Beginning in the early 1860s, break-ins began taking place at businesses across Saratoga County, New York. The method was always the same, an office was entered and the safe was emptied and then re-locked. The only outward evidence of the theft was the owners’ inability to open the safe. [Read more…] about The Secret Criminal Life of Nelson Knickerbacker
A man with the ominous-sounding name of Isaiah Blood, born on February 13, 1810, once operated one of the largest tool factories of its kind in New York State, along the Kayaderosseras Creek in Saratoga County, 150 years ago.
The Ballston Scythe, Axe and Tool Works shipped hundreds of thousands of quality hard-edge tools around the world for decades. [Read more…] about Isaiah Blood: The Forgotten Industrialist of Bloodville
There have been many noted murder trials in Saratoga county since the first court was held in the town of Stillwater May 10, 1791 – 100 years ago. The court now in session at Ballston Spa meets about five miles from where the first court was held, at the residence of Samuel Clark, near East Line, Judge John Thompson of Stillwater [then] presiding, he having received the appointment as the first judge of Saratoga county from Governor Clinton. [Read more…] about Murder Trials Of Note In 19th Century Saratoga County
The last week of the year 1843 was a difficult time for Ballston farmer Uriah Gregory. On December 29th Uriah lost his beloved wife, Tamer, his partner of more than sixty-five years, with whom he shared a life in the earliest days of the new nation. [Read more…] about The Life and Death of a Saratoga County Patriot
Today the crossing of Middle Line Road and Geyser Road in Saratoga County contains a few houses and a small parking lot to access the Kayaderosseras Creek. But in the mid-1800s, it was the site of a thriving hamlet of several hundred inhabitants called Milton Center.
Locally renowned Revolutionary War Lt. Colonel James Gordon became an early entrepreneur after the war. He built one of Milton’s earliest gristmills on the creek by 1800 as well as other small mills to the south in the Town of Ballston. [Read more…] about A Tannery Fire Transformed Kaydeross Valley Communities
In November, 1813, nine men met in the city of New York to sign an agreement, handwritten by Nicholas Low, to form the Ballston Spa Company for the manufacture of cotton, wool and linen fabrics. They pledged an initial capital of $100,000 in shares of $100 each. A month later the Company announced it would “extend the capital stock” to $800,000, a staggering sum for those days.
Low was a businessman and friend of the rich and powerful of the nation. One was his late colleague Alexander Hamilton. During the 1790s, Low helped midwife the birth of the village of Ballston Spa, in Saratoga County. He owned most of the land upon which it was laid out and spent a fortune developing the village, including the famous Sans Souci Hotel. [Read more…] about Ballston Spa’s Abandoned 1814 Factory Awaits Rediscovery
Life as they knew it changed overnight. For years there had been fear, causing hardships day-by-day, but after this event their lives would never be the same. Much like our response to Pearl Harbor or September 11, October 16, 1780 was a day the people along Middleline Road in the Town of Ballston would never forget. [Read more…] about War on the Middleline: Munro’s Raid On Saratoga County in 1780
One of the most prosperous residents in the history of Ballston Spa, NY, was a “Paper Bag King” who once laid claim to the largest manila paper bag operation in the world, also located in Saratoga County.
George West, was born in the English village of Kentisbeare in 1822. He was the sixth of nine children, and as soon as he was old enough West followed in his father’s footsteps and began working at a local paper mill. [Read more…] about Saratoga County Mills Using Manila Hemp Were Home To ‘The Paper Bag King’
This is not the first time the region was at the forefront of a technological revolution. In the early nineteenth century some of the nation’s first railroads were built right here. [Read more…] about Early Railroads From The Capital District To Saratoga
The Ballston Terminal Railroad in Saratoga County, NY, opened on August 6, 1898.
At 4:05 pm, the George West made its inaugural run from the Village of Ballston Spa to the Pioneer Mill in West Milton. This was a six mile trip. On the return trip to Ballston Spa, the trolley stopped at the Power House in Factory Village to allow the company to review the machinery. Then everyone boarded again to arrive back at Middlebrook Avenue at 5:10 pm. The total round trip took one hour and five minutes. [Read more…] about The Ballston Terminal Railroad: A Short History