Discover Marlboro: The Marlboro Union Free School

According to MaryLou Mahan’s book, Marlborough on my Mind, the Marlboro Union Free School opened in December 1888 and served the community until 1935. At the time of its opening, “it had three finished rooms,” and welcomed 160 students. “In 1910, the school advanced to a Middle High School, [and] in 1916 became a Senior Grade School.” In January 1921, the school became a “Full High School.” Prior to this, any students wishing to receive a high school education would have to travel to Newburgh.  

Due to overcrowding, the residents of Marlborough voted to construct a new school to serve its community. In a 1935 Marlborough Record article, a report to the Washington D.C. Federal Emergency Work Relief Administration was published stating that the school building was a “firetrap,” inadequate, and not worth further extensions or repairs. To compensate for the overcrowding, the school had been forced to add stairs to the attic and divide it into two rooms to create more space. It was common for two classes to be taught in one classroom at the same time, and a nearby factory building and church were rented out for extra space. The grounds were also deemed overcrowded at recess and before the school day.  

In 1936, a new high school opened (the present-day Middle School) and the Marlboro Union Free School ceased operation at this location. The Hudson River Fruit Exchange occupied the building until 1975 and was then demolished to make way for the firehouse that stands today. 


Mahan, M. (2009). Marlborough on my Mind (pgs 1-3). Bloomington, IN: iUniverse. 

“What the High School Building is Really Like.” (1935). The Marlborough Record.

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