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"Reminiscences of Saratoga"
compiled by Cornelius E. Durkee

Page 51


One of the first organizations in the city to be organized for the benefit of mothers of the city was the Mothers' Club, the neucleus for which was started in the fall and winter of 1900, when many parents gathered at social gatherings to aid in school work. It was not until five years later, however, 1905, that the present Mothers' or Parent-Teachers' Association was organized.

Another Women's organization of the 1900's which was foremost in civic improvements was the Women's Association which is now the Women's Civic League Inc.

The St Christina Hospital out Ballston avenue, which is still in existence was the shelter for sick and crippled children, and every summer, found it the site of a fair by visitors and Saratogians who were anxious to raise funds to hold the little tots to health.

The Daughters of the American Revolution, Saratoga chapter, was already a flourishing organization in 1900, having been organized in September, 1894, by Mrs. Ellen Hardin Walworth, national founder.

The Saratoga Sun, as a Democratic Daily was started in 1900 by Howard C. Hillegas. The Sun was first published in 1870 by Albert S. Pease, a postmaster at Poughkeepsie, who organized it as a weekly Democratic paper. The Saratoga Sun is now a part of The Saratogian by which it was purchased.

1900 was an unusual year for the Saratoga Fire department in point of the number of small fires. Although called out 73 times, the department had to fight no large conflagrations.

The Boxer Insurrection in China occupied the foreign interest of Saratogians in this year, and on August 14 Peking was captured by the foreign allies.

The Galveston tornado occurred on September 8, and 6,000 lives were lost. Saratogians contributed money for the aid of the Texas sufferers.


February 21, the warehouse of George H. Slyter, formerly the old casino, was destroyed by fire, the loss amounting to $30,000. The building had had a most interesting history and residents were sorry to see it burn. The Society of the Army of the Potomac had met there in 1887; and Democratic and Republican conventions had met there almost yearly, the delegates being addressed by national figures of the period. At one time a summer toboggan was conducted in the casino, but this did not pay; walking matches, and bicycle races had been held there and had brought there a large group of Saratogians and visitors. In 1898, George H. Slyter, rented it for a furniture warehouse, and occupied it at the time of the fire.

April 30, Charles H. Holden died. Mr. Holden was born at Arlington, Vt., January 28, 1825. In 1845 he became a clerk on a steamboat running between Troy and New York, and after serving four years he was made captain of the steam boat, "Troy." At the conclusion of one year's service, he retired to become agent of the Troy Steamboat Co. in the city of Troy in 1860, he resigned this position to become a passenger conductor on the Rensselaer and Saratoga railroad, now the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, which post he held for six years. He then became agent for the Railroad company at Saratoga Springs, in which task he remained nine years, resigning to take charge of the Holden House, now the Saratoga Inn. Mr. Holden was married to Mary C. Young of this city, daughter of N. E. Young.

Many Saratogians attended the Pan-American Exposition which occurred in 1901 from May to November.

President William McKinley was assassinated on September 6, and

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