On Saturday July 21 at 11 am, David Fiske is set to lead a walking tour at the Ballston Spa Village Cemetery. During the one-hour tour, participants will view the grave sites of some important industrialists from Ballston Spa’s history, while Fiske tells their stories.
Among the individuals highlighted will be some early industrialists, such as Isaiah Blood and George West. Also included will be more recent business people, notably Donald K. Stewart, the founder of the local dairy outlet that later became the convenience store chain. Continue reading
This 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
This week “The Historians” podcast features historian David Fiske with the story of the chocolate factory that used to be located in Ballston Spa. Fiske also has the latest on his research of the Ballston Spa trial of Solomon Northup’s kidnappers. Fiske was one of the coauthors of Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of “Twelve Years a Slave” (Praeger, 2013) Listen at “The Historians” online archive at http://www.bobcudmore.com/thehistorians/
A 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
This week on “The Historians” radio program, David Fiske of Saratoga County with stories of two 19th century hangings in Ballston Spa. In the second half of the show I talk with pianist Stan Wiest who has tales about life on the road as a musician in the 20th century.
Listen to the whole program at “The Historians” online archive at http://www.bobcudmore.com/thehistorians/
John 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