Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Saratoga Springs

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, a village of the United States, whose mineral waters, apart from any charm of situation, have rendered it one of the most fashionable of summer resorts. It lies in the east of Saratoga county, New York, 186 miles by rail north of New York city, on a level plateau in the valley of the Hudson, not far from the junction of this river with the stream discharging from Saratoga Lake. The number and size of its hotels (some of which are among the largest in the world and can accommodate upwards of 1000 guests) and the large influx of wealthy and fashionable visitors, bringing its population up to 30,000, render Saratoga Springs anything rather than a “village.” Its resident inhabitants even numbered 8421 in 1880 and the township contained 10,820. There are Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic churches, a large town-hall, a high school and other educational institutions, a fire department building, a circular railway, and numerous private mansions. Congress Park was laid out in 1875-6. In July and August the racecourse of the Saratoga Racing Association attracts the best patronage of the American turf.

The Indians seem at an early date to have known of the medicinal virtues of the High Rock Spring, and in 1767 Sir William Johnson, carried thither by a party of Mohawks, was restored to health by drinking its waters. General Schuyler cut a road through the forest from Schuylerville, and in 1784 erected the first frame house in the neighbourhood of the springs. Hotels began to be built about 1815. New springs have from time to time been discovered, and their number has also been increased by boring, so that now there are 28 in all. They rise in a stratum of Potsdam sandstone underlain by Laurentian gneiss, &c., and reach the surface by passing through a bed of blue clay. All are charged with carbonic acid gas. The following are among the most notable:—Congress Spring in Congress Park, discovered in 1792 (chloride of sodium, bicarbouates of lime and magnesium); Washington or Champagne Spring (1806); Columbian Spring (1806); Hathorn Spring (1868); Pavilion Spring (1839); Putnam Spring; Geyser Spring (bored in 1870 to a depth of 140 feet and spouting 25 feet into the air); Glacier, spouting spring (bored in 1871 to 300 feet); Flat Rock Spring, known as early as 1774, but lost, and only recovered in 1884. The water from several of the springs is largely bottled and exported. The Geyser Spring (1¼ miles S.W.) and White Sulphur Spring and Eureka Spring (1½ miles E.) are beyond the limits of the accompanying plan.

EB9 Saratoga Springs.jpg

Plan of Saratoga Springs.