Tag Archives: Saratoga County

American Revolution: War on the Middleline, Saratoga County


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians” podcast, hear James Richmond, author of War on the Middleline – The Founding of a Community in the Kayaderossras Patent in the Midst of the American Revolution (Lulu.com, 2016)  The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 was a major turning point in the Revolution.  Richmond’s book tells a different story, including an account of fighting later in the war in a section of today’s Saratoga County called the Middleline. You can listen to the podcast here.     Continue reading

Town of Milton History on The Historians Podcast


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians” podcast Timothy Starr talks about his book, Around Milton (Arcadia, 2015).

The town of Milton’s only village, Ballston Spa, once attracted many tourists to its mineral springs. Later it was home to a manufacturer known as “the paper bag king.”  Starr has written 15 books on Saratoga County and Capital Region topics, focusing on railroads, inventions, and industries. You can listen to the entire podcast here. Continue reading

Grant Cottage Property Being Transferred To State Parks


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Grant CottageThe New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has announced that Grant Cottage State Historic Site, formerly part of the now closed Mount McGregor State Correctional Facility, will be part of a 750-acre parcel being transferred to Moreau Lake State Park.

Grant Cottage State Historic Site is the site where President Ulysses S. Grant died in July 1885.  Continue reading

Saratoga County History Faire May 16th


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Saratoga County“The Ballston Spa Trial of Solomon Northup’s Kidnappers”,  a presentation by David Fiske, biographer of Solomon Northup, will be one of four featured presentations at the Saratoga County History Faire at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, in Clifton Park, New York, on May 16, 2015.   David Fiske will be the first speaker at 10:30 am.

Solomon Northup, the subject of the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave, was lured away from Saratoga Springs in 1841 and sold into slavery. After being a slave for years, he was rescued and returned to New York State, and authored a book about his experiences. Continue reading

Villa Balsamo: A Saratoga County Landmark


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Villa BalsamoA man who started in the knitting business in Amsterdam built the lavish structure now known as Villa Balsamo restaurant off Route 50 between Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs.

According to historian David Fiske, Floyd J. Shutts was stymied by Amsterdam officials in 1918 when he tried to add on to his factory on Wall Street. Turned down in Amsterdam, Shutts bought property on Saratoga Avenue in Ballston Spa and opened the Ballston Knitting Company in 1920. Continue reading

Saratoga County:
A Future Black Congressman Faces Discrimination


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langstonportraitJohn W. Fowler’s law school, called the State and National Law School, was ahead of its time in the field of legal education in the 19th Century. He founded the school in Cherry Valley, New York, in 1847, and moved it to Ballston Spa a few years later, where it was housed in the former Sans Souci Hotel.

Contrary to the normal practice, at that time, of lawyers being trained by “reading law,” Fowler’s school offered courses in extemporaneous speaking and debating, and utilized mock trials to allow students to hone their courtroom skills. The school received much positive attention from the legal community, including South Carolina’s John C. Calhoun. Continue reading

Saratoga History and Tourism: Opportunities for New York


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Saratoga_Springs_signOnce upon a time many years ago, there was no tourism in America. And then there was. And the place where tourism began was here in New York State especially along the Hudson Valley.

The tourist explosion combined the artistic explosion generated by people like Irving, Cooper, and Cole along with technological developments like the steamship all New York State developments…and peace with England helped too!

Saratoga helped create this tourist boom. Continue reading

NY State Expands Moreau Lake State Park


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New Moreau State Park PavillonNew York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey has announced the state added a 200-acre parcel to Moreau Lake State Park, expanding hiking opportunities in the Adirondack foothills and preserving open space in fast-growing Saratoga County.

Additionally, Commissioner Harvey announced that work has been completed on a new pavilion/outdoor classroom near the park’s nature center. Continue reading

Preserving Your Saratoga Battlefield Memories


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Saratoga National Historical Park (the Saratoga Battlefield), located on Routes 4 and 32 in Stillwater, will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2013 and is looking for photographs showing people enjoying or working in the park from the 1900s to today.

This is a special one-time opportunity to share your nostalgic memories of the park for its 75th anniversary exhibit and to preserve your battlefield photos for current and future generations. In appreciation for sharing your images (up to 20 per family or individual), trained park volunteers will scan your hard copy photos and put them onto a compact disc for you to keep. Continue reading