In 1976, as the nation prepared to celebrate its 200th birthday, my parents were already a year into the hunt for records of an elusive ancestor: Sanbun Ford, a founder of the town of Milton, in Saratoga County. [Read more…] about Sanbun Ford: An American Revolutionary Rediscovered
This week on The Historians Podcast, highlights from seven podcasts from 2021 – Jim Richmond on Saratoga County history, Mike Hauser on Fulton County sports, Sarah Patten on women spies, Thruway questions from Robert Burns, John Warren on motorization of the Adirondack Park, Jim Kaplan on New York City’s South Street Seaport and Roland Vinyard on West Virginia caver Pete Hauer. [Read more…] about Highlights From The Historians Podcast
Egbert Ludovicus Viele died on April 22nd, 1902 at the age of 77 in the city of New York after an eventful life that began in Waterford, New York.
He was born in 1825, son of Kathlyne Schuyler (Knickerboacker) and State Senator John L. Viele. The title of his newspaper obituary notice “Veteran of Two Wars and Indian Campaigns Passes Away” did little justice to his varied career, nor his personal foibles. [Read more…] about Egbert Ludovicus Viele: Engineer, Soldier, Politician
On April 15th, 1842, Henry A. Vrooman, a forty-one-year-old farmer living in West Charlton, Saratoga County, passed away in his home near the intersection of what is now Eastern Avenue and Sacandaga Road. He was laid to rest in the nearby West Glenville Cemetery. Only eight months earlier he had married forty-year-old Eliza McClelland, a widow with two children from nearby Blue Corners on the western edge of the Town of Charlton. It was a roller-coaster eight months. [Read more…] about The Short Eventful Marriage of Henry and Eliza Vrooman
Few remember when Clifton Park had its own amusement park. It was located on the Mohawk River in Rexford near the Alplaus border from 1906 to 1933. [Read more…] about When Clifton Park Had Its Own Amusement Park
On the scaffold, just after a noose was tied around his neck, he jumped to his death, thereby depriving his executioners from carrying out his sentence. [Read more…] about Patriot Then Traitor: Saratoga County’s Joe Bettys
In 1791, the newly formed Saratoga County Board of Supervisors met for the first time at Mead’s Tavern in Stillwater, in the eastern part of the county. It was common for elected officials or committees to meet at a public house before building a town hall.
Within the next few years, when it was decided that a courthouse building and jail should be erected, the Town of Ballston was chosen for it’s central location.
Captain Edward A. Watrous donated a site on his farm for the courthouse on Middeline Road in Ballston and construction began in 1795. Court was first held there the next spring. A small hamlet grew, known as “Courthouse Hill,” it was complete with taverns, hotels and law offices. The county seat seemed to be firmly cemented at that location, but that changed in 1816. [Read more…] about How Ballston Spa Became the Seat of Saratoga County
Today, Schuylerville in eastern Saratoga County is not particularly known for its Irish community, but on St. Patrick’s Day in 1898 the historic village had “a metropolitan appearance” with bands, drum corps and 600 marchers.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) organized a parade under the auspices of the local Schuylerville area division. [Read more…] about St. Patrick’s Day in Schuylerville, 1898
Before the 20th century, the upper Hudson River was used commercially as a conduit to ship logs downstream to the mills along the river. Logs were stored in pens, behind temporary dams, and at streamside log landings until the spring melt increased the flow of the river – known as the spring freshet. When the flow rate was right, the the logs were sent careening downstream to the mills. [Read more…] about How Hudson River Floods Helped Create Great Sacandaga Lake
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