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