The Crooked Canes Journal


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Ballston Spa walking tour ~ Nov 28, 2016

Journal entry by Lynn Mayack



Twenty Crooked Caners met at Wiswall Park in Ballston Spa to begin our walking tour using David Fiske’s Ballston Spa History Walkaround publication as our guide.

The settlement of Ballston Spa by Europeans began in 1771 when Beriah Palmer discovered a spring while surveying the Kayaderosseras Patent.  Early settlers built homes and hotels for visitors to partake in the healing waters of the mineral springs.  Eventually Saratoga Springs displaced Ballston Spa as a resort destination.

In the second half of the 1800s, Ballston Spa became a successful industrial center with more than a dozen mills (Grist, cotton, paper, wool, chocolate, axe, scythe, tannery) built along the Kayaderosseras Creek using the power of the flowing water.

Being the county seat also contributed to the growth of the village.

While exploring historic buildings that were once the homes of famous residents (inventor Samuel F. Day, Abner Doubleday, civil war military officer credited with the invention of baseball, hotel proprietor Sherman Hayner who also kept an outdoor cage with a collection of various types of squirrels – Peter in another life?? to name a few) we imagined what it was like to be a mill worker or wealthy visitor staying in the opulent San Souci Hotel.

If you have not tasted the water from the Old Iron Spring along Gordon Creek, you aren’t missing much!

Churches of several denominations may be found on Milton Ave. and West High Street, the oldest being the First Presbyterian Church built in 1835.  We were able to visit the chapel and admire the Tiffany stained glass window. It was especially beautiful with the morning sun streaming through the windows on either side.

Our tour concluded with a half mile stroll along the Jim Tedisco fitness trail built on the railroad bed that once ran through town.

Thank you Diane & Kurt, Margie, Fran, Barbara D. and Barbara M., Barb & Rich Zuccaro, Denis, Joyce, Ronald & Margaret, Dale, Etta, Bill, Sharon, Ed & Jean, and Scott for joining me.

12/1/16 - Barbara Zuccaro added 3 photos. 12/1/16 - Margie Litwin added 12 photos.

15 photos



Our excellent guide! - added by Barbara



Photo added by Barbara



Birthplace of Doubleday. - added by Barbara



One of the especially beautiful stained glass windows of the historic First Presbyterian Church. - added by Margie



Tiffany glass window beyond the pulpit. - added by Margie



Getting refreshed (!?) at the Old Iron Spring. - added by Margie



In years past, the factory workers stopped by this Old Iron Spring to get water dispensed from what were the open windows of this kiosk. - added by Margie



The heyday of manufacturing in Ballston Spa. - added by Margie



To pass beneath the former railway tracks the stream flows still through the left tunnel and workers could pass through the right side. This area of the railroad bed now carries a peaceful walking trail. - added by Margie



Lynn presented her fascinating narration of our most informative tour, here describing the home of inventor Samuel Day. - added by Margie



Physician Ralph B. Post resided in this home on Milton Avenue and served the community actively for many years. - added by Margie



The stone tower of the First Baptist Church rises majestically over the avenue. - added by Margie



Etta takes in the history of the factory seen in the background, perhaps wishing that there were still fine chocolates produced there. - added by Margie



Ed surveys the Kayaderosseras Creek, sparkling in the sun, now recovered greatly from the past pollution by tanneries and other factories. - added by Margie



Is Barbara setting a new standard for fashion among the women of the Canes? What a marvelous chapeau! - added by Margie



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