Newburgh Again: Newburgh-Beacon Ferry

Newburgh Beacon Ferry

Photo made March 14th, 1920


In this as in every winter since 1881. the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry has kept up regular service.

No other Ferry on the Hudson operates during the severe winters.

It would be more profitable if the ferry suspended operations during the season of heavy ice, but that would entail discomfort and exposure to its patrons if they had to cross the ice during the gales, storms, and zero temperature of the winter months, and besides, we have pardonable pride in our record, and intend to live up to it.

Newburgh Again: The New Dell House


Newburgh, N. Y.

One block to the left from boat landing. Nearest place to get dinner.

Electric Cars to Washington’s Headquarters pass the Door.

ANDREW DELL, Proprietor.

Newburgh Again: The Palatine, While Passing Up or Down the Hudson

While passing up or down the Hudson you should stop a few days at
“The Palatine”
“The Model Hotel of the Hudson Valley.”


The handsome lawns of the Orange County Court House on the front, and of the American Reformed Church on the North, afford a pleasant outlook, while its rear rooms and piazza command an unobstructed view of river and mountains for twenty miles.
Only five blocks from Steamboat Landing, Ferry and Union Passenger Station. Free bus from all boats and trains.
Elevator, Private Baths, Telegraph Office.
Rates, $3.00 to $4.00 per Day.
Newburgh passengers will have time to dine at The Palatine, visit Washington’s Headquarters and return on south-bound boat.
H. N. BAIN & Co., Proprietors.

Newburgh Again: Joseph Sculley’s Hotel

Illustrated and Descriptive Newburgh (1906):




 -136 Broadway, Newburgh. Local and Long Distance Telephone. Joseph F. Sculley, proprietor. Mr. Sculley has made his name one that is well and favorably known during the fifteen years that he has been established here in his business. He keeps a lunch-counter that can’t be beat and that it is appreciated need only to be seen to prove that, for it is always comfortably full. The fine pool-parlor that forms another department of the business contains a and some pool table and is well patronized. The stock of wine, liquor, etc., is a large one and to be properly appreciated must be tested. An especial attraction in this cafe is Ballanatine’s Celebrated Beers, which are always on draught. A choice line of fine cigars is kept in stock for the patrons who appreciate “the weed.” One genial clerk is employed.

Newburgh Again: The Clinton Hotel

Illustrated and Descriptive Newburgh (1906):


Hugh McGuigan, proprietor, No. 102 and 104 Washington street. The Clinton Hotel, effeciently managed, thoroughly equipped for entertaining guests, and conveniently located is one of the most popular hotels in the city of Newburgh. The house has been established here for about 20 years and since the present manager took charge, h is geniality and solicitous care of the guests of the house have built up for him a fine custom. The house is conducted on the American plan, has a nicely equipped and popular bar, and the rates are from $1.00 to $2.00. It has 32 well lighted and heated and nicely furnished rooms; the dining room has a seating capacity of one hundred and the cuisine is all that could be desired.

Newburgh Ferry Franchise Long Served As A Pattern

The New York Times
Published: March 23, 1930

IN a recent address Governor Roosevelt called attention to the Newburgh ferry, one of the most historically colorful ferries in America, the original franchise of which Governor cited as “an example which has been followed all the way down to within the last few years.” A search of the records discloses that the first ferry franchise at Newburgh was granted to Alexander Colden in 1743, as a result of his petition to the Governor of the Province for the right to operate such & service between Newburgh and Fishkill.
In Colden’s petition are found set forth the two principles, adequate services and nominal cost, which made the franchise an example to be commented upon nearly two centuries later. Colden promised to “provide boats and persons constantly to attend.” His charges were carefully detailed. For every “man and a horse” there will be a fare of 2 shillings and 6 pence; “but if three or more were together, for each man and horse, 2 shillings”; “for every calf or hog, 4 shillings”; “for every full barrel, 1 shilling”; “for every empty barrel, 4 pence,” and “for every pail of butter, 3 shillings.” Competition, historical papers indicate, tended to reduce Colden’s original rates, nominal as the rates of the first franchise may have seemed at the time. Near the end of the eighteenth century the Bogardus-Anderson ferry advertisement quoted a fare of “2 shillings for a horse and a man”; “a phaeton and pair, 12 shillings”; “a ton of iron, 8 shillings,” and “a hogshead of rum, 5 shillings.”
Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck, another pioneer ferry owner, built the first dock in Newburgh in 1731, a few miles south of the Hasbrouck property, which later became Washington’s headquarters. Fishkill, particularly, was a post of great importance in the Revolutionary campaigns of 1777 and 1778. A few hours before the British· sailed up the Hudson to burn Fishkill, two sloops, lying at the Hasbrouck dock, were dispatched to bring troops for reinforcing General Gates, thus escaping destruction. During the war years the Newburgh ferry was operated by the government.
The Colden ferry, after changing hands a. number of times, was bought by Thomas Powell, who, in 1850, passed it on to his daughter, Mrs. Frances E. L. Ramsdell, in whose family ownership of the ferry system has remained

Newburgh Again: Palatine Hotel presenting Bell Long Distance Telephones

Kingston Daily Freeman, 1911

The Palatine Hotel



October 2nd. 1911.
New York Telephone Company, 
               Albany, N. Y.
Gentlemen: Responding to your invitation to express ourselves on the value to a first-class hotel of the Bell Telephone Service from each room, I would say that in my opinion the day has arrived when a hotel cannot be designated as first-class and up-to-date unless it has a Bell Telephone in each room.
The traveling public has acquired the habit of using the Long Distance Service which the Bell system alone furnishes, and I believe a lack of connections from the guests’ room with the large cities of this country and Canada would seriously handicap the hotel that relies, as does the- Palatine, upon the better class of trade.
The contract we signed with your Company recently for equipping our Hotel with Bell Telephone Service must be convincing evidence of our opinion on the subject.
Yours very truly,                                                 
The management of the Palatine Hotel is now presenting over seventy-five Bell Long Distance Telephones — the Universal Bell Telephone Service — for the convenience of its guests. What is best for this up-to-date hotel is best for any large enterprise.

Newburgh Again: United States Hotel

Newburgh Telegraph, 1834


Immediately at the head of the now Steamboat and Ferry Wharf, stands the spacious building erected during, the past year by Col. Carpenter for a public Hotel, and just finished, and opened try Col. E. Hathaway under the above cognomen, ,the “United States Hotel”. The location and admirable construction of this noble edifice are peculiarly calculated to render it one of the most agreeable retreats in the warm season, in the state.
It is built of brick, five stories high. On the side, fronting the water are three piazzas, extending the whole breadth of the building, sustained by lofty free-stone pillars, and enclosed with iron railings. The building is surmounted by a large observatory and promenade, commanding a view of the Highland mountains, West Point, the-verdant hills and rich fields of Dutchess, with the Newburgh Bay, and the Hudson, for ten or fifteen miles, forming a picture rarely met with in this or any other country.
In addition to its superb bar and dining rooms, there are nine Parlours, public and private, with near ninety lodging rooms, variously arranged for the accommodation of individuals or families ; and from the basement to the attick nothing is wanting in the furnishing of the United States Hotel; to render it what it was designed to be by its proprietor, a house of the very first class.
 Of mine host and hostess of the “United States,” it is needless to say that they are qualified both by nature and experience to have charge of such an establishment.



Newburgh Again: Biggest River Liner Launched At Newburg

as printed in The New York Times; April 1, 1906 

Little Miss Oclott Names the Hendrick Hudson with Water.
Many Innovations In Construction of the Vessel and for the Comfort of 5,000 Passengers.
NEWBURG, March 31. – The new Hudson River Day Line Steamboat Hendrick Hudson was launched here at 3 o’clock this afternoon at the shipyard of the Thomas S. Marvel Company. Little Katherine Olcott, the twelve-year-old daughter of Elmer E. Olcott, President of the Hudson River Day Line, broke the traditional bottle – containing, however, water instead of champagne – over the bows of the steamboat, and at once the vessel glided into the waters of the river that neceforth is to be her home.
At the same moment cannon boomed from the deck of the Hendrick Hudson’s sister ship, the New York; whistles shrieked, the crowds on the banks cheered lustily, the pleasure craft on the river dipped their flags as a salute to the newcomer, while a number of doves, liberated on the deck at the moment of launching, according to the Japenese custom, circled about in the air overhead.
With her nose sadly out of joint, owing to the prominence of her new and larger rival, the New York, until nowthe pride of the Day Line, left her prier at the foot of Forty-second Street, New York, at 11:30 o’clock this morning, covered with flags from bow to stern and carrying over 500 invided guests of the steamboat company. The New York had been rudely aroused from the Winter sleep a month earlier than usual to take part in the triumph of her rival.
Among those she carried on board was Charles H. Haswell, the dean of New York engineers, who was born in 1809, and remembers Robert Fulton’s Clermont, the first Hudson steamboat. At West Point a short stop was made to take several officers on board, and then the New York steamed straight for the destination, which she reached exactly on schedule time at 2:30 o’clock.
At Newburg a crowd of several thousands of people lined the bank of the river, while a dozen steamboats, launches, and tugs filled the sightseers and gay with many-colored bunting circled about the Marvel shipyard, awaiting the launching of the Hendrick Hudson, the great red bull of which loomed up conspicuously over the surrounding sheds and wharves.
Little Miss Olcott, with about a dozen others, mounted the platform built around the bows of the new ship. At a given signal workmen knocked away the supports under the keel, the great ship creaked and groaned as if anxious to be free, and then glided smoothly into the water. With a parting salute to her triumphant rival, the superseded queen of the Hudson turned sadly back to New York.
The Hendrick Hudson is the largest steamboat in the world. Her length is 400 feet over all, and her depth 14 feet. Seven steel bulkheads will make her practically unsinkable, and the inclosures around the boilers will be of heavy steel plating, eliminating all danger of fire.
Many innovations have been introduced in the construction of the Hendrick Hudson. Her shaft will be placed under the main deck, and she will be equipped with an inclined, three-cylinder, short-stroke engine, and wheels twenty-nine feet in diameter. Vibration will be reduced to a minimum, as the power will be evenly distributed. The entire craft will be built on the plan if a New York skyscraper, a rigid framework of steel acting as support for the upper decks.
The walking beam, which has always been a feature of Hudson steamboats, will be missing in the new vessel. Eight large boilers will supply steam enough to drive the vessel at the rate of twenty-three to twenty-five miles an hour.
In the matter of internal arrangements everything possible has been done for comfort and convenience. The Hendrick Hudson will accommodate 5,000 passengers. There will be a doctor aboard on each trip, likewise stenographers to take dictation from business men. Another feature will be a photographic dark room, where tourists may develop their pictures. Not only will the orchestra be so place that fully three thousand passengers may be within hearing, but a curtained recess will be provided for chorus singling, either by professionals or patrons of the line.
The Hendrick Hudson will be put in commission on or about Aug. 1.

Newburgh Electric Railway Company

 by Don Herron, as printed in the Times Herald Record; August 7, 2002

The Street Horse Railway trotted into Newburgh on December 23, 1886, advancing the city to the level of most of the country’s larger cities. The horse-drawn trolleys ran on tracks from the western end of the city to the Union Depot, by the riverfront. An additional track ran along Water Street to the north end of the city.

At that time, the city’s best shopping district, and the Street Horse Railway made shopping much easier and more accessible to the residents of the city and the surrounding countryside. The trolley was such a success that by 1891, tracks had expanded from Wisner Avenue (then called Cross Road) down Broadway to Colden Street, and north up Water Street to Grand Avenue. Another short line ran south from Broadway on Liberty Street to Renwick Street, and there were spurs to Washington Heights and the Balmville Tree. Eventually the Washington Heights spur was expanded so that it traveled south on Liberty Street to the Bluff and Bayview Terrace, with a switch at Renwick Street, which enabled the trolleys to go south to the bridge at New Windsor and west to Bridge Street.

After eight years, the trolley switched from horse power to electricity, making its initial run on June 11, 1894. The trolley company had its own independent source of power at 244 Broadway, in what is now the Zeger Hardware building. It took six weeks to convert to electric power after the last horse run on April 30, 1894. With this conversion to fast, efficient, silent and odor-free electric power, the trolley company, now called the Newburgh Electric Railway, grew rapidly. The trolley fleet consisted primarily of open cars, so in the spring, summer and fall, the weather could be enjoyed to the fullest. There were 15 of these open cars, and two large closed “winter cars.”

The main line was rapidly expanded and eventually continued to Wisner Avenue and out South Plank Road to Orange Lake, and then to Walden. In 1895, the fare from Newburgh to Orange Lake was 10 cents and it cost another dime to go to Walden.

In 1923, fares were 7 cents within the city and 5 cents more for a trip to Balmville. It cost 13 cents to go to Orange Lake, 8 cents more to East Walden and another 6 cents to Walden itself.

The trolleys operated from 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily, and a trip to Walden would take an average of 40 minutes. Eight round-trips from Newburgh to Walden were made each day. The 11 p.m. trolley was from Newburgh to Walden, and the conductor and the motorman would stay overnight in Walden. The 6 a.m. trolley left Walden for Newburgh and was one of the primary means of transportation for employees at the Dupont Fabrikoid plant.

The trolley track from Newburgh to Walden was a single track, but three switches – at Glenwood Park, Fifth Avenue and Orange Lake – enabled the trolleys to pass each other. Upon reaching the end of the line – at Newburgh or at Walden – the motorman would reverse the electric pole to provide power for the return trip. The seats would be reversed, easily done by flipping them over, and the motorman would move his portable operating equipment to the front of the car.

The Newburgh Electric Railway was operated by the Orange County Traction, organized in 1894. Former New York Gov. Benjamin Barker Odell was its president, and by 1909 the company had established its office at 244 Broadway, near Carpenter Avenue. The large car barns extended from Broadway to Van Ness Street, with the trolleys entering and exiting on Broadway.

Newburgh was, in those days, considered one of the leading summer resorts. Vacationers from New York City and beyond came to Newburgh by train and boat, and frequently stayed at the Palatine Hotel. The trolley was a safe and convenient way for vacationers to tour the area. One could take the trolley to Glenwood Park, with its small hotel and restaurant and nearby pavilion and merry-go-round. From Glenwood, the trolley headed to the Orange Lake Amusement Park. The park had a Ferris wheel and a public beach, rowboats and canoes for rent, and a roller-skating rink. Across the lake was the fashionable Pine Point Club.

After 1925, bus service became the norm and the trolleys were gradually discontinued. The old electric trolley cars were eventually sold to a New Jersey firm, and during World War II many of the disused tracks were taken up and sold for scrap.