(Author unknown - Date circa late 1930's)
A trip around the Town of Marlborough, the southeastern corner of Ulster County, covers old Indian trails, passing flats where corn and pumpkins were grown, meat and other produce were brought to the docks in Milton for shipment and grains to the numerous mills for grinding. The roads, now macadam, (Marlborough has a large percentage of hard- surfaced roads) pass houses some of which ante-date the Revolution and many of which were built before 1830.
The fruit growing region was settled for the most part by English people from Long Island and Westchester Counties. Many of the family names in the town now are the names of the early inhabitants of Revolutionary days - for example Carpenter, DuBois, Mackey, Woolsey, Terpening, Frazer, Wygant, Purdy, Berrian, Quick, Perkins, Valentine, Caverly, Plumstead, St. John, Bloomer, Lockwood, Polhemus, Kent, Pembroke, Young, Baker, Harcourt, Tuthill, Quimby, Hallock, Fowler, Canniff, Conklin, Warren. From the time of the earliest known settler, Dennis Relyea, who came to live on Capt. John Evans' patent, 1694, at Old Man's Kill, on what is now Marlboro Mills, and of Captain Bond who settled on the grant given him in 1710, an increasing number of settlers came to this section particularly from 1750-1830. The population has remained almost constant. In the period 1913-1923 a large number of Italian people, attracted by the terraced hills of grapes reminiscent of their native Italy and by favorable prices for fruit, bought property here.
Persons whose activities are known beyond the Town confines are Frederick Gowdy, famous designer of type, who lives on Jew's Creek; James Scott, artist, and his wife Kirsten Scott, pianist; Grace Taber Hallock, author of books for children; Mrs. Edward Young, Sr., former president of the New York State Home Bureau Federation; Walter Clarke, former president of the New York State Horticultural Society; Tony Canzoneri, former lightweight champion. Several citizens in years passed have served as assemblymen and other posts of honor, among them Edward Young, Sr. A distinguished citizen was C. Meech Woolsey to whom the town owes a debt for a carefully compiled "History of the Town of Marlborough."
The general farming of the early days has been replaced by the more specialized fruit growing. Apple seedlings had been planted on the Old Hall place as early as 1760. Tourists have always been attracted to this section by the beautiful views of the Hudson and the hills. Wulfers Roost, Elm Grove, and Shady Brook have been known to city people for years. Today the Italian boarders as well greatly increase the town's summer population. The First National Bank of Marlboro and The First National Bank of Milton, The Hudson River Fruit Exchange, the Italian-Cooperative as well as others, the Hudson Valley Press, the Shell Corporation, the Marlborough Manufacturing and Supply Company furnish the necessities for carrying on the main businesses of this section, fruit-growing and inn-keeping.
The Marlborough Presbyterian Church, the first of the town's eleven churches dates from 1764. This was followed by the Milton Methodist and the Lattintown Baptist Churches. The Quaker meeting from an early date, the Catholic Churches Missions in 1865, the Episcopal churches and Amity Chapel have all had part in the community.
The two new school buildings, the Marlboro Central High School and the Milton Grade School, built as a result of centralization are modern in every way, offering opportunity to all the children of all the people. These school and the Lattintown School are the descendants of the two early schools, the Lattintown and the Turnpike schools, built before 1795. Several other schools both public and private have paved the way for a modern school system of which the town may well be proud.
Marlborough named after the Duke of Marlborough, was once part of the territory bought from the Indians by Governor Dongan in 1684. This land was granted by patent (afterwards annulled) to Capt. John Evans, September 12, 1694. Marlborough, Plattekill, Newburgh, and New Windsor formed the Highland precinct of Ulster County in 1743, but in 1772 the New Marlborough precinct was formed from the Marlborough and Plattekill portion and was first called "Town" in 1788. Lewis DuBois, whose home was the house on 9-W north of Marlboro where John Rusk, Sr., now lives was a high-commissioner of this Highland precinct as well as (later) of the New Marlborough precinct, chosen at a meeting held at the home of Henry Deyo in Lattintown, April 7, 1772. In 1800 the boundaries of the Town of Marlborough were defined as at present. The territory of the Town of Marlborough had been granted in patents to John Barbarie (1709); to Captain William Bond (1710) who settled south of Milton, and built the stone house on 9-W south of Indian Road; to Griggs and Graham (1712); to Lewis Morris (1714) also Augustus Graham, Lyman Clarke, Henry Wileman, William Bond, Henry Rainier, Alexander Griggs; to Archibald Kennedy (1715); to George Harrison (1750). These original lands were divided and sold to settlers, many of whose homes may still be seen on your trip. The Elizah Lewis house on 9-W at the Indian Road and the Anning Smith house on the Milton Road north of Milton, the mill house at Jew's creek south of Marlboro are pre-Revolutionary houses as well as those previously mentioned.