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The World War I Home Front - How Newburgh Supported the Colors

A hundred years has passed since the World War I. So many wars and conflicts have been fought and continue to be during that timeframe that much of the war efforts both the fighting by soldiers and the massive support by citizens on stateside have been tucked away in scrapbooks and closets. But efforts are being made to open the books and storage areas especially with the centennial of the battles to break the Hindenburg Line (Sept. 29) and Armistice (Nov. 11) quickly approaching.

Photographs depicting these extraordinary moments have been collected by the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands and are being shared this summer through the end of the year in the tall glass vitrine display cases at Kaplan Hall at SUNY Orange in an exhibit entitled The World War I Home Front – How Newburgh Supported the Colors.

National Guard Companies Company E and L from Newburgh and I from Middletown numbering 2600 all folded into the 107th Infantry Regiment of New York’s 27th Division. Over 200 never returned.  

According to Newburgh City Historian, Mary McTamaney, “In addition to raising millions in war bond campaigns, Newburghers manned canteens that served the hundreds of troop trains passing through on the West Shore Railroad.  They knitted thousands of socks and sweaters and scarves and sent care packages to soldiers on the front. Churches and clubs hosted dinners for soldiers who, on their way to Europe, stayed overnight at the YMCA and YWCA. The city’s small Red Cross chapter grew to over 12,000 active members within a few months in 1917. Every local soldier who departed for basic training was accompanied by family, neighbors, and often hundreds of other citizens who walked with them to the train to wish them godspeed.”

Visitors may view the exhibit from Aug. 1 through Dec. 14. From Aug. 1-25, hours are: Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm. From Aug. 27 through Dec. 14, hours are Monday through Thursday 8 am to 9 pm and on Fridays 8 am to 6 pm. The exhibit will be closed over Labor Day and Thanksgiving, but open on Saturdays, Sept. 29 from 5:30 to 9 pm, and Oc. 27 from 3:30 to 9 pm.

Free, secure parking is available in the Kaplan Hall parking garage entered at 73 First St.

Cultural Affairs: (845) 341-9386

Event date, time and location.

Dorothy Szefc
Cultural Affairs