OTD: There was a town board meeting on a lawsuit

#onthisday in 1917, there was a meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga was held in the town clerk’s office in the village of Schuylerville.
During the meeting a “Motion was made and seconded at the Town board defend the claims brought by Stephan Barton against Town. Resolution made by Mr. Wilson that the Supervisor be here by authorized to defend the town in any action brought against the town of any name or nature” The matter first was brought in front of the Town Board on March 19 “The Town Clerk having been served with notice of claim brought by Stephen Barton through his attorney Leary and Fullerton against the town for $10,000 alleging damages for personal injuries caused by the neglect of said town or its offices.
The Saratogian has more information about this case on 20 March 1917 “Stephen Barton, whose address in Saratoga Srpings, R.F.D. 1 has brought suit for $10,000 against the town of Saratoga for personal injuries alleged to have been received Jan. 10, 1917, when a willow tree on the main highway across Stafford’s Bridge, from Wagman’s Ridge to the Schuylerville-Saratoga state road, fell on him. he alleges that the attention of the town authorities had been called to the condition of the treee, which he declares was rotten.”
There was an actual judgement against the Town in this case. The Town had to pay 799.93 according to the abstracts of claims done on November 12, 13 and 16, 2017.
These are the town board records of 1917 made by Town Clerk Paul August Hespelt.(1 Mar 1890 – 1945).
Paul A. Hespelt (was a pharmacist at Miller’s pharmacy. The pharmacy was also the location of the Town offices (rented from C.J. Miller for $60 a year).
The Town Clerk’s Office is the official repository for all ordinances, resolutions and official documents related to the Saratoga town government. The Town Clerk office is historical in its traditions, having served as a direct link between the residents and their local governments since the beginning. While town clerks are generally credited with issuing licenses, that is only a small part of this complex job. Many duties are mandated by state and town laws, but many more go well beyond those mandates as town clerks also serve as a major source of information to all.
One of the most important roles is as the Records Management Officer. The Town Clerk is the custodian of all town records, responsible for active files, storage and position of inactive records, and the careful maintenance of archival material.
The Town of Saratoga was established in 1788 as one of the four “mother” towns of Saratoga County, NY. The Town of Saratoga has a legacy that is rich history and a current environment that is attractive to residential, commercial, and agricultural pursuits. It is located in the eastern portion of Saratoga County bordering the Hudson River on the East, Saratoga Lake and the City of Saratoga Springs on the West, the Town of Stillwater on the South, and the Towns of Northumberland and Wilton on the North.
Despite all of the changes that have occurred, the rural character of the Town and the spirit of the residents has remained constant. As the new millennium unfolds the town is prepared to honor its past and welcome the challenges that are forthcoming in the future.

OTD: It was reported “Schuylerville Road in Poor Condition”

On March 22, 1940 the Saratogian reported:
Schuylerville Road in Poor Condition
Are you going from Saratoga Springs to Schuylerville? Better take some other than the main road, F. Ray Williams, county highway superintendent, suggested today. Due to the construction of the new road the going is rough and often soft, he said. He suggested motorists drive out Union Ave. to the Piping Rock, take the county road there which leaves the main Union Ave. highway in the center of a “Y,” and follow it to and across Stafford’s Bridge. Turn left immediately after crossing the bridge, and follow that macadam road to the Quaker Springs-Schuylervillc Road at the Cramer School House. There turn left on the state highway and enter Schuylerville through Victory Mills. This route, he said, is not much longer, and can be covered in about the same time and much more comfortably, due to the better road conditions.

On this day

On this day in 1907, James Gavin, U.S. Army general of the 82nd Airborne Division in WWII was born, he commanded Quaker Springs resident Art Traver; in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill legalizing the sale and possession of beer and wine; in 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. and in 1997, the Hotel Schuyler burned.

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://historianatsaratoga.wordpress.com/

(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling this timetable.)

March 22

OTD: Civil War Soldier George Potter passed away

#Onthisday in 1940, Civil War Soldier George Potter passed away.
The Saratogian reported on 22 March 1920 that
Saratoga’s last surviving Civil War Veteran passed away.
Death Takes County’s Last Civil War Veteran
Schuylerville—George W, Potter. 93, Saratoga County’s last survivor of Civil War service, died peacefully in his aleep last night. He was found dead in bed this morning by his son, Germond Potter, Green St., with whom he resided. Death was due to advanced age, according to Dr. M. D. Duby. Mr. Potter, a retired contractor, was born in Greenwich Jan. 19, 1845, and was the last member of Frank Norton Post 116. Grand Army of the Republic. He was a member of the Methodist Church and of the Odd Fellows until the lodge in Schuylerville disbanded. After residence of several years in Schuylerville, Mr. Potter went to Middle Falls in 1854 and lived with the Reynolds family until his enlistment in Company A, 123rd New York Volunteers, from Washington County. He was with Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in his “March to the Sea.” He married Dec. 9, 1869, following the war, his wife dying several years ago. Surviving are his son, a daughter, Mrs. William J. Porter of Glendale, Calif., several grandchildren and great grandchildren. The funeral will be at 4 prm. Sunday at the residence, The Rev. Roy J. Honeywell, Methodist pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery.
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like George Potter that help define this country and our community. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world political development. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.

On this day

On this day in 1959, the Old Saratoga Post 278 American Legion celebrated 40 years; in 1964, the Willing Workers 4-H club made favors for Bullion Infirmary; and in 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.
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 http://ift.tt/2czXtwq
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling this timetable.)
March 21

Saratoga is home to the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery

This newly consecrated national shrine – the Saratoga National Cemetery – is one way in which we say thank you to our veterans.” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo D. West, Jr. on 4 July 1999 in the Speaking Out section of the Saratogian.
We honor our veterans in the Town of Saratoga. The Town of Saratoga has seen a number of battles in the 18th Century including the Turning Point of the American War of Independence. At the close of the 20th Century (1999) we were honored to become the home of the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery which provides a dignified military funeral honors and cemetery to Veterans who have defended our nation.
The Department of Veterans Affairs operates the cemetery as part of a system of 135 national cemeteries. All told there is 351.7 acres of land in the Town of Saratoga devoted to the memorization of those who served this nation.

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.