This location served as a burial ground for Black and Indigenous people in Newburgh in the 1800s. In 1909, the City constructed the Broadway School on this site, paving over and building on the burial ground. In 2008, the building was refurbished to house the Courthouse. During construction, remains were discovered, launching a massive archeological dig. The dig revealed approximately 100 graves to the west and northwest of the courthouse, with others likely hidden below the foundation.
Arrested on charges of rape, Robert Mulliner, a Black man, was awaiting trial beneath this former courthouse when a mob gathered outside. Breaking down the iron doors, they removed Mulliner and lynched him publicly.
Presbyterian Reverend Samuel H. Cox, a white abolitionist, gave a speech at the Dutch Reformed Church where he preached that Jesus was darker-skinned. Consequently, he was almost lynched by a white mob, but was able to escape through the back door of the church. While he was a minsiter in New York City, he was frequently a target of violence.
The A.M.E. Zion Church is the oldest Black church in Newburgh. Founded in 1827, its congregation initially worshipped in various homes and basements before building its first church. Their building was attacked two times before the community raised the money to rebuild it in 1870, constructing the current day church building. This site has a long history of community events and services, from Civil War veteran’s funerals, to a school in the basement, to various festivals, to concerts conducted by the Alsdorf family.