Old Town Cemetery
Newburgh, New York 12550

The Restoration of the Robinson Mausoleum

According to a Newburgh Telegraph story of February 8, 1908, Captain Henry (Bully) Robinson, whose farm embraced what is now Washington Heights, was the first to bring goldfish to America. The 1853 mausoleum, thought to be designed by Andrew Jackson Davis, is the only Egyptian Revival monument in the world that consists of a pyramid erected atop a mastaba. Captain of a vessel engaged in trade with French ports, Robinson brought home a lot of “those pretty fish”, and put them in a pond on his farm. By 1835-36, he settled down in Newburgh to pass his declining years. 

Although his life in Newburgh was one of retirement, Captain Robinson formed several rowing clubs, particularly the Newburgh Regatta Association in 1837, later the Newburgh Amateur Boat Club Association. He died on March 9, 1866, aged 83 years and 10 months. Legend has it that “Bully” was always promising his wife a mansion, which turned out to be the magnificent mausoleum. There were no surviving children, and it is believed that the family became extinct with the passing of other distant relatives.

In 1999, the Old Town Cemetery Commission urged the City of Newburgh to restore the Robinson Mausoleum and the job was awareded to Polonia, the architectural restoration company owned by Geraldo Sanchez. The photos below show the dramatic restoration that was accomplished.

Click on a photo to see an enlargement.

 

 
Front View Before

Front View After
 
Door Before
 
Door After
 
Back View Before
 
Back View After

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