Series: Meet a Newburgher- Nancy

(c) Jonathan Valle Photography, 2009
Recently I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing the very lovely owner of the Goldsmith and Denniston Bed & Breakfast, and Jonathan Valle the opportunity of photographing her.

Meet: Nancy B.

How many years have you been living in the city of Newburgh?
I grew up in Newburgh and was here until 1967, came back after school for 3 years, lived in upstate NY for 10 years, on Hilton Head Island for 17, and back for 8. So altogether, I’ve lived in and seen various “states” of Newburgh for 28 years.

What made you decide to move back here?
What made us (my husband passed away in 2006), decide to move back here was the incredible beauty of the area and the wealth of architecture in Newburgh. He was an artist and our business on HH was design/build/finish new homes to resemble the gems in Newburgh, so we thought we’d do the real thing. Also, we wanted our two girls to have a different view of life for their teen and college years than they would have on Hilton Head.

(c) Jonathan Valle Photography, 2009 

What are some things you would change about Newburgh (realistically)?
The realistic changes I’d like to see come down to quality of life issues; clean streets, enforced codes, reduction in crime rates and city government which has a “world vision” for Newburgh and works together toward the betterment of all of its citizens.

What are some things you enjoy about living in Newburgh? Your community? What are some positive things?
I like the fact that Newburgh is small enough that you can walk to the waterfront or Broadway, Liberty St. and the post office and beyond! I always support local merchants whenever possible and would like to see more staking their claim. The area where I live has so many interesting people who have been welcoming from the beginning. We have a good community of friends who share common goals and concerns.

What do you think makes Newburgh a unique city?
Newburgh is unique in that it is immersed in history, has some fantastic architecture by noted architects, an active visual and performing arts community, and the over whelming (to me) ever-changing beauty of the river and mountains. The best part is that it is central to so many things to see and do within an hour’s drive.

(c) Jonathan Valle Photography, 2009 

What is a common misconception about Newburgh that you would like to set straight?
I think I would like to speak to the misconception that only “losers” live in Newburgh. In addition to a healthy arts community, there are doctors, educators, authors, professors, bankers, lawyers, architects, publishers, nurse practitioners, government workers, engineers, consultants, graphic artists, etc. – and all of these are represented within just my two block area.

Do you have any details you would like to share about the history of your home or any home renovations details/stories?
My house was built in 1820 for Goldsmith Denniston, a lawyer who signed many old records in Newburgh. He was here only 3 years when he moved to Albany to be part of the legislature. It was sold to Robt. Forsyth of Newburgh Steam Mills, then to Wm. K. Mailler, a partner to David Crawford in the shipping business. Wm. O., his son joined his father in the business and eventually it became Wm. K. Mailler & Son. During the son’s tenure in the house, it underwent remodeling in the Victorian style with marble mantle pieces replacing wood, and a Downing-esque bay window was added. Growing up here, we had been visited by Wm. O.’s grandson, then in his 70’s, who told us what purposes the rooms were used for and where the trap door for the Underground Railroad was. It was our goal to restore the house by moving the kitchen to its original first floor space and upgrading and adding to electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems, including central air, while maintaining the integrity of the original house.

(c) Jonathan Valle Photography, 2009

What advice would you give some one looking to move to the city of Newburgh and buy a home or rent?
As an innkeeper, I’ve had a number of guests come to Newburgh to look around at the possibility of relocating here. To date, five new families have moved here as a result of their stay here and having questions answered, and contacts made. I’ve always maintained the city is not perfect, but it is beautiful and has some really special people. I’d suggest to anyone they look around, ask a lot of questions and become part of an evolving community.

For more information on Nancy, and her affiliations in Newburgh see the following sites –,, and

Thank you Nancy for participating! These interviews show that the city is alive and full of residents interested in it’s restoration. I can only keep it going with your help. If you or someone you know would be interested in participating in a similar interview, please contact me at

Also, thank you Jonathan Valle of Valle Photography! He is available to take portraits for you who are interested in interviewing in the future. If you are interested in having work done by him, contact him at 845-926-5031.

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