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"Reminiscences of Saratoga"
compiled by Cornelius E. Durkee

Page 5

A chronological record of happenings in Saratoga Springs from 1819, compiled by Cornelius E. Durkee of 505 Broadway, a son of Paoli Durkee, who conducted one of the first private schools in Saratoga Springs. The data was gathered by Mr. Durkee from old residents who told him about the events that occurred prior to his coming here to live in 1849, and from his own personal recollection and scrap books he has kept throughout his long life.


Joseph Westcott kept a store in the brick building, corner of Broadway and Washington street, it being one of the few stores on the main street at this time.

Mrs. Clarinda Porter, wife of Asahel Porter and mother of Mrs. W. A. Beach, well-known early resident, died.

John A. Waterbury married Ellis Scofield.

John and Ziba Taylor also opened a store in Saratoga Springs.

James R. Westcott, married Eleanor Ellis.


Seth Covel married Buley Duell. The Rev. D. O. Griswold caused Congress water to be bottled. This is supposed to be the first time that the water was bottled.

Benjamin Henshaw opened a boarding house on Broadway in the building just north of what is now Congress theatre prompted by the increasing number of guests in the city to drink the mineral waters. Raymond Taylor kept a boarding house at Ten Springs in the Summer of this year.

Laura Putnam, first wife of Lewis Putnam (mother of Marvin A. Putnam) died.

John Willard and Wm. LaF. Warren admitted to the bar in August, 1820.

The Saratoga Sentinel, a weekly paper and one of the early papers in the community, was sold to John A. Murray.

In October of 1820, occurred the second Agricultural Show and Fair at Saratoga Springs. The officers were: Philip Schuyler president; Earl Stimson and William Taylor, vice-presidents; Esek Cowen corresponding secretary; David Corey, recording secretary; Epenetus White of Ballston Spa (father or Mrs. Wm. LaF . Warren) treasurer; Nathan Lewis, comptroller. All these men were prominent early residents and relatives of several still live in this vicinity.

In December, 1820, the First Presbyterian church was dedicated by the Rev. D. O. Griswold. This church was later part of the Commercial Hotel, located at the corner of Church street and Woodlawn avenue.


Congress Hall hotel was kept by G. Van Schoonhoven in the season of 1821.

In April, Major Asahel Porter died at Greenfield, aged 55 years. He was the father of Mrs. W. A. Beach. Porter Corners took his name from him.

Henry W. Andrews married Mary Porter; they were parents of Henry Porter Andrews. Mr. Andrews died March, 1822.

Judge Henry Walton and H. T. Leavitt opened a law office in the building opposite the Pavilion Hotel. The Pavilion Hotel was located on the block now occupied by the Algonquin apartments and the Presbyterian church.

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