Johanna Porr Yaun appointed to Government Historians Committee of the National Council on Public History
GOSHEN, N.Y. – August 4, 2022 – Johanna Porr Yaun, Orange County Historian, has been appointed to the Government Historians Committee for the National Council on Public History (NCPH).
As a member of the committee, Porr Yaun will serve as a representative for practitioners working in government, advocate for the needs and interests of the group within the broader public history community, and recruit presentation proposals to highlight government history work at annual meetings.
Her two-year term will begin in September of 2022.
“With so much uncertainty about the future of history education in schools, it’s more important than ever to bolster public history initiatives,” said Porr Yaun. “I look forward to lending my expertise as a government historian to ensure that the National Council on Public History is successful in making best practices and professional policies available to practitioners in the field.”
The NCPH is dedicated to making the past useful in the present and to encouraging collaboration between historians and their publics. The council establishes professional standards, ethics, and best practices; provides professional development opportunities; recognizes excellence in a diverse range of public history activities; fosters networking and a sense of community among public history practitioners; and supports history education.
Porr Yaun has served as Orange County Historian since 2014. She is the chair of the Orange County Historical Collections Committee and the Orange County Semiquincentennial Commission, and is a member of both the Communities Council representing Orange County at Hudson River Valley Greenway and the Committee of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. In addition to her work in Orange County, she also teaches Historic Preservation at SUNY Westchester.
IMAGE: Johanna Porr Yaun, Orange County Historian, has been appointed to the NCPH Government Historians Committee.
By Alberto Gilman
Newburgh residents gathered on Friday, April 29 at the Shelter House in Downing Park for the unveiling and dedication of a marker for Newburgh native Andrew Jackson Downing. Orange County Historian Johanna Porr-Yaun hosted the unveiling and dedication ceremony for fellow Newburgh residents.
“It’s really great to unveil the historic marker for Newburgh. It’s long overdue that we showcase the work of Andrew Jackson Downing and the influence that he had on architects and landscape all around the county,” said Porr-Yaun.
With clear skies and brief winds, residents had the opportunity to take home a brochure that highlighted the life, work and influence of Downing. The brochure features a list of 28 architectural sites located in the City of Newburgh, City of Beacon, Town of New Windsor and Town of Newburgh for residents and visitors to view. A Hudson River Valley Greenway Grant, through the Fullerton Center in Newburgh, helped in the creation of the brochure along with other partners, historians and educators who contributed to the project.
During the unveiling ceremony, Porr-Yaun also recognized her mother Joan Porr, for her work and commitment to bring this marker to the City of Newburgh. Porr, a Newburgh native, shared to the gathered crowd that she was born on nursery lands that were originally owned by Downing and his family. The nursery lands were 11 acres in size. Another marker in the City of Newburgh that recognizes Downing and his architectural work is located in front of the Crawford House on Montgomery Street in the City of Newburgh.
Downing Park honors the memory a Newburgh native who was known for his work in architecture, horticulture and writing. At the age of 36 in 1852, Downing was headed to New York City when an explosion occurred on the steamboat he was traveling on and a fire broke out. Downing, along with 80 other reported passengers, died in that steamboat accident on the Hudson River.
Though Downing had passed, his influence and work continued through the creation and completion of Downing Park by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, who later on went to design Central Park in New York City.
Downing’s final resting place is in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newburgh. On Saturday, April 23, the City of Newburgh also celebrated the 200th birthday of Olmsted in Downing Park.
“I totally applaud Joan [Porr] for bringing, doing her research and highlighting this additional part of the city that Downing had so much influence on,” said Kathy Parisi, President of the Downing Park Planning Committee.
The new historic marker can be found at 355 Grand Street. More information can be found at thefullerton.org.
The Times Herald Record Link: www.recordonline.com/videos/news/2021/07/26/newburgh-300-year-old-bits-history-unearthed-weigands-tavern/8071807002/
Spectrum News Link: spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/hudson-valley/news/2021/07/30/unearthed-artifacts-tell-story-of-newburgh-s-first-residents?fbclid=IwAR1DKXjk9Eu50ZPAAFObUuz8yzx2WZaGsEr-Hq44rJBqb2OSTpi6AtcpcSE#
CITY OF NEWBURGH - Every gravestone tells a story.
But over time, nature tends to cover the details of those stories with dirt, pollen dust, and other things that get blown onto the stone and obscure its message.
Sixteen area residents got a lesson in the proper way to clean and preserve gravestones on Saturday at a workshop offered by the Orange County Historian's office.
Their teachers were cemetery restoration experts Dale and Tina Utter from upstate Chenango County, and the location was Newburgh's oldest burying ground, the Old Town Cemetery, adjacent to Calvary Presbyterian Church on Grand Street.
CLICK LINK HERE for more information
August 11 marked the 150th anniversary of Frederick Douglass visit to Newburgh In honor of the visit to Newburgh in 1870 and his legacy of voter rights and civic engagement, the City held a special commemoration. The evening included the unveiling of a mural by artist Vernon Byron, an African American Spiritual Sing-A-Long, a re-enactment by Oliver King and a Proclamation for a Day of Civic Engagement by elected officials.
Stuck inside? Need something to read?
Johanna Porr Yaun, the Orange County Historian, has a list of books of local significance for you to cozy up to while staying safe in your house.
“A lot of people have asked what books I recommend now that they have extra time to read,” Johanna says. “So, I put together this list.”
Read More on Times Herald Record Online
The Wall Street Journal article “Why People are Sharing Their Family Secrets with Strangers in Public” looked at growing numbers of people taking home DNA tests and learning a family secret. Many of them confided in family members and close friends—but also found themselves sharing the information at book events, conferences and other public venues.
Read more on the Wall Street Journal Website