History buff renovates Newburgh tavern believed to be gathering place for American Revolution leaders
An art-and-history buff who just renovated one of the Hudson Valley's oldest buildings that is said to have been a relic of the American Revolution is looking for help from the Newburgh community to uncover more of the building's history.
Weigands Tavern is believed to have been a gathering place for leaders of the American Revolution. It was built as early as 1780. The tavern later became a home and then sat vacant for 60 years.
Thomas Dodd is the person responsible for renovating the tavern. It took Dodd six years and $500,000 to rehab the tavern, which was starting to collapse inward.
"That got more complicated because on the other side of this wall is a cemetery," says Dodd. "We had a fragile dance we had to do to make sure bodies would not fall into the basement."
Dodd says he took on the project to help beautify the neighborhood and excite the neighbors about history. He now wants people to come research artifacts and sift for new ones in the dirt he saved from when the sides caved in.
Dodd wants residents to come learn history, art and perspective.
"We had the same struggles," says Dodd. "We all suffered from loss. We all worked hard. Life would have been very difficult then, but you know, life's not that easy now."
A recent graduate has already taken interest in the tavern and researched the pottery Dodd found for a thesis.