County of Saratoga History

The Way We Were

On February 7, 1791, Saratoga County was formed from its parent, Albany County. Within the county’s borders are the Adirondack Mountains, the Kayaderosseras Creek and Sacandaga River, numerous lakes and streams, and rolling farmland. The Hudson River forms the eastern and northern boundary of the county, and the Mohawk River, the southernmost boundary. Originally, Saratoga County had four towns: Ballston, Stillwater, Halfmoon and Saratoga. Today there are nineteen towns and two cities. Warren, Washington, Rensselaer, Albany, Schenectady, Montgomery, Fulton, and Hamilton Counties all border Saratoga County.

Saratoga County’s prominence in American History is greatly due to its location and geography. As described by Nathaniel Sylvester in his book, History of Saratoga County, “In the angle formed by the junction of these two long deep valleys or passes through the mountain ranges, in the angle between the old Indian war-trails, in the angle between the pathway of armies, in the angle between the great modern routes of travel, in the angle formed by the junction of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, lies the territory now known as the county of Saratoga.”

Pre-historic Native Americans used the lands of Saratoga County as hunting and fishing grounds. In later years, the name Sarach-togue was given to the Hudson River area by the Mohawk, meaning ‘hillside of a great river’ or ‘place of the swift water.’” (Saratoga County Heritage). In 1777, during the American Revolution, General Gates defeated British forces, under General Burgoyne, at the Battles of Saratoga. Saratoga County was also a gateway for the westward migration of many settlers, as the Mohawk River provided a natural passageway through the Appalachian Mountains. Both the historic Champlain Canal, located on the Hudson River, and the Erie Canal, located on the Mohawk River, operated in this county.

Like our predecessors, current residents of Saratoga County hike its mountains and wooded paths, boat on its rivers, fish in its lakes and streams, and farm its rolling lands. Today’s residents also enjoy visiting a vast number of preserved historic sites, museums, and parks that have been established throughout Saratoga County. Combined with the economic prosperity that Saratoga County enjoys, it is easily understood why over 200,000 people choose to call Saratoga County home today.