We do history in Saratoga!

We do history in Saratoga!
This photo of the 2001 Skate the Harbor in Schuylerville hosted by the Old Saratoga Historical Association.
Guess what? Our forefathers skated on the canal 100 years ago.
The Old Saratoga Historical Assn, formed in 1952, promotes interest in the history of the area, from Native American occupation, through the Dutch, French, British and colonial American to modern times. The group offers monthly programs, hosts 18th Century Day and a Candlelight Tour of the Schuyler House, and prepares a calendar with pictures and tidbits from the past.
We do history in Old Saratoga. Whether you call us Saratoga, Old Saratoga, Schuylerville, Victory Mills, Clark’s Mills, Northumberland, Easton, Greenwich, we are all part of a community with so much history and so many traditions. It’s hard to find a month in the year that doesn’t have an remembrance, event or festival!
A variety of local organizations ensure that the Earth Day, Memorial Day, Turning Point Parade, 18th Century Day, Candlelight Tour, Veterans Day, Dutch Christmas and more brings visitors, neighbors and friends out to enjoy the music, remembrances, costumes and heritage.
The Town of Saratoga is proud be a part of these efforts. The Town works with a wide range of partners to help promote and participate in many other events like Saratoga National Historical Park, Old Saratoga Historical Association, Hudson Crossing Park, Lakes to Locks Passage, Friends of the Battlefield, Saratoga PLAN, Historic Hudson-Hoosic Rivers Partnership, Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County, Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce, villages of Schuylerville and Victory, and the Turning Point Parade Committee ….and more.
Remembering, commemorating, and celebrating together fosters community ownership and neighborliness, develops more volunteers that work together to create positive changes for our community and encourages visitors to get to know us better. It is how we do history.
Join in the fun, and you’ll appreciate the sense of community that’s been at the foundation of Saratoga for centuries. There are many ways you can help care for Old Saratoga, from one-time to reoccurring volunteer opportunities for youth, families, groups and individuals.
To learn more about volunteering contact historiantosaratoga@gmail.com
Advertisements

On this day

On this day in 1775, Alexander Lindsay, earl of Balcarras, was made Major in the Fifty-third Foot Regiment, he saw three years of service under Carleton and Burgoyne, he commanded the light infantry at Ticonderoga and at Hubbardton, Vt, in the latter action he was wounded—thirteen balls passing through his clothes, in the battle of September 19th he commanded the advanced corps of the army at Freeman’s Farm and in the action of October 7th, 1777, on the death of General Fraser, October 8th, 1777, he was made lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-fourth foot, his bravery and prominence in both of the battles of Saratoga have always received particular mention and Major General Philip Schuyler wrote George Washington, ”inclose the Return of Cannon at Crown Point Tionderoga &ca1—besides these there are a few at Fort George, the Return whereof I gave Colo: Knox to Copy & he forgot to redeliver It to me,” and the letter has the following postscript “…I have heretofore observed that Colo: Arnold had great Merit, he has been peculiarly unfortunate in that one third of his Troops have left him, if the whole had been with him when he arrived before Quebec, he would probably have had the sole Honor of giving that important Place to America, he will however share in the Glory of Its Reduction & I make no Doubt, but that It will be in our Possession before any Troops can come to It’s Relief;” in 1790, Rev. Samuel Smith, a young man who had just completed his studies, had accepted the call to lead the Dutch Reformed Church of Saratoga, arrived on the ground; in 1895, Giancamillo Raulli was born, he would serve as a private in the Battery E 33rd Field Artillery Regiment in World War 1, the unit was organized 5 August 1918 at Camp George G. Meade, Maryland and demobilized 12 December 1918; in 1919, John S. Nowkin Sr. was born on this day, he would serve as a Seaman 1st Class in the US Navy during World War II; in 1943, the USS Saratoga underwent overhaul at San Francisco for 25 days that included having her antiaircraft battery augmented and receiving 60 40-millimeter guns in place of 36 20-millimeter guns; in 1998, voters approved new school addition; in 2000, on a bitterly cold day, the Knox Artillery Train was Reenactment some 225 years after the noble train of artillery travelled through Saratoga, this was an expedition led by Continental Army Colonel Henry Knox to transport heavy weaponry that had been captured at Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point to the Continental Army camps outside Boston, Massachusetts during the winter; and in 2002, the Town of Saratoga Board decided not to approve the Advanced Life Support services and stated that it would not do so until the General Schuyler Emergency Squad would guarantee that they would provide the services to the entire town, it was agreed to advertise for a Request for Proposal for soil borings to be taken at the Town hall to determine what is located at what depth and the town board also approved contracts with then Schuyler Hose Company for $18,107.06, with the David Nevins Fire Department for $6,361.94 and with the Schuylerville Public Library for $4,500

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 and Town Supervisor Thomas Wood for compiling information for this timetable for compiling information for this timetable.)

December 9

On this day

On this day in 1775, American General Richard Montgomery, who had started the siege of Québec on December 6, sent a personal letter to British Governor Guy Carleton, demanding surrender, Montgomery used a woman as the messenger, so she wouldn’t be fired on, but Carleton had the letter burned and the French Foreign Minister, Count de Vergennes, announces that King Louis XVI will renew his order to French ports forbidding the loading of munitions on American ships despite issuing the original order in October, commerce in war goods had not diminished; in 1777, the American commissioners to France reported to Congress that news reached Paris of Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga on October 17, and on the prior days, Conrad-Aléxandre Gérard, Vergennes’s first secretary, called on the American commissioners with congratulations and an invitation to renew their proposal for a Franco-American alliance, at the same time he promised a contribution of three million livres from Spain and in a letter Major General Horatio Gates wrote from Albany to George Washington addressed the Conway Cabal, “... I conjure your Excellency, to give me all the Assistance you can, in tracing out the Author of the Infedelity, which put Extracts from General Conway’s Letters to me, into your Hands. Those Letters have been stealingly copied; but, which of them, when, or by whom, is to me, as yet, an unfathomable Secret…”; in 1780, Horatio Gates (the victorious Genersl at Saratoga) left Charlotte, North Carolina to return home to Virginia; in 1880 it was reported that “Michael Hughes of Coveville was arrested last week for stealing a buffalo robe from William Wilbur of Quaker Springs, he was brought before Justice Scott, who decided upon the evidence that he was guilty and gave him the privilege of paying a fine of $25 or going to the penitentiary for 60 days., Michael came down with the cash and now owns a pretty dear Buffalo robe; in 1886, ice covered Saratoga Lake; in 1890, there was a slight fire in new Visitation rectory; in 1909, Henry Harvey Thibodeau was born on this day, and he served in the US Navy as a Machinist’s mate 2nd class during World War 2; in 1937, Gordon Ingalls was elected Master of Home Lodge, F. and A. M. at Masonic Temple; in 1941, war was declared against Japan; in 1947, the first annual meeting of Quaker Springs Fire Department was held; and in 2016, after 18 rounds of spelling, a Schuylerville seventh-grader moved on to the Capital Region Spelling Bee. Rebecca Brandt was one of nearly 40 Schuylerville students who participated in the district’s annual spelling bee, Brandt finished in first place, spelling the word tremulous correctly.

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 us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/historiantosaratoga/

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

December 8

OTD: Began what was known as the Gauntlet Scandal of 1903

#Onthisday in 1898, a government contract was let to make gloves for the army which Congressman Littauer showed an interest in. This became known as the Gauntlet Scandal of 1903. Members of Congress are legally prohibited from entering into contracts with the federal government.
During the Spanish-American War, Littauer Brothers had manufactured and sold three thousand gloves to a contractor for the War Department. The contractor then sold three thousand “muskrat gauntlets” to the US Army. When the charges surfaced, Laittauer turned over all the relevant books, ledgers, and documents to the War Department, contending that the entire effort was by his political enemies to discredit him. The Secretary of War Root investigated and found one violation. However the case dragged on for so long that the statue of limitation expired before any action could be taken.
It was reported in the Schuylerville Standard that
“A CASE AGAINST LITTAUER”
Secretary Root Refers It to Attorney-General Knox. A Demand May Be Made For a Return of Part or All the Money Paid on Contract.
Washington, D. C—Secretary Root made public all the papers relating to the investigation into the Government contract for gloves with E. R. Lyon. This contractor obtained the gloves from Littauer Brothers, the senior member of the firm, Lucius N. Littauer being a member of Congress. Secretary Root has referred the case to the Department of Justice in order that it may be ascertained if the law has been violated, and. if so, that appropriate measures may be taken in the premises. General Davis recommends that the testimony of two witnesses who could not be found by Inspector Garlington is rather important and that the investigation be continued with a view of getting their testimony. When taken he says it can be referred to the Department of Justice with the other papers in the case. Secretary Root in an indorsement on the opinion of Judge Advocate-General, which sends the case to the Department of Justice, says: “There appears to be no evidence that in the manufacture of gloves by the Messrs. Littauer Brothers, to be used in filling Government contracts made by Lyon and others, there was any violation of the statute except in one case, the contract of December 7 1898. “I think the indications of an interest by the manufacturing firm in the jobbers’ contract with the Government are sufficient to require me to proceed upon the theory that there is a prima facie case of violation of the statute.
The article in the Standard goes on.
What is interesting is the way that a newspaper like the Standard reports on a local Congressman.
In 15 July 1903 the San Francisco Call reports some interesting background on this story. DUMMY BID GETS ARMY CONTRACTS Littauer Operates in Another’s Name. Startling Kevelation by a Johnstown Manufacturer Says Congressman Sought to Bribe Him to Defraud Government Special Dispatch to The Call
NEW YORK. July 15.— The Sun this morning publishes a special from Johnstown, credited to the Daily Republican, in which Timothy Keck of Johnstown throws additional light upon Representative Lucius N. Llttauer’s relation to Government contracts. Timothy Keck has been engaged In the manufacture of gloves in Johnstown for thirty years. Keek’s firm always had been able to get its share of Government work up to 1896, when L. N. Littauer became a member of Congress. Since that time. Keek says, he has had only four contracts, and incidents connected with some of these appear very peculiar. Keck says that in 1899 he bid on 10,000 pairs of buckskin gauntlets, and although his bid was the lowest he was awarded only 2300 pairs, the balance going to Lyon (who brought suit against Littauer) and Littauer supplying the goods. Again, in 1901, he bid upon 4000 pairs of muskrats for gauntlets, and again his bid was the lowest, but he was awarded only one-half of the number of gloves called for, and the other 2000 pairs were awarded to William Topp. Keek’s bid was $1 58 3/4 and Topp’s bid was $1 76 7/8 a pair. William Topp was a manufacturer fur gloves and buck gauntlets, and died on April 16, 1902. Two or three days after that date a large Government contract for gloves was to be bid for in Philadelphia, On the day after the death of Topp, Littauer went from his home in Gloversville to Johnstown and visited the factory of Timothy Keck & Son. Finding no, one there, he went to the house of William T. Keck, a son of Timothy Keck and junior member of the firm, who says that Littauer entered into conversation with him in regard to bids for this Government work. “Mr. Topp is dead, of course, you know,” said Littauer, to which young Keck replied that he had heard so. Littauer then said: “Of course, you know that I own the Topp business. I have about $50,000 invested there, which I cannot afford to have lying Idle, and I want to see if we can’t make some kind of arrangement in regard to this Government contract by which I can get it at a price at which I can make something, and I am willing to make it an object to you if you will not put in a bid, or put It in at a price to suit me.” Keck informed Littauer that he could make no arrangement with him, but he would have to see his father, who was in New York on his way to Philadelphia to put in his bid for Government work. After obtaining Timothy Keek’s address in New York Littauer made an appointment with him in New York, and Littauer made substantially the same proposition to him that he made to his son.
Keck, however, refused to enter into any arrangement as proposed by Littauer and put in his bid, but the contract was awarded to Hr T. Patterson of Philadelphia,
It was decided not to prosecute this case by the President Theodore Roosevelt’s Justice Department due to the statue of limitations have passed. In a speech in 1900, to the Harvard Club, then Governor Roosevelt said that his “most intimate friend and the person to whom he most frequently went for political advice” was Lucius Littauer.
Littauer name was later cleared by an investigation done by Attorney General Philander Knox. In 1914, Littauer plead no contest when charged with smuggling a diamond and pearl tiara into the country. The jewelry was reported to be once owned by Empress Josephine (married to Napoléon Bonaparte). He was fined and put on probation.
Lattauer spent his later life involved in philanthropy donating more than 6 million dollars. Among his major gifts were to his alma marta, Harvard University where he funded a Chair in Jewish Literature and Philosophy, 50,000 volumes of Hebrew text for the library and established the Graduate School for Public Administration (now known as the Kennedy School). He funded hospitals in Breslau (Germany), Paris (france) and New York (including the hospital in Gloversville). Lucius Littauer was the Congressman that represented the Town of Saratoga.
Also in 1901, Littauer traveled to Schuylerville with a group of fiscal experts on a tour of inspection of the Hudson Valley Railway Company. On this trip, was Congressman James Sherman (24 October 1855 – 30 October 1912), who went on to become the 27th Vice President of the United States (1909–12), and banker Benjamin Strong, Jr. (22 December 1872 – 16 October 1928), who went on to be the first Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like Lucius Nathan Littauer that help define this country and our region. 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 1745, Marin lead the French, Indians and captives from the raid on Saratoga to Montreal; in 1776, Benjamin Franklin arrived in Nantz, France and Continental Congress President John Hancock wrote the four New England states urging troops be sent to reinforce General Schuyler in northern New York; in 1895, the Troy Daily Press reported that in the early 1740s, “He (Philip Johannes Schuyler) took up his residence at old Saratoga in a brick house his father Johannes had previously built there, and which was, by the way, the only one of its kind in the village, it was fortified with loop holes from top to bottom and stood a little to the south-east of where the present Schuyler mansion now stands,” in 1898, rail tracks for the Fitchburg RR were laid to Bullard farm crossing; in 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor External, Hawaii Territory, killing more than 2,300 American, the U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized with a total of twelve ships sank or were beached in the attack and nine additional vessels were damaged and more than 160 aircraft were destroyed and more than 150 others damaged, for Schuylerville native, Lieutenant Lawrence Ruff, the USS Nevada’s communications officer the day started quiet, he rose early that Sunday after watching the movie the night before and planned to attend church services on the hospital ship USS Solace with Father Drinnan, at 7:55 am the Japanese had a complete surprise when they attacked the fleet at Pearl Harbor, the USS Nevada is ordered to get underway, Ruff returns to the ship at 8:25 am and the ship’s commander LCDR Thomas orders Ruff “do his best to get them out of the harbor as quickly as possible, dispensing with the usual protocol,” Ruff assumed the conning of the ship as “Acting Navigator,” although Ruff was not qualified as an Officer of the Deck (OOD), he servesdin that capacity anyway getting the boat is underway at 8:32 am, the second wave of Japenesse bombers focused on the USS Nevada as it was the only large ship capable of moving, the intense bombing resulted in 11 fires were burning out of control, there was concern that the USS Nevada would sink and block the main shipping channel however Ruff was able to help beach the boat at Hospital Point; in the Report of December 7, 1941 Raid from the Commander of the USS Nevada states, “Lieutenant Lawrence E. Ruff, U.S. Navy, for his invaluable assistance as acting Navigator to Lieutenant Commander Thomas, and assistance in an excellent performance of ship handling; when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor,” the USS Saratoga was just entering San Diego after an interim dry-docking at Bremerton, she hurriedly got underway the following day as the nucleus of a third carrier force (Lexington and Enterprise were already at sea), carrying Marine aircraft intended to reinforce the vulnerable garrison on Wake Island; in 2001, a tree lighting ceremony and Dutch Christmas program was conducted in the Village Park on lower Broad Street, the program included Christmas Carols then Walter Grom, dressed as St. Nicholas, related the story of St. Nicholas, following the program children were greeted by Santa Claus at the bank and treated to hot chocolate; and in 2013, a number of events were held in downtown Schuylerville including the Schuylerville Community Theater hosting a Festival of Trees in the Schuyler Room of the Town Hall which included music and crafts for all to enjoy and Schuylerville Librarian Julie Martin reading Winter Tales for Children, St. Nicolaas arrived at the corner of Spring St. and Broad St. at 4:15 pm to lead a lantern walk and caroling to the village park for a tree lighting ceremony, the night ended with area businesses open late with refreshments.

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 for compiling information for this timetable.)

December 7

On this day

On this day in 1775, American Generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold put Quebec under siege, (General Schuyler commanded northern department of the Continental Army which oversaw and supplied this campaign,) Montgomery had arrived at Pointe-aux-Trembles upstream from Québec with 300 regulars, plus 300 militia commanded by James Livingston and Jacob Brown, and he brought clothing, winter uniforms, ammunitions, provisions, and artillery seized from the British, also present was Daniel Morgan, (who was critical to the Americans success at Saratoga in 1777); in 1932, Young’s Bakery opened; in 1985, George L. Drew passed away, he served as a private in the US Army during World War 2; in 1998, the Chamber held Old Fashioned Dutch Christmas; in 2002, the annual Dutch Christmas Program sponsored by the Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce, was conducted with St. Nicholas leading the candle light line of March from the Parking area near the old canal to the Village Park at the end of Broad Street where St. Nicholas gave a brief talk and Mayor Sherman lighted the Village Christmas Tree then Santa Claus arrived via the Schuyler Hose Fire Truck, Everyone walked back to Olympian Hall where the Adirondack School Chorus performed a concert and children had the opportunity to meet with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus; and in 2016, residents of the Schuylerville Central School District approved a $24.7 million capital project by a vote of 348 to 277 which will fix structural issues, increase school safety and security, and modernize facilities to help educators better prepare students for their futures – 21st-century careers with the scope of the project focuses on increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities, providing a middle school library, reducing the number of shared classrooms, and creating space to help move middle school classes back to the middle school also included is that the current administration building would be demolished to make way for additional parking spaces with central administration relocated to the high school and a concession stand for indoor and outdoor school district events near an outdoor courtyard.

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 and Town Supervisor Thomas Wood for compiling information for this timetable for compiling information for this timetable.)

December 6

The Working Landscape

Even the earliest travelers noted the promise in the land at Saratoga. The broad, fertile plain, bound by mountains, promised bountiful fruits to those willing to work the landscape. Saratoga’s rural character is defined in part by the past and present farms and farmers that make up this community.
On May 2, 1955, the Saratogian reported that
Schuylerville Residents to Get Data on Colonial Agriculture Schuylerville —
The problems that confronted the people of Schuylerville 200 years ago when they raised food for themselves and their stock, will be presented in a program on Colonial Agriculture to be given tomorrow at 8 pm. at the Schuylerville Central School.
Raymond Nelson is program chairman for the Old Saratoga Historical Association, which is presenting the program. T. Kenneth Bullard, one of Schuylerville’s leading present day agriculturists will discuss how the early settlers of this community solved the problems of farming in this area before the Revolutionary War.
The association is doing its utmost to aid the community, but full support of the people is needed if the efforts of the association are to prove successful, Nelson said. The programs are being offered to make residents more aware of their great heritage in Schuylerville, Nelson said.
Farms and farmland remain cornerstones of our community, linking the past to the future through a landscape of fields and pastures, stone walls and weathered barns shaped by generations of hard-working farm families. This landscape, cherished by so many, is often taken for granted. Some of its benefits are obvious-the joy of seeing the foals in the fields in the spring, bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer and fall months; and milk and dairy products year-round. Other benefits are less obvious-the local revenue and jobs farms provide, the recreational and tourism opportunities they create, the wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits they offer. Some benefits are easily quantified; many are not. The benefit that may be most valued by Saratoga residents is the ephemeral “quality of life” that farms help to provide.
Photo Credit: A late summer sunrise along Route 338 Road in the Town of Saratoga. August, 2015