Tuesday, November 6, 2012


After the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society conference was over, my husband and I headed up to Saratoga Springs, a city rich in history. Our first stop was the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitors Center (http://www.saratogaspringsvisitorcenter.com).  The building was built in 1915 as a trolley station. In 1941 it was converted to a drink hall where people could buy bottled mineral waters. In 1974 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. (1) There we watched a video about Saratoga. The lady in charge loaded us up with brochures, maps and paper cups to sample the spring waters throughout the city.

Horse outside of the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitors Center

Our next stop was the Saratoga Springs History Museum (http://www.saratogahistory.org) in Congress Park in the Canfield Casino. This museum was founded in 1883 as the Saratoga Historical Society.  One of the founders was Ellen Hardin Walworth, one of the four originators of the Daughters of the American Revolution. (2) Ellen’s amazing story of an abusive husband, her son who killed his father to protect her, her son being sent to prison and her obtaining a law degree to learn how to free her son is told during the tour.  A New York Times article from 1873 gives the trial details (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F2081EFF3A5B127B93C4AB178DD85F478784F9). (3) To read more about this incredible woman, visit the Daughters of the American Revolution website: http://www.dar.org/natsociety/archives_founders.cfm#walworth. (4)

Congress Park

Fountain in Congress Park
"The Spirit of Life" Sculpture by Daniel Chester French

Later, we had a fantastic lunch at Maestro’s, the 1840s style dining room, at the Rip Van Dam Hotel (http://www.maestrosatthevandam.com).  The enormous ham and cheese sandwiches were served with crunchy chips, and I had delicious cinnamon tea served in a teapot. Complimentary chocolate slices were given out after dinner. 

Rip Van Dam Hotel

Of course, we had to try the mineral spring water. I liked it, but my husband definitely did not. Here’s a sample of the springs we visited:

Hathorn Springs

Peerless Spring in High Rock Park

There was not enough time to truly investigate all Saratoga Springs has to offer.  I’ll surely visit there again, but next time I would like the weather to be a bit warmer.


(1) Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center, "About the Building." Last modified 2012. (http://www.saratogaspringsvisitorcenter.com/about-the-visitors-center/about-the-building: accessed November 6, 2012).

(2) The Saratoga Springs History Museum: The Canfield Casino In Congress Park, "About the Museum." Last modified 2012. (http://www.saratogahistory.org/about-the-museum: accessed November 6, 2012).

(3) "The Walworth Murder." The New York Times. (June 26, 1873). (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F2081EFF3A5B127B93C4AB178DD85F478784F9: accessed November 6, 2012).

(4) DAR National Society: Daughters of the American Revolution, "Four Founders." Copyright 2005. (http://www.dar.org/natsociety/archives_founders.cfm: accessed November 6, 2012).

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