Marlboro Land

Hidden surprises await on (and slightly off) Route 9W

Posted: Thursday, September 30, 2010

Along 9W, between Newburgh and Milton, lies the Township of Marlborough and the hamlet of Marlboro. As you continue north beyond the ’Burgh, nondescript businesses dot the roadscape—welding supplies, motels, a “gentleman’s club”—until you come to our first stop, the Overlook Farm Market. This venerable roadside store offers bounty from the fertile hills of Marlborough, where some of the finest fruits and vegetables in the Valley are grown. From there it’s on to carved bears, the earliest Jewish residence in North America, wineries, and orchards. A saloon and a jazz club wrap up our adventure.

Chainsaw bear

Chainsaw artist Bruce Bayard has been practicing his craft here on the outskirts of Marlboro since 1993. Visit his workshop on the weekends. Best to call ahead – Bruce was visiting California when we stopped by. In addition to his genial bears, custom chainsaw carving is available.
5360 Rte. 9W, 845-569-4752.

Family Farmers

Since 1887, four generations of Lloyds have farmed these hills on the outskirts of Marlborough. With over 400 acres of land, Overlook Farm produces an abundance of fruits and vegetables for its roadside farm market. “Years ago, there were ten stands along this stretch of 9W,” says Nina Penney, who was behind the counter when we visited. “One by one they closed up. Now it's just us and one part time stand up the road.”

The farm also has a small petting zoo and a 40-acre pick-your-own apple orchard. Plenty of pumpkins are on the premises. They were out of their famous $1 turkey sandwiches, so we picked up some fresh cider and donuts, and a meatloaf sandwich, still a bargain at $1.75.

Overlook Farm Market

5417 Rte. 9W


Open Daily 8am-6pm

Closed Tuesday


Go to a grape stomp

Benmarl Winery, now reigning as America’s oldest professional vineyard, has spectacular views of the river from its grounds. Coming on October 9th and 10th is the Annual Harvest Grape Stomp Festival, featuring live music, grape stomping, winery and vineyard tours, hay rides, and wine tastings. $15 admission.
October 11th is Customer Appreciation Day, with free tastings and 15 percent off cases.


Benmarl Winery

156 Highland Ave.
Hours: April - December

A Jewish landmark

Tucked away just a few feet from the heavy traffic of 9W is the Gomez Mill House. In travelling those few steps, you transport yourself to another time and place.

In 1714 Luis Moses Gomez fled the Spanish inquisition, and ended up in the Hudson Highlands, where he purchased 6,000 acres of land. Today the pastoral grounds are the setting for the oldest house on the National Register of Historic Places in Orange County, and the earliest surviving Jewish residence in North America. We learned from our docent Richie Rosencrants that the original fieldstone block house was built into the side of a hill. The stream nearby became known as “Jews Creek.”

The walls of the original one room house, which was a single story, are about three feet thick. Two large hearths are on either end of the long room. The second story was added around 1772 by William Ackert. His slaves used homemade moulds and fetched the clay from the banks of the Hudson to make the bricks in the meadow across Mill House Road.

The house was continuously occupied for well over 200 years by a variety of owners. One of the most interesting was Dard Hunter, a renowned papermaker who built the mill across from the house in 1913. In 1947 the Starin family purchased Mill House with a GI loan. They were instrumental in preserving its heritage and tradition. After much research and many years of persistence, Mildred Starin successfully placed the Gomez Mill House on the Historic Register in January 1973.

Wed.-Sun., 10am-4pm. Tours at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm. You must be on a tour to visit the inside of the Mill House. Closes for the season November 7.

Gomez Mill House

11 Mill House Rd.



Invisible type

Frederic Goudy designed over 100 typefaces at his Village Press, which moved to Marlboro in 1923. Commemorating the location is a small plaque on a rock set in the woods about ten feet from the roadside (watch the poison ivy!) It’s almost impossible to come upon unless you know where to look. Continuing north on 9W from the Gomez Mill House, it’s about a half mile down the road, then a right turn on Old Albany Post Rd. Go another ¼ mile or so, just after a short, steep downhill and before the little bridge that takes you over the same stream that runs by the Gomez House. It’s on the left in the bushes.

Continue your adventure after the jump.

Categories: Cool Places * Hot Trips

Tags: Marlborough,Marlboro,Chainsaw Bear,Brice Bayard

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