For 70 years after it was gifted to the Village, the Thorne Building – which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places – played a central role in the lives of the people of Millbrook.
Until 1962, the three-story Beaux Arts structure served as Millbrook’s first public high school. Since then, it has seen only sporadic use, and in recent decades, it has fallen into disrepair.
These vintage photos reflect a keen sense of place while serving as a tribute to all of those who have studied and worked within the building’s walls and grounds. The Thorne Center will continue to be an important site for memories for many decades to come.
Celebrating the Manual Arts
Offering carpentry, blacksmithing, sewing and food preparation as part of the secondary school curriculum represented the latest innovation in public school education when the Thorne Memorial Building opened in 1896 to house the Millbrook Memorial School. Students were encouraged to enroll through twelfth grade and graduate at a time when many didn’t go beyond sixth grade. Useful courses in what became known as the manual arts provided an incentive to stay. Of course ancient history, Latin, English, advanced mathematics and science continued to be a mainstay of the curriculum.