This year marks the 250th anniversary of the final settlement of a dispute between land owners and the Iroquois Confederacy over the rights to one of the largest land grants in colonial New York, the Kayaderosseras
Patent. Important in it own right, this dispute and its eventual resolution sheds light on the politics of land acquisitions from Native Americans in the colonial period. Continue reading
A new book by Kim McCartney, James Richmond, and Karen Staulters, Milton, New York: A New Town in a New Nation (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018) takes a look at the growth of the shire town of Saratoga County from its first settlement on the eve of the Revolutionary War to the conclusion of the Civil War.
The book offers the story of pioneers, farmers, entrepreneurs, politicians, people of color, industrialists, mill workers, teachers, and soldiers. Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast, coverage of the 2017 American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley Conference (Part 1) with tour guide Travis Bowman, Benedict Arnold filmmakers Anthony Vertucci and Tom Mercer, Eric Schnitzer on battle tactics at Saratoga and anthropologist Dean Snow.
Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
This 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
This week on “The Historians” podcast Dan Weaver tells the story of how some Montgomery County men made it possible for Ulysses S. Grant to spend the last days of his life writing his memoirs at Mount McGregor in Saratoga County. Weaver owns Amsterdam’s Bookhound bookstore and writes a column for the Amsterdam Recorder. You can listen to the podcast here. 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
The 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
“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
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
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