The Muscle Behind the Money
Newburgh experienced its greatest period of commercial success during the mid nineteenth century as a prosperous shipping center. The town’s geographical position on the Ohio River and its close proximity to fertile farmland and coal mines made it an attractive location for business.
Furthermore, Newburgh’s high riverbank made the landing of vessels (including the larger steamboats of the era) safe and easy. By the 1850’s, commercial trade was drawing business from both sides of the river and numerous warehouses to hold incoming and outgoing goods were constructed from Monroe Street eastward to Church Street.
The large volume of goods that were shipped to and from Newburgh in the 1800’s required a significant number of laborers to handle the loading and unloading of the numerous vessels arriving and departing from Newburgh’s wharves.
Known as stevedores, longshoresmen, or simply dockworkers, these individuals were an important and necessary part of river commerce. Before such labor was organized, this arduous work was usually performed by day laborers who lingered around the docks in the hopes of being hired by one of the shipping companies or local warehouses. The Census of 1870 lists a noticeable number of day laborers (both White and African-American) in and around Newburgh. Other dockworkers lived an itinerant lifestyle, travelling up and down the river as work became available.
A Caroling We Will Go-A History of Christmas Carols.
The Newburgh Museum has opened its newest Christmas exhibit just in time for the Holidays.
This Christmas exhibit will be open until Dec 31, 2017. The Newburgh Museum is open on Fridays from 11-3, Saturdays from 10-4 and Sundays from 1-4 during the holiday season.
The exhibit features an interpretation of 5 famous Christmas Carols and includes a frosty outdoor turn-of-the century scene with carolers in period attire, as well as a late 1800’s family parlor Christmas scene complete with a feather tree adorned with antique ornaments. Also included in the Christmas exhibit is a Snowman exhibit featuring snowmen from the early 1900’s to 1990’s and a display of Newburgh’s own Engles Pottery which operated in Newburgh in the 1940’s. The permanent exhibits depict Newburgh’s history from its founding in 1803 and include original artifacts which are on display. Free admission with donations accepted. Memberships available. Call 812-853-5045 for more information or to schedule a group tour. The Newburgh Museum is located on State Street in Preservation Hall. Hours of operation are Friday and Saturday 11-3:00. Groups are always welcome and to an appointment call 812-853-5045.
The permanent displays at the museum tell visitors about the town’s history through four different eras. They include information about the town’s founding, how it got its name, its early industry, a period of decline, and how it has changed in modern times. Displays include items from long-demolished school buildings, one of Newburgh’s first pianos, menus from old restaurants, and more.