Adults $5, juniors and seniors $3, children and members of Marble Historical Society free (contact Kimberley Perrin about membership opportunities).
In the heyday during the early 1900's, Marble, Colorado was a thriving mining town that was known worldwide for supplying beautiful white marble for the construction of monuments and buildings across the United States, including the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C.
Home to some 4,000 hardy souls, Marble needed a school for its youngsters. The community built a fine two-story building with a marble foundation, marble veneer, and four large classrooms that was opened in 1912. The school housed as many as 200 students in the 1920's and 1930's, and graduated classes of as many as 25 students from the 12th grade.
During World War II, however, demand for marble buildings and monuments slipped precipitously, and combined with a couple of bad floods that struck Marble in the 1940's, the school's enrollment slipped to a handful of students. The school was closed by the Gunnison Watershed School District in 1948.
The schoolhouse was shuttered for several decades until the Marble Historical Society expressed an interest in refurbishing the building and opening a museum in the building. The building was deeded to the Marble Historical Society in 1985.
In the meanwhile, Marble continued to grow. During the sleepy years of the 1940's and early 1950's, the population of Marble had dipped to only a handful of hardy souls, but as Carbondale and Glenwood Springs grew in population, so did Marble.
As Marble grew, the sentiment of “why don’t we have our own school again?” became stronger and stronger. Parents didn’t like the idea of their kids riding the bus for a good part of their day. In 1995, concerned parents formulated a plan to become part of the Colorado Rural Charter Schools Network and start up a new Marble Charter School in the old building.
Because the Marble Historical Society had title to the building, the Marble Charter School arranged to lease classroom and office space from the Historical Society. As such, the school was not forced to complete a renovation of the entire building to modern classroom standards at significant cost, but rather was able to remodel only the classrooms that they intended to use. The Historical Society and the Charter School reached an agreement whereby they would share the costs of maintaining the building, while the Charter School would pay a $1 a year lease fee. In addition, the Historical Society maintains a museum and an upper classrooms of the building. It is open during the summer and fall months.