right shoulder and say Hi Art, and thanks...." For Hull, knowing that those voices came back for a time was "one of the most emotional experiences I can remember, right up there with the day my children were born."

While anything having to do with the past is a treat for an historian, there's something extra special about seeing the contents of a time capsule revealed.  "It's more than just looking at old documents, we can see exactly where we came from, and how far we have come....history is a study of change for the better."

(A new capsule has been donated, and items have been collected for the Village's 200th birthday in the year 2067.)

Starting this month, the contents will be on display at the Albert Wisner Public Library, located at 1 McFarland Dr. in Warwick, and will be open during library hours. 

World War I Centennial
A group of Newburgh boys, members of the old First Regiment while in training at Camp Wadsworth, SC in September or October of 1917. Standing (left to right) are Cyril Engelbride, Sterrit Keefe, Howard Rogers, Bernard Martin, Walter Allison. In the lower row are John T. Kenney, Edward Shay and Arthur Leghorn. All five of the men in uniform were killed in action in France.

Summer/Fall of 1917
Reorganization of Regiments

One hundred years ago in August of 1917, the citizens of Newburgh held and clam bake at Orange Lake to bid farewell to the soldiers of the 1st regiment who were being sent to training camps to prepare for service in Europe.

On August 19, 1917 soldiers of the 1st New York Regiment marched from the Armory to the Newburgh waterfront where they were then transported to Van Cortlandt Park to await other units. By late September they were moved to Camp Wadsworth in Spartanburg, SC where they would remain for the next 8 months.

While at the training camp, on October 17, 2017, the 1st New York Regiment was combined with the 7th New York Regiment (the "Silk Stocking" Regiment of New York City) to create the 107th New York Regiment. This was done simply by having Companies E and L of each regiment join together as one. According to Company L's historian Harry T. Mitchell, who witnessed the morning of the merge, "all the boys of Co. L, Seventh Regiment, gathered at the head of the company street to shout a welcome to about 100 men from Newburgh and it's environs who were being transferred from the First Regiment. As they watched their new bunkies from upstate tramp up the dusty road and swing in between the rows of tents awaiting them, they could not help but be impressed by the size of the newcomers. The first few squads were made up literally of young giants, men who bore striking witness to the benefits of outdoor life."

Ahead of them a cold winter in tents at Camp Wadsworth and then departure for France in the Spring. We'll continue tracking our local soldiers through the centennial of the war's end in November 2018.


Johanna Yaun
Orange County Historian
Community Updates
"On behalf of the board of directors and staff of the Goshen Historic Track, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to residents and good Samaritans of Goshen as well as the first responders who helped save more than 30 horses from fire last Wednesday, August 23. Because of everyone's quick thinking and fast actions, all horses were moved to safety and there was no loss of life." From the Goshen Historic Track Board of Directors
The Sparrowbush Engine Company celebrates 100 years of service. "The first fire-fighting equipment was a hand-pulled two wheeled chemical truck which had a capacity of approximately 250 gallons. The water in the tank contained soda with a bottle of acid attached to the top of the tank. When needed at a fire, the acid was released by a lever attachment and mixed with the soda and water. The first alarm system consisted of two railroad engine rims or tires, as they were
called then. One was located in the upper part of the town and the other on a hill across from the church. The rims were suspended between two posts and struck with a large hammer in the event of a fire."
At the annual conference of the Association of State and Local History (AASLH) held this year in Austin, TX, Orange County Historian Johanna Yaun received a "Leadership in History" award celebrating the success of the Historic Tavern Trail series. 
Latest donation received
Thank you to the Putnam County Historian's office for sending copies of research by Bob Mayer related to the Asylum Baseball Team, Middletown's Crack Semi-Pro Team from 1888-94.
Upcoming Events, Training & Conferences
"Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The History of the Delaware Valley Lenape Indians" with historian Steve Skye

September 13th at 7:00 PM

 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. Facebook invite
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 website: Or email at

The Neversink Valley Museum of History & Innovation
26 Hoag Road, in Cuddebackville.

Women's Suffrage Program

September 16th  at 2PM

Did you know New York was the birthplace of the suffragette movement in our country? Professional, costumed re-enactors will portray suffragettes Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul and Sojourner Truth and present a dramatic program about their part in the movement to gain the vote for women. All are welcome to attend this free program. Audience members are welcome to dress in the costumes of the period (1848-1920). Visit

Chester Historical Society
47 Main Street
Chester, NY 10918

Orange Reads: Underground Railroad Book Discussion

September 19th at 6:30PM

Orange Reads!  Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead, is the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and of the 2016 National Book Award.  A #1 New York Times bestseller, it is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.

Attend this book discussion to enter a raffle for a seat at an event with Colson Whitehead!  Copies of Underground Railroad are available  at the Library. Website Here

Albert Wisner Public Library
One McFarland Drive, Warwick, NY  10990
Phone: (845) 986-1047

Kites Over the Hudson

September 23rd at 2PM

All are invited to come and enjoy the outdoor fun at this annual event when color fills the sky overlooking the Hudson River. FREE kites are given to the first 150 children 15 years and under. Free Refreshments. Event, Museum, and tours, are free today compliments of Central Hudson and Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands.

Please keep an eye out for more details as the event gets closer. If you have any questions, please contact the site at 845-562-1195. Facebook Invite


Washington' Headquarters State Historic Site

Corner of Washington and Liberty Streets

Newburgh, NY 12550


New Year, New World

September 24th at 1PM

In celebration of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, this afternoon of music and movement will bring traditional Sephardic Jewish melodies and New Year's customs to the historic Gomez Mill House, where they will meet with contemporary dance, music and performance practices to create moments of magic and inspire visions of the new world we are co-creating in the year to come.

What happens to tradition when it discovers a new world? How do customs, stories, and even flavors translate and transform when they encounter the other? And how can diversity and innovation be vehicles for honoring tradition while bringing it into the present and making it relevant to our collective future?

Audience will be invited to participate in various actions and will be treated to a true feast for the senses - a tasty and colorful celebration of life at this moment.

Ophra Wolf and Katie Down are both contemporary artists and healers of Sephardic heritage. They are joined by musician Craig Chin, a regular collaborator of Ophra's under the moniker The River Flows Two Ways. Together their work explores essential questions around our relationship to time and tradition - past, present and future. Facebook Invite
Gomez Mill House
11 Mill House Road
Marlboro, NY

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Presented by Master Storyteller
Jonathan Kruk

September 27th, Session One: 3PM, Session Two 6PM

Goshen, NY - Usher in fall with master storyteller Jonathan Kruk at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 as he brings to life Washington Irving's classic tale of the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane for the first time in our area. Kruk's unique spellbinding performances of Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow sell out every autumn for Historic Hudson Valley so don't miss your chance to be transported by the ghostly tale of the headless Hessian soldier and the hapless schoolteacher. 
Jonathan Kruk, selected by Hudson Valley Magazine as "Best Storyteller in the Hudson Valley," will offer two performances at the Harness Racing Museum. The first session from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm will include coffee, tea and treats - tickets are $5 for students, $7 for museum members and $10 for non-members. The second session, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm with Kruk's performance starting promptly at 6:30, will be accompanied by a delicious buffet dinner with soft beverages and dessert. Doors will open for the evening event at 5:15 pm. Pre-purchased tickets for the evening dinner session are required - $24 for Museum members and $28 for non-members.
Reservations must be made by September 25th and seating is limited so please call 845-294-6330 to purchase your tickets today!
Author of Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley, Kruk is hard at work on a second book, Lore of the Hudson Highlands as well as a Bedtime Tale App and a multi-media project, "Supernatural on the Hudson."  To learn more visit .
For further information about the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, the museum's educational workshops or children's birthday parties, please contact the Education Department at (845) 294-6330 or e-mail at . For information on all the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame events, please visit our website at  The museum is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
240 Main Street, Goshen, NY  10924 ‚óŹ 845-294-6330

Talk on the Newburgh Shipyards

September 27th at 7PM

"The Ships of the Newburgh Shipyards" with New Windsor Town Historian Glenn Marshall. Learn about the shipbuilding industry in Newburgh, particularly its role in World War I. 7 pm in the Riverport Wooden Boat School classroom, suggested donation $5. Facebook Invite

Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Lndg, Kingston, New York 12401

The Chain that Saved the Colonies

September 28th at 7PM

To stop the British invasion of the New England colonies during the American Revolution, Peter Townsend manufactured a Great Chain for the Continental Army at Sterling Forest. It was placed across the Hudson River at West Point. Join Doc Bayne for an eye-opening lecture & PowerPoint presentation on this historic event. Facebook invite

690 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery, New York 10922

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
100k New Netherland Artifacts Moved To NYS Museum, Exhibit Planned

The New York State Museum has announced the acquisition of over 100,000 archaeological artifacts from Fort Orange and Schuyler Flatts, documenting Dutch and early English settlement of the Albany area in the 17th century.

The State Museum plans to open an exhibition featuring artifacts from the Fort Orange and Schuyler Flatts collections in 2018. 
30 Preservation Efforts Secure Funding

ALBANY, NY (09/11/2017) (readMedia)-- The New York State Council on the Arts together with the Preservation League of New York State and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation will announce recipients of the 25th round of grant funding through Preserve New York at a news conference in Albany on Tuesday.

"At its July 2017 meeting, the Preserve New York panel selected 30 applicants in 21 counties around the state to share $239,634 in funding," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. "As always, the competition for these funds was intense. We are delighted to help advance the preservation efforts of these organizations with timely funding from Preserve New York."

Dry Cleaning the City's Oldest Maps

The tables in the basement of the Municipal Archives are covered with household staples: cotton swabs, tweezers, food strainers, measuring cups, ashtrays and other materials.
None are items that one would expect to find in a professional art conservation laboratory. But they are tools used by a group of government workers who wash and care for some of the oldest existing maps and architectural drawings of New York City. They call themselves "dry cleaners."

"It's like being a tailor, but a tailor for paper," said Pauline Toole, commissioner of the city's Department of Records and Information Services, which oversees the archives at 31 Chambers Street - what was once the Hall of Records, but is now the Surrogate's Courthouse.
The building is home to 243,000 cubic feet of records - enough to cover more than four football fields - including maps, photographs, film spools and birth, death and marriage certificates that tell the story of the city's past. The last four years have seen a push from researchers and archivists to digitize the annals, slowly making them more accessible to the public, but many of the faded, fraying documents are almost too fragile to endure that process, according to the conservators there. Among the endangered records are hundreds of maps of post-colonial New York, created as early as the 1700s, rolled tightly into cardboard wrapping and stored in the city's proverbial attic.


More info click here

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