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Saratoga Springs City

Saratoga Springs City Hall is located at 474 Broadway, Saratoga Springs NY 12866; phone: 518‑587‑3550.

Saratoga Springs City, Photo

Beginnings [1]

The early development of Saratoga Springs as a fashionable resort community was shaped largely by the vision and entrepreneurship of Gideon Putnam. A native of Connecticut, Putnam arrived at Saratoga in 1789 at the age of 25. Putnam initially established a lumber business, but soon turned his attention to business prospects in promoting the region's numerous mineral springs. Upon first arrival he stated "This is a healthy place: the mineral springs are valuable; the timber is good and in great abundance, and I can build me a great house [hotel]." The medicinal and supposed curative properties of Saratoga's mineral springs had been known to the region's native population, and were noted by white visitors before the Revolutionary War. In 1802, Gideon Putnam established a tavern and boarding house (Putnam's Tavern, later the Union Hotel), the harbinger of Saratoga Springs centered around Broadway, a main street 120 feet wide lined with planted elm trees for shade. Because the springs brought many people to the city, Putnam piped several springs to covered pavilions and a bath house in a park on Broadway. While supervising construction of a second grand hotel, Congress Hall, in 1811, Gideon Putnam fell from a scaffold and was severely injured; he died as a result December 1, 1812. Ironically, Gideon Putnam became the first internment in the burial ground that his plans set aside for community use.

  1. Adapted from: Smith, Raymond W., New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Gideon Putnam Burying Ground, Saratoga Springs NY, nomination document, 2003, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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