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Sunday, July 24, 2016

North! To Saranac, New York

Eric and I left Jerry's house for the drive north to Saranac, New York, west of Plattsburgh.

 Everyone thinks we are going to Saranac Lake, which is better known across the state.
 That's why I tell people that we are going to Saranac, west of Plattsburgh.
Can you believe it? Both Saranac & Saranac Lake are on Route 3.

We follow NYS Route 50 North
through Scotia & Glenville.

will bring us to the

We drive through rural
Saratoga County.

I just had to share this picture
of a horse hanging out in a
 parking lot with a horse trailer
& a farm tractor.

Eric drives through a series of
roundabouts to the Exit 12
entrance ramp to the Northway.

Interstate 87 North saves drivers
hours of driving time from

This stretch of road reminds me
many other states: Pennsylvania,
West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas,
Missouri.... & more.

Entering the Adirondack Park.

Union College, in Schenectady, New York, has a long history with the Adirondack region.   Joel T. Headley, Class of 1839 wrote a book about the Adirondack Mountains and its forests.  William F. Fox, Class of 1860, worked to preserve the region's timber resources for future generations.  Edward E. Hale, Jr., Head of the English Department was a founding member of the Adirondack Mountain Club.  

I like taking pictures of
the mountains as we 
drive north.

Fort Ticonderoga is one of my
favorite historic sites in
New York.

We catch a glimpse of one of
the Adirondacks' many 
mountain lakes.

A construction job...

A new bridge is being

Farms can be seen along this
major north/south corridor.

Poke-O-Moonshine, near
Keeseville, is a popular
climbing spot.

Here's our exit (sortie, en francais
for our Canadian neighbors)
Number 37 NYS Route 3

Eric turns onto NYS 374 West,
the Military Bypass.

My favorite excavator,
the Gradall.

It's shovel is hydraulically

Here we are...

The Town of Saranac

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Lunch at The Factory Eatery & Spirits in Ballston Spa, New York

The Factory Eatery & Spirits is one
 of the businesses in the former

An eclectic mix of shops
& offices occupy this
former mill.

The Factory's bar &
 adjacent booths

 A panoramic shot of the restaurant.  

Eric's Chicken Parmesan 
Sandwich with Sweet
Potato Fries

I chose a Reuben Sandwich
with Hand Cut French Fries.

The food and the service were excellent!  I want to return to The Factory Eatery and Spirits each time Eric and I come to Ballston Spa to walk along their numerous historic walking trails.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ballston Spa's Village Hall in Downtown Ballston Spa, New York

A lift was installed to make
the building handicap

The counter where residents
ask questions & pay tax bills.

This must be a twenty foot

The short doorway on the
left has a special feature.

It's the former First National
Bank's vault.  

I wonder if the Village Clerk
ever closes & locks the door.

I admire the Ceiling Medallion
and surrounding molding.

The drapes are custom
fitted to the curved

I am glad to see this historic building being preserved as it serves its community.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Doubleday House in Ballston Spa, New York

The historic marker in front

Abner Doubleday, the man
was born here.

The refurbished building is now an Antique Gallery.  Carol and I left John and Eric chatting outside as we explored the Gallery.

Five Antique Dealers sell
their wares here.

There's a lot to see in
this small house.

Baseball memorabilia

This ceramic clay  Spaniel
 bookend is one of a pair.

Clay pipe and tile factories provided the material for "Sewer Tile Art.". The leftovers, at the "end of the day" were crafted by workers into artsy items to sell for extra income or to give as gifts.  This clay-fired ceramic art imitated the expensive pottery pieces that were popular at the time.  

This box is a fine example

Cast off wood is whittled into intricate designs.  Hobos, the men who "rode the rails" and worked odd jobs all over the United States, gave their artwork as gifts, sold or bartered them for food and other needed items.   

18th century laundry items
are on display....

provided the correct shapes
for newly laundered hose.

A Washboard.... All I can think

A steep flight of stairs leads
to the second floor.

I admire the displays that
fit in an area with a
 steeply pitched roof.

There's sooo much more to
look at in this cramped

Carol and I could spend hours combing through the eclectic mix of antiques in the Doubleday House. We have to rejoin John and Eric and continue our tour of historic Ballston Spa.

Walking Around Historic Ballston Spa, New York with John & Carol

A bubbling spring was found in 1771 when a survey crew was calculating the boundaries of the Kayaderosseras Patent.  This spring, in the Village of Ballston Spa, was the first mineral spring discovered in America.  By the late 1780s, a hotel had been built for guests to stay in while they "took the cure."

Success breeds success... Ballston Spa was the place to go to enjoy the bubbling waters. More hotels were built.  In the 1800s, rail lines ran to Ballston Spa, bringing more tourists than ever and raw materials to the mills along the waterway in the village.  Trains departing the village returned visitors to their homes and took finished products to market.  

Today Eric, John, Carol & I 
are walking around Ballston Spa, 
admiring the village's many 
historic buildings.  

Carol brought a copy of "In A Pleasant Situation" Five Walking Tours To Explore the Architecture and History of Ballston Spa with her to provide information on the buildings we see today.  

Building, constructed in
1873, now houses the
Village's Government

John, Carol & Eric
stand in front of this
resplendent building.

Bank was built around 1820,
in the Late Federal Style.

The Art Nouveau Clock was
added in 1926.

Ballston Spa National Bank is the oldest bank in Saratoga County.  

95 Front Street was built
around 1830.

The stepped gables & paired
chimneys are features of the
Late Federal Style.

This Federal Style home at
99 Front Street was built
around 1815.

A Griffin guards the entrance
to the garden at
109-111 Front Street.

This house was built in the 
 with a Mansard Roof.

The Old Iron Spring Pavilion
sits over the well that taps into
the village's original spring.

Old Iron Spring's water
is available to all.

Ballston Spa's tunnels...

Gordon Creek flows through
the tunnel on the left.

The tunnel on the right was built
to allow easy access of village
workers to the park on their
lunch hours.

Abner Doubleday, Union General
commemorated with this 
marker at Iron Spring Park.

in 1792, is listed on the National
Registry of Historic Places.
These four wood frame houses are at an odd angle to Fairground Avenue.
They were built along a street that no longer exists.

The Medbery Inn & Spa,
built in 1804, remains a
popular hotel in downtown
Ballston Spa.

dedicated in 1888.

St. Mary's Church

The spire dominates

This tiny yellow house is the

The small protrusions on the
roof line of buildings are
owls...  installed to scare
off birds.

These pigeons don't frighten.

O'Brien Pharmacy has a charming
summer window display with 
over-sized ants invading a

I love Coffee Planet's colorful
corner entrance.

Ballston Spa is home to

 Church has a distinctive side

John & Carol take us to The Factory,
located in the former Union Mill
Complex, for lunch.

Once a mill, these buildings housed different industries over the years, including a company that manufactured the first flat bottom paper bags.  Locals fondly remember the sweet chocolate smells emanating from this building when it was Bischoff's Chocolate factory.

This old industrial complex now
houses shops & offices, in
addition to The Factory.

Today's walk is just one of five walking tours in the village.  There's a lot more history to explore here.  John and Carol are happy to share their community with Eric and me.