Previously known as Liberty Square, the flag pole that stands in the center of town has existed here since the late 1800s. The placement of the first pole was organized by Henry M. Kniffin on behalf of the town Republicans, in the fall of 1896, giving it the nickname of “Republican Flag Pole.” According to a Marlborough Record article from 1907, “it was said to be the tallest along the Hudson. It took months to get it here and in place, and Marlborough was proud possessor of the finest flag-pole between New York and Albany. It stood 135 feet above ground, measured four feet at the base and four inches at the topmast,” and featured a weather vane at the top. In July of 1907, the pole was struck by lightning and was completely destroyed.
In 1908, the wooden pole was replaced, the weather vane was placed back on top, and the pole remained until the late 1950's. In 1958, the pole was taken down after being deemed structurally unsound. According to a newspaper article from the time, “its loss raised such a controversy, however, since the pole had served to pinpoint the village for many miles,” and the locals complained that “the village square looked kind of bare without it.” A metal pole was replaced from funds raised by the fire department in 1959, but the weather vane never sat on top of the pole again.
According to the Town of Marlborough's Bi-centennial committee, the stone circle right near the flag pole, prior to the 1880s, “was a watering trough for the many horses driven into town by farmers coming to Marlborough village on business.”
Marlboro Flagpole Raised. (1959). Newspaper title unknown. Clipping found in Marlboro Free Library’s Local History Collection.
“Republican Flag Pole Had Varied History.” (1947). The Marlborough Record.
“The "Republican Flag Pole" Has a Long and Varied History.” (1947). Southern Ulster Pioneer.
Town of Marlborough Bi-Centennial Committee (1978). Picture Book: As We Were- As We Are: Marlborough-Milton. NY. (p. 69). Saugerties, NY:Hope and Farm Press Bookshop.