Early 20th Century

Post-card view of the riverfront in 1910

As the 20th century dawned, Newburgh was thriving, with over 100 manufacturing plants. Newburgh industries were predominantly machine shops, shipbuilding yards, cloth manufactories, clothing design and production factories, brickyards, plaster works and shipping concerns.

USS Walden launched in Newburgh during WWI

World War I vastly expanded the shipyards and other manufacturing plants. The ships built in Newburgh were given names reflecting the surrounding area, such as the S.S. Walden and the S.S. Firthcliff.

Like other cities up and down the Hudson, Newburgh was a town where most residents walked to jobs within its borders.

Front Street docks in 1909

PeopleNewburgh was a major center for retail shopping for the entire Hudson Valley up through World War II. Many old-timers still recall the awesome array of shops lining Broadway, Colden and Water streets.

Ice Fishing on the Hudson

Newburgh was also a recreational hub. Sports included speed skating, ice boating, yachting and rowing clubs, baseball leagues, casinos and dance ballrooms, as well as many picnic groves, amusement parks and river excursion steamers. A great transportation network connected it all — partially built just to move people to recreational spots, like the trolley to Orange Lake, or, across the river, the incline railway to the top of Mt. Beacon.