About SCHUYLERVILLE – “Old Saratoga” – On the Hudson – History moving forward
For the first 200 years of European involvement on this continent, America’s rivers served as the main routes for trade and commerce. The Hudson River’s flat water estuary is fully navigable from the Atlantic coast’s most important deep water harbor in New York City for 120 miles all the way to Troy. As such, it has served from the earliest times as a principal connection between the country’s rich inland resources and the major markets of the world. The rich history of The Hudson shows it to be one of the most important commercial arteries in the history of trade. Saratoga, (‘hillside of the swiftly moving water’) where two major tributaries (The Battenkill and the Fish Creek) join the already mighty river, quickly became a major economic hub. Later, it became the focus of the British strategy to defeat the colonial “insurrection,” and it was here that the British themselves were ultimately defeated. Renamed “Schuylerville” in 1831 for General Philip Schuyler, a hero of that conflict and a captain of local industry, the area became host to seven major mills. With the creation of the country’s first successful commercial canal in 1823, Schuylerville became a major port for the transshipment of the region’s plentiful agricultural and forest products as well as its industrial products.
In the 20th Century the industrial economy faded, the mills closed and the river/canal system was by-passed by the railroads and the interstate highways. Schuylerville’s economic base deteriorated and it became one of the many “challenged” communities along the river.
Today, “Old Saratoga” shines again.
- The important historical events that happened here and the major interpretive infrastructure put in place over the years puts Schuylerville at the heart of the Heritage Tourism business.
- Schuylerville is at the center of Saratoga County’s largest business – Agriculture. Some of upstate New York’s finest dairy and horse farms are located here as well as other traditional farming interests including apples, chickens and sheep.
- The Hudson River’s beauty and recreational importance again places Schuylerville at the nexus of an expanding trade.
- Schuylerville’s proximity to Saratoga Springs, the rolling hills of Washington County and Vermont, the nearby Adirondacks and Lake George qualifies it as a focal point for the emerging economy.
- The beautiful stock of old commercial buildings are coming to life to serve new, and variant interests, from restaurants, to shops and art galleries adding to its fully developed municipal and utility services and a full community support network, including medical, mechanical and banking services as well as for daily needs such as groceries, hardware and the like.
Schuylerville ~ a nationally known center for Heritage Tourism
- The Saratoga Battlefield – A world renowned historical site with a fully developed interpretive structure operated by the National Park System. The site of the defeat of General John Burgoyne by the Colonial forces led by General Gates. Known to military historians as the “Turning Point” of the American Revolution it brought France into the war on the American side and signaled the end of British rule of the colonies. Many consider the events that happened here some of the most important in all military history.
- The Saratoga Battle Monument – a limestone obelisk was erected in 1877 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga. Fully renovated by the federal government in 2000, it stands today in proud commemoration of the great historical events that occurred here.
- The Phillip Schuyler House – One of the finest examples of Georgian/Federal architecture from the early days of our Nation, was the home of Gen. Phillip Schuyler, a major figure from the Revolutionary War who later founded some of the area’s major industrial enterprises and was the inspiration for the nation’s first major canal system. The Schuyler House is maintained by the National Parks Service.
- Fort Hardy Park – a Village park on the site of the French and Indian War fort built by the British as a hedge against the threat coming from Canada. Today it serves many public functions and houses the Village’s Visitors Center.
- Pocket Parks – Stark’s Knob, Victory —— easily recognizable by their signage, which denote significant sites that contributed to the events of the famous battle.
Schuylerville’s Agriculture ~ the heart of Saratoga County’s largest business
- Saratoga Apple, a modern orchard, operates a popular retail store/farmer’s market that offers educational tours and activities year round.
- Schuylerville is the center of Saratoga County’s “milk” belt and the home of some of the areas most successful dairy operations. King’s Ransom Farm and B&B often serves as a venue for visitors interested in seeing the most up-to-date approaches to the traditional family-owned dairy farm. Other such venues include the Welcome Stock Farm, The Clear Echo Farm, Hanahan Bros., and more.
- Saratoga is known for its horses and some of the finest are raised and boarded in Schuylerville. The Stonebridge Farm is a picture of what modern thoroughbred farming can look like. Standard breeds are also a staple of the area economy.
- Sheep flocks provide wool for spinning and meat for market. They are a burgeoning part of the areas agricultural economy. The Foster Farm offers opportunities to see these beautiful animals up close, under the watchful eyes of their llama guardians.
- The Thomas Farm is a commercial egg operation that proudly uses the most modern techniques to produce a major portion of the eggs found in area markets.
- Several local sawmills serve as examples of small industry at its most seminal moment. The Drum Mill and others, use locally harvested logs to cut out the lumber produced in a variety creative ways.
- Located just south of Lock 5 connected by the towpath of one of the few remaining “watered” sections of the old Champlain Canal, Schuylerville is situated on the north end of an eleven mile stretch of “flat water” as the Hudson River flows south to Lock 4 at Stillwater. This beautiful section of river is served by two popular public boat launches, destinations for day boaters and anglers. The local yacht basin offers services to through boaters as well as dockage for residents and visitors to the area. The Village shops are a popular stopover for traffic on the modern canal, which connects the Hudson/Mohawk River system to the St. Lawrence River system.
- The Champlain Canal System, operated by the State of New York, is one of the Nation’s oldest and most successful commercial canal networks remaining in full operation. Its newly renovated Lock 5, just north of Schuylerville, is fully staffed and includes the power house – a period DC generating system that powers the modern lock operation. Tour boats, including a stern wheeler, offer unique opportunities to see this amazing canal which was built to work in harmony with the river.
- Hudson Crossing – 35 acre environmental park located on a series of islands in one of the most beautiful sections of the Hudson.
- 15 minutes to the west of Schuylerville is Saratoga Springs, a year-round destination resort miles community well known for its famous race track, spa and park, convention center, restaurants, hostelry services, and more. Residents of Schuylerville have long been affiliated with Saratoga Springs, and Schuylerville provides an often more affordable venue from which to participate in the richness of the “Saratoga Experience”.
- 30 minutes to the north of Schuylerville is the Glens Falls/Lake George region, a renowned tourist destination with its own share of magnificent natural views, historic sites and recreational outlets. Visitors to the Old Saratoga region often combine visits to this rich area with their activities here.
- Washington County and Vermont. Right across the bridge from Schuylerville is Washington County, itself a treasure trove of places to visit, eat and shop. In Vermont, approximately 50 minutes away are Bennington, Arlington and Manchester, all strong centers of activity in their own unique ways.
- The Capital District of New York, 45 minutes to the south, provides outlets for commercial, government, and cultural resource needed to support any enterprise or activity. Area residents find their employment there or visit one of the many museums or cultural outlets befitting an important state capital.
The Town of Saratoga
The first government entity to carry the name “Saratoga” the Town of Saratoga contains both the Villages of Schuylerville and Victory. The town of Saratoga stretches from the banks of the Hudson to the limits of the City of Saratoga Springs 14 miles to the West. The Town operates the area’s justice court, has an active Planning Board and Supervisor Tom Wood maintains an up-to-date community calendar on the Town’s website. The Town’s offices are located at 29 Ferry Street in the Village of Schuylerville.
The Villiage of Schuylerville & Victory
The Villages sharea common border and are, both located in the Town of Saratoga. The Villages both offer an array of services not found in “unincorporated” areas. These range from sidewalks and curbs; water, sewer and gas utilities; the library, fire stations, and post offices; fine docking for pleasure boats, tow paths and more. The residents and businesses located in these Villages find the entire infrastructure needed for a real community.
The Schuylerville Central School System
The public school system serving the Schuylerville area is an award-winning modern organization housed in new or recently renovated buildings on a single campus within the Village of Schuylerville. Its up to date computer classes attract many students, and from scholastics to sports, the school is a formidable force in the region.
The Gerald B. Soloman Saratoga National Cemetery
One of the Nation’s places hallowed for the burial of service men and women, the beautiful National Cemetery is located just north of the area’s famous battlefield. It has been receiving the remains of our nation’s fallen soldiers and sailors on a regular basis since it opened in 1999. When filled, it will be the resting place for 77,000, maintained for eternity. The Cemetery’s beautiful setting, flowering trees and location make it a favorite choice among those wishing the most peaceful resting place for their loved ones who have served their country.