Cornwall on Hudson photo by Michael Nelson
July 14, 2024
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History: Old Cornwall Holiday Parade

Memorial Day Parade 1920
Memorial Day Parade 1920
May 25, 2014

Step back in time to see how Cornwall celebrated a special Memorial Day in 1920. Just click here to go to the website of and download onto your computer this 15-minute black and white film of our town.

The silent film, which must be watched closely in its small frame, captures Cornwall and the lower village as people get ready for a parade through the lower village and town. You will see the original village gazebo that stood in the center of Hudson Street. Cars are zipping around the corner, just as they do today, in a tour of the town. Further up Hudson, near Rings Pond, the crowds are starting to gather, including groups of young people dressed in jackets and ties, the women in long skirts that hang just above the ankle.

The parade features a French emissary, Captain Pierre Le Comte du Nouy, who presented a gift of the French Republic to Cornwall. Behind a team of horses and a wagon, he carried the gift, a canon captured from the Germans during World War I (The Great War). The French officer escorted the canon through town to its final destination, the small green next to the war memorial opposite Cornwall Town Hall.

The people in the parade were surprisingly familiar: the NYMA marching band, veterans, and fire department officials accompanied by two fire engines that looked as if they were powered by steam.

See the video yourself at


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