Why Join the Schuylerville Chamber of Commerce?
The Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce is the premier organization working on developing and rebuilding the business / community networks of this “challenging” mill town. Visualizing the opportunities presented by the emerging information age economy, mobilizing the resources that are inherently ours both by historical fact and natural geography is a difficult challenge in itself. But the opportunities are many and the process exciting. The Chamber Board and membership is a dedicated group of business people, professionals and community leaders dedicated to this task. Download a membership application form.
BECOMING A “GATEWAY” COMMUNITY
10,000 cars per day. That’s how many pass “between the lights” in Schuylerville. It’s a fact: If you want to come to Saratoga County from the East, or go to someplace east from Saratoga County, by far the most convenient route brings you right through Schuylerville. This fact alone, puts us in an enviable position vis-a- vis some of the other “off corridor” communities in the region.
Capturing a reasonable share of this traffic in support of local trade is both a logical and obtainable goal. The strategy is to establish Schuylerville as a “Gateway” Community.
A Gateway Community is one that offers the public the help and support it needs in order to do the “next” thing. It has to be worth the stop – like the gate where you have to stop before opening the way through to your destination. As such, it will also have to be able to stand on it’s own as a destination. The destination on the way to many other attractions… “On my way to … , I can stop in Schuylerville for…”.
There is a reasonable list of things a Gateway Community must have in order to become the destination on the way to destinations. Many of those things are already here. Some need to be expanded, some need to be promoted or protected. Others are not here but might become reachable goals with the right kind of community effort. That effort constitutes a reasonable plan for economic development.
Here is the partial list:
The Schuylerville area Chamber of Commerce is actively working to further develop and fill in the above list.
OLD CHAMPLAIN CANAL LIVING HISTORY CENTER: A Project of the Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce
Project Chairman: Thomas Wood, Supervisor of the Town of Saratoga
Project Co-chair: David W. Roberts, President of the Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Meetings: The first Monday of the month, Saratoga Town Hall, Ferry Street, Schuylerville, NY. 4:00 PM
Mission: The development of the Old Champlain Canal as an interpreted “living” history site to be included in the Heritage Tourism portfolio of our community. We hope that his will consist of a static display of period items and photographs as well as the “living” opportunity to both build and ride on a mule-drawn canal barge
Rationale: Schuylerville is already a center for the expanding Heritage Tourism business. Highly developed interpretive infrastructure is in place centered on events which took place in and around the Revolutionary War. Schuylerville is in the process of evolving into the “gateway” community the National Park needs to fully exploit its considerable investment in the Revolutionary sites.
Further expansion of heritage tourism holds tremendous potential for economic development. Expanding the number of interpreted events and sites will directly contribute to that potential for further economic development.
The Champlain Canal, connecting Lake Champlain with the flat-water section of the Hudson River was put into service in 1823. It was the first revenue-producing canal of its type in the United States. Phillip Schuyler was a major force in the establishment and construction of this canal which passed (and still does) through his former estate now operated as the “Phillip Schuyler House” by the National Park Service. By historic coincidence, one of the only remaining “watered” sections of the old canal bed and towpath still remains adjacent to Rt. 29 and Fort Hardy in the heart of Schuylerville
The creation of a “living history” venue centered on the old canal could reasonably be accomplished using local volunteer and community resources with the proper encouragement and support of local governments and by mobilizing the synergies available from parallel efforts.
- The canal infrastructure already exists, it needs cleaning and configuring.
- The canal is located adjacent to a designated Scenic By-Way.
- The canal is part of the Lakes to Locks project area.
- The canal is included in the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
- The canal is part of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan
- The canal fits the mission of the Washington/Saratoga Counties Partnership Commission
- There is the possibility of using the “water building” a publicly owned, historic, canal-era building currently used to house a sub-floor valve system and for storage.
- Both of the above are located within sight of the Visitor’s Center.
- Excellent local historians are readily available to assist in developing interpretive materials.
- The canal towpath is about to be restored under an EPF grant recently awarded to the Town.
- The nearby Champlain Maritime Museum located in Basin Bay VT is a logical project ally. They have an active boat-building shop which could potentially assist in the construction of a canal-era barge for living history demonstrations.
- There are many farms in the area where draft animals for such demonstrations could be borrowed or quartered.
- All of the above is within reach of local fund raising potential and the smaller grant opportunities available for such educational and economic development activities and would not be dependent on a large influx of one-time grant monies from outside sources.
- Local efforts would be seen by the Canal Corp. and others as active support for the greater “Schuyler Harbor Project” which includes the proposed rebuilding of the Junction Lock upstream in The Sown of Saratoga.