State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that pathway, accessibility and parking improvements have been completed at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh, Orange County.
Begun last summer, the $1.8 million project funded under NY Works included repair of existing bluestone walkways, enhancement of accessible parking, new fencing, and improvements to accessible paths on nearly seven acres of grounds overlooking the Hudson River. Pathways and parking are now ADA compliant.
Work also reinstalled the East Gate and established an ADA-compliant path to the recently restored Tower of Victory, which was built in 1887 to mark the centennial of victory in the War for Independence. Improved exterior lighting and drainage were also installed. A new 60-foot flagpole and new flags also were added with support from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands (FSHSHH).
Design work was performed by The LA Group Landscape Architects, of Saratoga Springs, and construction by Meyer Contracting, of Pleasant Valley.
Site staff also is launching a new program, “Framing History: A Year in Pictures,” where the public will be invited to submit photos of the site throughout the four seasons for a virtual image gallery.
From April 1782 to August 1783 as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Washington made his headquarters and residence at Jonathan and Tryntje Hasbrouck family’s fieldstone farmhouse in Newburgh. It was the longest he stayed at any headquarters throughout the 8 1/2 years of the revolution. The Hasbrouck house is furnished to reflect Washington’s stay and is open for guided tours. Here, the general, his wife Martha, officers, servants, and slaves lived and worked in close quarters, while a steady stream of guests met with the Washingtons.
In the critical months that the general spent at Newburgh, he made some of his most important contributions to shaping the American republic. It was here that Washington rejected the suggestion of an American monarchy; ended the Newburgh Conspiracy, preventing potential military control of the government; created the Badge of Military Merit, forerunner of the Purple Heart; circulated an influential letter to state governors outlining the key principals he felt necessary for the new republic; and announced the Cessation of Hostilities that ended fighting in the Revolutionary War.
The site is open 11 am to 4 pm, Wednesday through Saturday, and 1 to 4 pm on Sunday. For more information or to make reservations, call the site at (845) 562-1195 or visit their website.
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Photo of Washingtons Headquarters State Historic Site provided.