Tour Road Closed for Road Improvements

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Stillwater, NY – The Tour Road through Saratoga National Historical Park battlefield will be closed from Monday, August 21 through Friday, August 25, 2017 for resurfacing and again Tuesday, August 29 for surface repairs. This is part of a routine cyclic maintenance project in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration. The project is focusing on all major bridges and culverts in the park, specifically the bridges and culverts on the Entrance Road and the pier bridge on the Tour Road. Please use caution when driving on the Entrance Road for the next month.

Visitors wishing to experience the park via bicycle or walking will be able to access the tour road but will have to turn around at Stop 8 and exit through the gated entrance. The Visitor Center, Victory Woods and Wilkinson Trail will remain open.

This investment in the park infrastructure will prolong the life of park assets and allow us to serve the public for years to come.

For more information please call the Visitor Center at 518-670-2985 or check the website at http://www.nps.gov/sara.

On this day

On this day in 1777, John Stark, American Brigadier General and local militia forces defeat Brunswick Dragoon Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum’s detachment of British General John Burgoyne army at Walloomsac, NY in the Battle of Bennington; Burgoyne had sent a detachment to Bennington to forage for much needed supplies; the American’s kill or capture nearly 1,000 of Burgoyne’s 7,000 troop invading army, further slowing British invasion plans, while Burgoyne is awaiting provisions from the excursion and has prepared to cross the Hudson, by way of a bridge of boats; British Lieutenant William Digby of 53d Regiment of Foot described, “our orders for marching were countermanded and others given out for us to move at 3 o clock next morning, as I was upon no particular duty, I rode back to the line who with were at Fort Miller and in the to our camp crossing over our of boats which was almost then finished, at night, I mounted an advanced picquet and to return to camp next morning at day break. Nothing extraordinary the night everything quiet about our post;” in 1780, British Lord Cornwallis decisively defeats the American General Horatio Gates (victorious General at Saratoga) and his American army at the Battle of Camden, SC and in 1924, the Marshall House, proclaimed as one of the principal historic attractions in the Revolutionary Saratoga area, in an ad published in The Saratogian. 
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

On this day

On this day in 1836, Schuylerville purchased its first fire engine; in 1946, the USS Saratoga was struck from the Navy list after being used to test the effect of the atomic bomb on naval vessels; and in 1985, the Schuylerville Youth program left on a bus at 11:30 am for swimming trip at Hedges lake.
 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 information for this timetable.)

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.

On this day

On this day in 1777, the Duer House near Fort Miller served as Burgoyne’s headquarters starting August 14 and ending on September 10, in a journal kept by Lieutenant James Hadden while serving with British General John Burgoyne wrote “There is little worth remarking here [in the vicinity of Fort Miller], except that Mr Duer married to one of Lord Sterling’s Daughters is building a very good House, and [Duer] being with Congress, Gen’l Burgoyne has made it his head Quarters,” and the Baroness Riedesel arrived in Fort Edward; in 1812, Shawnee Chief Tecumseh brings 600 of his Wyandot, Anishnabe (Ojibwa), and Nishnabek (Potawatomi) warriors to help Isaac Brock besiege US General William Hull (veteran of the battles of Saratoga) at Detroit; Brock tricks the Americans by writing a letter, to be captured by the Americans, suggesting 4,000 warriors are converging on Detroit; in 1907, the USS Saratoga just finished serving at Philadelphia as a state marine school ship and is sold on this day to Thomas Butler and Company of Boston; in 1945, President Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II; in 1948, the Lord’s Acre auction sale was held at the Quaker Springs Church; and in 1985, Wildlife in the Battlefield was described in an evening talk by Brian Underwood, a SUNY-CESF doctoral candidate and project leader of the study of interaction between deer and vegetation in the park. 
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 http://ift.tt/2kLifwt
 (Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling information for this timetable.)

OTD: Reported “A CASE AGAINST LITTAUER”

#Onthisday in 1903, 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.
 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 1689, New York Governor Leisler wrote to the Governor at Boston that at “Scharachtoge [Saratoga]…there are six or seven families all or most rank French papists that have their relations at Canada and I suppose settled there for some bad designe and are lesser to be trusted there in conjunctione of tyme than ever before the bad creatures amongst us gives me great occupatione”; in 1777, Benedict Arnold left Stillwater to lead a detachment for the relief of Fort Schuyler with Historian Brandow describing General Schuyler’s actionsas “contrary to the wishes and advice of most of his generals, who feared to weaken the army; but Schuyler resolutely assumed all responsibility, sent Arnold with a picked corps and Fort Schuyler was relieved, and St. Leger, with his Indians and Tories, abandoning their camp were sent scurrying to the northward” and British Brigadier General Fraser’s command camped at the Battenkill, Brunswick Dragoon Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum’s command also moved to Battenkill as the first steps that lead to the Battle of Bennington; in 1780, the USS Saratoga, commanded by Capt. John Young, departed Philadelphia on escorting packet ship, Mercury, which was sailing for Europe carrying Henry Laurens, the former President of the Continental Congress, who was seeking money on the European continent to finance the American government; in 2001, the Town of Saratoga voted to post No Fishing signs on Bryants Bridge, purchased of a used 10 ton roller from McLaughlin for paving roads; in 2005, the Town of Saratoga Board heard proposals from the General Schuyler Emergency Squad regarding providing 24/7 Advanced life Support services and from Jack Kelly of the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation regarding targeted economic development zones.
 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.)