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Saratoga County's first four towns mark 225 years

Saturday, April 20, 2013
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Back in the day, Ballston was a big town, the biggest on the north side of the Mohawk River in what was yet to become Saratoga County.

You could mount a horse down near the Alplaus Kill, where Indians burned the hills, and ride north through bigger hills and down into the wide Sacandaga River valley beyond, then up into where the Adirondacks begin — and still be in the town of Ballston.

Back in the day, in this case, would be circa 1788. The union of states was new, New Englanders were migrating westward, and places that used to be wilderness became frontier, and needed names.

Ballston — named after its founder, Rev. Eliphalet Ball — was one of four new towns the state Legislature established on the north side of the river, in what was then still part of Albany County. The others were Halfmoon, Stillwater and Saratoga. The town of Saratoga, which back then was centered on Schuylerville, stretched all the way north to what is now Warren County, just as Ballston did.

The foursome would become the “mother towns” of Saratoga County, which by 1829 had been subdivided into 19 towns, all dominated by farming and other rural pastimes. They wouldn’t have their own county separate from Albany until three years later, in 1791.

The Original Four are marking their 225th anniversaries this year, each making plans for celebrations.

Ballston will be holding a Ballston 225 week July 7-13. The other three towns are in the process of planning their activities.

Kinowski for Connors

Former Stillwater town Supervisor Greg Connors has landed an administrative job with GlobalFoundries.

Connors has become the chip company’s director of global government relations — and making sure Fab 8 has enough water, electricity and gas will be in his bailiwick. Chip plants consume as much power and water as a small city, and GlobalFoundries is looking to build a second plant that will need even more utilities.

Connors has resigned his unpaid seat on the Saratoga County Water Authority board, since the chipmaker is the authority’s biggest customer.

Connors was Stillwater supervisor from 2004 to 2007, during the early stages of planning for the plant.

Current Stillwater Supervisor Ed Kinowski will replace him on the Water Authority.

More paving

There aren’t two more different county roads than Providence’s Fayville Road and Guideboard Road in Halfmoon. One winds past forests and big ponds to link the Great Sacandaga Lake and Barkersville; the other defines what traffic planners call a suburban commuter collector.

But both are the worse for years of wear and have been chosen for work using extra state highway improvement money Saratoga County received in the new state budget. There’s an extra $387,088, enough to rebuild a mile of each.

Stephen Williams is a Gazette reporter. The opinions expressed in his column are his own, and not necessarily the newspaper's. He can be reached at 885-6705 or swilliams@dailygazette.net.

 
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