This last month, from April until now, a lot has changed in my life, in terms of finding my purpose and a professional outlet in which I am able to make myself legitimate. I am living and working in the East Fishkill Historical Society off Palen Road in the Brinckerhoff House Historic Site. However, I make my way to Newburgh at least once a week to help the historical society there.
I was working heavily towards conducting research on the Alsdorf’s, a Black family who lived in Newburgh from the 1830’s until the 1950’s, who taught the White youth and prominent citizens how to be musical. Their yet-to-be renown music business started in 1850 and was moved to Liberty Street, across from Washington’s Headquarters, in 1915. Everyone went to Alsdorf Hall if they were to learn how to play an instrument or learn how to dance. I am currently working on making important documents concerning this research more readily accessible.
Postcard #37 of 2009 Newburgh Postcard Set, created to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the first European settlers, the Palatines, arriving on the land now known as the City of Newburgh.
In East Fishkill, I am taking on another project. The Historical Society recently was donated a journal of a Black soldier who fought in World War I. He was a part of the Harlem Hellfighters. You can read more about this on the East Fishkill Historical Society’s blog.
Hello again. Last week was very exciting. I met with a local historian, an assemblyman, and member of the Beacon Historical Society. Someone gave me a book about the underground railroad in Orange County, written by the late Richard A. King. The book was written about fifteen years ago and was very informative about the area that I’ve lived in my whole life.
After reading the book, I decided to investigate some local Newburgh history of the Alsdorf family. As of now the underground railroad topic is hearsay, but there are a lot of resources concerning the Alsdorf family.
The Alsdorf family was African American, and the last living Alsdorf passed away in the mid 1900’s. They taught the White, privileged, well-off families of Newburgh how to dance, sing, and play musical instruments. They were also involved in the AME Zion Church on Washington St.
I am very excited to continue this research, but unfortunately my updates on this topic will be minimal due to copyright laws. If you have any questions about my research I encourage you to email me through WordPress.