The Newburgh Museum’s mission is to preserve, exhibit and educate all visitors about the history and culture of Newburgh and the surrounding area’s unique river town heritage. Located on the first floor of the Old Newburgh Presbyterian Church, the museum opened in July 2012.
The permanent displays at the museum include information about the town’s founding, how it got its name, its early industry, a period of decline and how it has changed in modern times. The main exhibit at the museum is changed every few months.
As a town situated on the fertile banks of the Ohio River, Newburgh has a long and rich history of human activity. Western explorers first discovered the area in the 17th centuries. But for centuries prior to that it had been inhabited by the Shawnee and was near the center of prehistoric Mississippian culture even as late as 1450 A.D. Evidence of this prehistoric society remains today at Angel Mounds, a National Historic Landmark, and Ellerbusch Site, both approximately two miles west of Newburgh.
Newburgh’s economy benefited from the construction of the Lock and Dam 47 in the 1920s, and its replacement in 1974 with the Newburgh Lock and Dam. The town has also benefited from the arrival, and later expansions, of the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) in the 1950s and then the 1970s. Many of Newburgh’s residents are commuters to businesses and industry in Evansville and surrounding areas.