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"Reminiscences of Saratoga"
compiled by Cornelius E. Durkee

Page 19
cracker inadvertently thrown into the water cure and setting fire to the lace curtains.

July 20, Beekman Huling died at the age of 69 years.

September 6, Dr. John L. Perry, Jr. married Virgina F. Marvin.

September 25, Mrs. Susan W. Lester, mother of C. S. Lester, died at the age of 72 years.

November 2, a union mass meeting was held. The procession was about three miles long.

November 15, Captain Martin D. Hardin of the U. S. Army married Estelle Graham. Captain Hardin lost an arm in the battle of Gettysburgh and was made a brigadier general before the close of the war. He was a graduate of West Point and later studied law. He lives in Chicago, Ill.

December 22, Joseph Cook, prominent early resident, father of Ransom Cook died at the age of 96 years.

In this year, a racing course was built by John Morrissey, who built the Saratoga Clubhouse, which later became the present Casino.

Lewis Varney, who was assemblyman in 1890-91, married Kate E. Hill in this year. Attorney Lewis A. Varney of Broadway is a son.

114 members of the Seventy-Seventh New York Volunteers, whose enlistment had expired in the Civil War, returned home and were given a reception which included a dinner at the American Hotel.


Jan. 25. the Building on Broadway, corner of Bath St., occupied by Dr. Allen & Babcock, Capt. Maynard and others was destroyed by fire. When Dr. Richard L. Allen was postmaster the Post Office was located in this building.

April 14, The funeral of James R. Westcott was held.

June 18, The United States Hotel and Cottages, ball room, Barber Shop, club room, Marvin Row, opposite on Division street Marvin House, located on Matilda St., and Scribners Club House were destroyed by fire.

It was Sunday, and the fire began at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, when the hotel guests were about to take carriages for a drive to Saratoga lake, a favorite diversion of the times. The flames spread rapidly and made a spectacular fire, witnessed by a great crowd of people.

The Ballston Spa and Troy Fire Departments were called upon for aid. The fire loss was estimated at $350,000. The flames spread to Marvin Row opposite the Hotel on Division street, to Marvin House adjoining the row, and burned west to Long Alley and Matilda street. The United States Hotel destroyed on this occasion was first built in 1824 by Elias Benedict, an uncle of Thomas J. and James M. Marvin.

July 4, The Leland Opera House was opened by grand ball at which General Ulysses S. Grant was present. His presence was the signal for one of the most memorable gatherings of well-known men and women of the community, and visitors from many cities. General Grant was given a big ovation at the theatre and throughout the village wherever he appeared.

The Opera House was located in the grounds of Union Hotel, and was a wooden structure. It was a very pretty and complete little theatre. A stock company was engaged during the season, giving performances nightly.

Oct. 5, Dr. L. B. Putnam married Mrs. Fannie Jenkins. Frank Jenkins, a lawyer, now residing in Saratoga Springs is a son of Mrs. Jenkins.

In this year, St. Nicholas Hall, passed into the possession of the New England Congregational Society, which conducted their services there many years.

Dr. Samuel Freeman, who moved in 1840 to Saratoga Springs from Ballston Spa where he was born, Feb. 4, 1790 was elected president of the village.

These years were shadowed by the Civil War and are filled with accounts of the excellent courage and record of the Saratogians who served at the front.

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