“A party of Good Templars, of this village, visiting Crescent are thrown from their wagon at Mechanicville, while on their return, and Mrs.W. L. Adee is badly hurt” according to the Schuylerville Standard (16 January 1884).
The Good Templars is a coed fraternal organizations for temperance or total abstinence founded in the 19th century and with a structure modeled on Freemasonry, using similar ritual and regalia. The Quaker Springs had Lodge #203 along with a Juvenile Temple. This is one of the few accounts of the Schuylerville members. In January of 1892, Rev. C. H. Harris organized a lodge in Schuylerville. It was reported that “As Good Templarism is a non-partisan movement so far as party politics is concerned, and its pledge is one of total abstinence from all intoxicating drinks as a beverage, the movement should appeal to good people of all parties. Republicans, Democrats and Prohibitionists, who desire to help the pause of temperance, preserve law and order, and carry forward a great temperance educational movement that shall permanently benefit the younger generation.“
During the Progressive Era (1890–1920), hostility toward drinking alcohol became widespread, with the Prohibition Party and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union as the most influential advocate of prohibition. In New York, there is a long history of social reform movements started or flourished along New York’s canal system. (The Good Templars started in Utica, NY along the Erie Canal in 1850.) The rural part of the town of Saratoga in particular Quaker Springs (along the Champlain Canal) was not immune to these social movement. The community had an active Quaker community that formed the Quaker Springs Anti-Slavery Society in 1836, and the Old Saratoga Anti-Slavery Society in 1850. Prohibition was also strongly supported by the Methodists and Quakers, which have the only churches in that part of the town. Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect.
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals and groups like the Good Templars that help define this country, our region, and this 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. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.