On this day – September 16

On this day in 1776, 30 Americans were killed today in the Battle at Harlem Heights, NY. General Washington wrote that the troops behaved with “bravery and intrepidity;” and Congress voted to raise without delay 88 battalions to serve for the duration of the war; each state received a quota, ranging from 15 battalions each from Massachusetts and Virginia to one each from Georgia and Delaware, to spur enlistments, soldiers were offered bounties which included $20 and 100 acres of land; in 1777,British Lieutenant William Digby of 53d Regiment of Foot described, “A detachment with about 2000 men with pieces of cannon attended Gen Burgoyne on a reconnoitering party towards the enemy; we remained out till near night and fired our evening gun at set to make them imagine we had taken post so nearer them and afterwards returned to our camp with the gun; we heard Gen Gates had been there the preceding day attended by a corps of riflemen; it was then pretty certain and generally believed and indeed wished for that we should shortly have a decisive engagement. I say wished for as they would never allow us to go into winter quarters till we had gained some great advantage over them; should that be the case many of the country would join us but not till then they choosing be on the strongest side’” meanwhile in Pennsylvania, a major battle is averted after torrential rain soaks the powder supplies of both American and British troops at Warren Tavern; in 1781, Philip Schuyler wrote to Alexander Hamilton, ”I hope you are now operating against Cornwallis; it is difficult to judge with precision of your prospects at this distance, but matters [and] appearances are so favorable that they justify a hope that the operations will be crowned with ample success”; in 1862, Thomas Hallagan, enlisted in 77th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company K; in 1983, the State of New York Commission on Judicial Conduct administrator entered into an agreed statement of facts with counsel for Town Justice Paul E. Hutzky which lead to his removal as a Town Justice; and in 2009, the Bullard Block (90-98 Broad St.) was listed on the National Register as a commercial building built in 1881 in the High Victorian Gothic style
On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga. Discover what happened today in local history by subscribing to our blog at https://ift.tt/2czXtwq
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling information for this timetable.)
September 16

Hudson River Speedway

The Hudson River Speedway was a 1950’s stock car track was located beside the Hudson River and US 4 at Garnsey’s trucking. The Paul Garnsey family owned and ran the speedway. The Hudson River Speedway is an important part of our community’s 1950s landscape. The race track was located outside of the villages. Automobiles were the entertainment and the form the transportation to this social destination. In the post war recovery years, optimism pervaded the national attitude. Sports car racing was very popular with many tracks in Eastern New York and nearby Vermont. It is not known why the track ceases operations but American tastes changed. In late 1950s’, television sets had become affordable and with it less people venture out of their homes for entertainment. Times were good and people traveled. Automobiles began to reshape patterns of tourism. Riverside cottages and campsites multiplied as tourists took their vacations in the family car. The thrills of auto racing are no longer part of our community. It was a moment in time that was well thought of by the participants.

The British Army began its march southward in three divisions

“On the fifteenth the British Army began its march southward in three divisions. The only road had to be given up to the baggage and artillery. To protect the left, or German division, marched along the meadows, next to the river. The centre, or British division, kept the heights above while Frazer corps moved at some distance, on the right of with Breyman following just behind in support. Two divisions were therefore marching on the heights, and one underneath them. What with the delays caused by broken bridges on the road, bridging the ravines on the heights, or forcing way through thick woods, which was necessary always to reconnoitre with care, the royal army could get over but six miles in two days. Being then near the enemy, halt was made to prepare for battle.”
This is an excerpt from Samuel Adams Drake’s Burgoyne’s Invasion of 1777, with an Outline Sketch of the American Invasion of Canada 1775-1776 as part of the Decisive Events in American History series published in 1889.
Samuel Adams Drake (20 Dec 1833, Boston – 4 Dec 1905, Kennebunkport, Maine) was a journalist, military officer, and writer. He entered journalism in 1858. In 1861 he joined the army and served throughout the war, becoming brigadier-general in 1863. He returned to Boston in 1871 and resumed literary work.
These were the views of our community history in the past. As a community, we will be eternally grateful for the early historians including William Ostrander, John Brandow, William Stone, Ellen Hardin Walworth and others. However, history is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past is subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable “truth” about past events and their meaning. We are fortunate to live in a community where there is active history being researched which provides new evidence. This research may be new access to primary source material, new archeology studies, or new perspectives because new historians and researchers are working in our community. This is an unending quest of historians and our community for understanding the past — that is, revisionism and that is what makes history vital and meaningful. That is why the study of Saratoga is a never ending task.

On this day – September 15

On this day in 1777, in Schuylerville, the British moved south as Historian John Brandow described, “the serried hosts of King George, recently from Canada, as they streamed by with airy step confident in their ability to drive the dastardly rebels before them like a flock of sheep” and loyalist John Butler receives Royal Warrant to raise Butler’s Rangers, a regiment of loyalists; in 1789, James Fenimore Cooper, American novelist, short story writer, and historian was born, in his novel called The Chainbearer, he wrote “While at Saratoga, I was much struck with the air, position and deportment of a gentleman who appeared to command the respect, and to obtain the ears of all the leaders in the American camp, while he held no apparent officials station, he wore no uniform, though he was addressed by the title of general, and had much more of the character of a real soldier than Gates, who commanded, he must have been between forty and fifty at that time, and in full enjoyment of the vigor of his mind and body, this was Philip Schuyler, so justly celebrated in our annals for his wisdom, patriotism, integrity, and public service, “ (it should be noted that this is a work of fiction and unfortunately Schuyler suffered from gout and pleuresy from 1751 though his life); in 1850, the USS Saratoga got underway and proceeded to the western Pacific for service in the East India Squadron; in 1857, William Howard Taft served as both President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was born; in 1861, David Davenport, Wells Green, and Sylvester S. Haight enlisted in 77th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company K; in 1862, John and Thomas Cooney enlisted in the 77th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company K, Thomas Cooney was discharged a little over 3 months afterwards for disability (he enlisted at the age +/- 44 years and did live to be 69) and in 1990, in what has been described as one of the best football games of that decade, in the region, Schuylerville 22 defeated Stillwater 14 , when Schuylerville’s Henry Weatherwax batted down final-play pass at the goal line to preserve the Black Horses’ season-opening win.
On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga. Discover what happened today in local history by subscribing to our blog at https://ift.tt/2czXtwq
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck and Town Supervisor Thomas Wood for compiling information for this timetable.)
September 15

Meaders Owned the Springs in 1878

Sylvester’s History published in 1878 says that Isaac W. Meader owned the Springs at that time. Mr. Meader was a well known business man in Quaker Springs for many years. During the time of his ownership, a collection was taken through the community for the repair of the springs and grounds.
Today, the Mineral Springs at Quaker Springs are maintained by the Town of Saratoga. The Springs are open for visits and inspection. The Springs are located on Quaker Springs road just off NYS 32. Saratoga has been defined by the natural forces that shape the land and influence ecosystems. Our community is defined by glacial features include drumlins, rock drumlins, striations, and glacial lake features. A series of glacial lakes named for the location of the impoundment such as Glacial Lake Albany, Glacial Lake Quaker Springs, and Glacial Lake Coville formed in front of the retreating glacial ice edge in the Hudson River area. Associated with these lakes are clay, sand, beach, and shoreline features throughout our community. When the lake’s impoundment was breached, torrents of water flushed southward and lake bottom sediments including sand, silt and clay were available to prevailing winds. In Saratoga, these deposits accumulated into dune fields.
There are many sites like the Mineral Springs in Quaker Springs that help define this community and our region. By better understand the role of natural resources in our history, in our present environment and in our daily well-being, we as individuals and as a community will make better decisions for the future. Building on past and on-going efforts to remedy environmental resources, communities like Saratoga are actively living our history and shaping our environment.

On this day – September 14

On this day in 1752, the British Empire and its American colonies replace the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar, this error between calendars was rectified by eliminating 11 days; in 1757, British engineer, Colonel Montressor finished almost a month of overseeing the work at Saratoga (Fort Hardy); in 1759, the Marquis de Montcalm dies of wounds at 5 am the morning after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, at age 47, when informed he is dying, Montcalm supposedly replied, “So much the better. I shall not live to see the English masters of Québec”; in 1776, Congress finally focused attention on the northern military department and voted to send large quantities of flints, lead and cartridge paper to General Gates, General Schuyler was ordered to erect suitable winter quarters for the soldiers; and General Schuyler formally offered his resignation, but Congress declared that it could not dispense with his service, and its President, John Hancock, requested him to continue in command, Schuyler wrote “I do, therefore, now, agreeable to my resolution signified in that letter, hereby resign my commission as Major-General in the Army of the American States, and all and every other office or appointment which I have been honoured with by the honourable Continental Congress; it is a duty I owe to myself, to my family, and to the respectable Congress of this State… I will readily persevere to fulfill the duties of a good citizen, and try to promote the weal of my native country by every effort in my power;” in 1777, General Burgoyne and Philips along with the train of artillery crossed the Hudson River just north of Saratoga; in 1836, Aaron Burr dies; in 1861, Earl Green and William Ingham enlisted in the 77th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company K; Green was listed as missing after battle of Spottsylvania (May, 1964) and never heard from; Ingham transferred to the Veteran’s Battalion; in 1862 the 77th Regiment was in a skirmish at Crampton’s Pass, South Mountain in Western Maryland; in 1884, Mrs. Frank Patterson and Mrs. Harvey Bordwell were baptized after the evening service at the Schuylerville Baptist Church; in 2000, there was a horrible accident on Fish Creek when a Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol boat collided with a racing shell which resulted in a 8th grade girl being sent to the Albany Medical Center; in 2002, the Village of Victory conducted their annual open house and community day and in 2009, the Town Board adoption of Local Law #6 of 2009, which amend the Subdivision Regulations by reducing minimum lot size in the Lake Commercial District depending on percolation tests and presence of public sewer.
On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga. Discover what happened today in local history by subscribing to our blog at https://ift.tt/2czXtwq
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck and Town Supervisor Thomas Wood for compiling information for this timetable.)
September 14

BURGOYNE, at Batten-Kill, had only a choice of evils to make

“BURGOYNE, at Batten-Kill, had only a choice of evils to make. Either he could save his army by retreating to Fort Edward, and thus give up all hope of seeing the ends of the campaign fulfilled, or he might still make a bold push for Albany, and so put everything at the hazard of battle. But to fall back when he had promised to go for ward, when the doing so meant ruin to his reputation, and possibly to the cause of his king, was not only a bitter alternative, but a responsibility heavier than he was prepared to take. On the other hand, should he now cross the Hudson, with intent to bring on a decisive battle, – and his crossing meant just this, – Burgoyne knew that he must drop his communications with Canada, because he could not afford the guards necessary to keep them open. Already he had been weakened by the loss of more than fifteen hundred men, without counting the Indians who had so basely deserted him; St. Leger had failed him in his utmost need. On his left, the Americans were watching their chance to strike a blow in his rear. Burgoyne therefore felt that, from the moment he should put the Hudson between his army and its only way of retreat, all must be staked on the doubtful issue of battle. He decided to make the gambler’s last throw.”
This is an excerpt from Samuel Adams Drake’s Burgoyne’s Invasion of 1777, with an Outline Sketch of the American Invasion of Canada 1775-1776 as part of the Decisive Events in American History series published in 1889.
Samuel Adams Drake (20 Dec 1833, Boston – 4 Dec 1905, Kennebunkport, Maine) was a journalist, military officer, and writer. He entered journalism in 1858. In 1861 he joined the army and served throughout the war, becoming brigadier-general in 1863. He returned to Boston in 1871 and resumed literary work.
These were the views of our community history in the past. As a community, we will be eternally grateful for the early historians including William Ostrander, John Brandow, William Stone, Ellen Hardin Walworth and others. However, history is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past is subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable “truth” about past events and their meaning. We are fortunate to live in a community where there is active history being researched which provides new evidence. This research may be new access to primary source material, new archeology studies, or new perspectives because new historians and researchers are working in our community. This is an unending quest of historians and our community for understanding the past — that is, revisionism and that is what makes history vital and meaningful. That is why the study of Saratoga is a never ending task.

On this day – September 12

On this day in 1759, the British under General James Wolfe achieve a dramatic victory when they scale the cliffs over the city of Quebec, defeating the Marquis de Montcalm’s French forces on the Plains of Abraham; in 1775 , Benedict Arnold leaves Massachusetts for Maine to lead an expedition up the Kennebec River to Quebec, while Richard Montgomery heads up the Hudson toward the Richelieu River; in 1777, John Burgoyne wrote in “the State of the Expedition from Canada” that “the store of provisions, amounting to about thirty day’s consumption, was completed, I have stated, in m letter to the secretary of state my reasons against proceeding with less quantity” and British Lieutenant William Digby of 53d Regiment of Foot described, “We received orders to be in readiness to cross the Hudson river at a moment’s warning but all that day was a continued fall of heavy rain which continued till the 13th; when the morning being very fine the army passed over the Bridge of boats and encamped on the heights of Saratoga. We encamped in three columns in order of Battle. The duty here turned very severe such numbers being constantly on either guards or picquets during that day and the next we had many small alarms as parties of theirs came very near our camp but a few companies soon sent them off;” in 1778, there was the Raid on German Flats, New York, now known as Herkimer, was attacked by Iroquois led by Chief Joseph Brant, who led a force of 150 Indians and 300 Loyalists; although the town, consisting of about 70 buildings, is burned to the ground, only 3 individuals die in the engagement; in 1794, Schuyler’s son-in-law, Alexander Hamilton to Daniel Morgan (veteran of the Battles of Saratoga) wrote, “I am instructed by the President to express to You his wish that every practicable exertion may be made to accelerate the assembling of the Militia at their appointed places of Rendezvous, Winchester and the Vicinity of old Fort Pleasant Alias Moorefield. you are probably informed that a junction of the Virginia and Maryland Troops at Fort Cumberland has been contemplated,” as part of the Whiskey Rebellion which was a revolt against the US government in Pennsylvania, provoked by a tax on whiskey, and was the first serious challenge to federal authority; in 1814, Francis Scott Key As the evening of September 13, 1814, approached, Francis Scott Key, a young lawyer, was detained in Baltimore harbor under guard by the British navy. T pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner;” in 1864, 77th Regiment, New York Infantry was in a skirmish at Gilbert’s Ford, Opequan Creek in the Shenandoah Valley; in 1949, Brian D. Myers Sr. was born, our community remembers Firefighter/Engineer Brian D. Myers‚ Sr., who lost his life in the line of duty while conducting interior fire suppression operations at the Prospector’s Bar & Grill fire on January 1‚ 1997 which was one of the saddest days in this community’s history; and in 1970, the Schuyler Prep School began its 8th year with 65 students. On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga. Discover what happened today in local history by following our twitter account @historysaratoga (Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck and Alice Lowder Zetterstrom for compiling information and Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County sharing information used for this timetable.) September 12

On this day – September 12

On this day in 1777, American General Gates’ army begins fortifying Bemis Heights to block the advance of British Burgoyne’s army; in 1814, during the War of 1812, British Sir George Prevost’s expedition of 11,000, supplied to winter at Plattsburg, marches back to Canada; in 1814, British fleet under Sir Alexander Cochrane starts bombarding Fort McHenry, the last American defense before Baltimore; in 1846, a building lot for the Episcopal church in Schuylerville was gratuitously offered by the Victory Manufacturing Company was duly and gratefully accepted; but the society did not build at that time, and services were not maintained regularly for some years after 1850; in 1863, John H. Forester of the 77th Regiment, New York Infantry, Co. K; transferred to Invalid Corps; in 1893, the 52nd annual Fair was held at the Ballston Fair Grounds; in 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces under commander in chief General John J. Pershing launched its first major offensive in Europe as an independent army; and in 1998, David Nevins Fire Co celebrated their 50th anniversary.
On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga. Discover what happened today in local history by subscribing to our blog at https://ift.tt/2czXtwq
September 13

Gates purposed taking up a strong position

“Gates purposed taking up a strong position, and awaiting Burgoyne’s attack behind his intrenchments. Either Burgoyne must risk an assault, under conditions most favorable to the Americans, or retire discomfited under conditions highly unfavorable to a successful retreat. The country between Saratoga and Stillwater, covered with woods and intersected by ravines, was wholly unsuited to the free movement of troops. All the shore of the Hudson is high ground, rising to a nearly uniform level next the river, but gradually ascending, as the river is left, to the summit of the streams falling into it. Long slopes or terraces are thus formed, furrowed here and there by the ravines, which serve to drain off the water from above into the river below. Puny rivulets where they begin, these watercourses cut deeper as they run on, until, at the river, they become impassable gulches. The old military road skirts the foot of the heights, which sometimes abut closely upon the river, and sometimes draw back far enough to leave a strip of meadow between it and them. Kosciusko, Gates’s engineer, chose the ground on which to receive Burgoyne s attack, at one of these places where the heights crowd upon the river, thus forming a narrow defile, which a handful of men could easily defend against an army. At this place the house of a settler named Bemis stood by the roadside. Our army filed off the road here, to the left, scaled the heights, and encamped along a ridge of land, running west as far as some high, rough, and woody ground, which formed the summit.”
This is an excerpt from Samuel Adams Drake’s Burgoyne’s Invasion of 1777, with an Outline Sketch of the American Invasion of Canada 1775-1776 as part of the Decisive Events in American History series published in 1889. Samuel Adams Drake (20 Dec 1833, Boston – 4 Dec 1905, Kennebunkport, Maine) was a journalist, military officer, and writer. He entered journalism in 1858. In 1861 he joined the army and served throughout the war, becoming brigadier-general in 1863. He returned to Boston in 1871 and resumed literary work. These were the views of our community history in the past.
As a community, we will be eternally grateful for the early historians including William Ostrander, John Brandow, William Stone, Ellen Hardin Walworth and others. However, history is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past is subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable “truth” about past events and their meaning. We are fortunate to live in a community where there is active history being researched which provides new evidence. This research may be new access to primary source material, new archeology studies, or new perspectives because new historians and researchers are working in our community.
This is an unending quest of historians and our community for understanding the past — that is, revisionism and that is what makes history vital and meaningful. That is why the study of Saratoga is a never ending task.