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Saratoga Springs in 250 Years of Maps
On April 17, 1915 the Village and Town of Saratoga Springs were incorporated as the City of Saratoga Springs. To mark the city's centennial, this exhibit tells the rich story of Saratoga Springs through its maps and plans.
The exhibition explores cartography in Saratoga Springs by following some of the ideas they convey. First, maps reveal the extent of Saratoga Springs, revealing the territory and administrative districts that formed the town, village and later city of Saratoga Springs since 1819. Additional themes include:
- The community's changing interests and fortunes come to life in a map-based history that chronicles 250 years in 16 maps.
- Map stories also bring into focus what visitors and residents care about. Civic life activities from schools and voting to parades and recreation make it onto the map. Transportation and tourism come alive as routes and attractions starting with the area’s emergence as a small settlement based around mineral springs in the late eighteenth century. The best laid plans come alive on urban development maps, even if they not every one gets implemented.
- The exhibit zooms in on several map stories:
- Three versions of an 1810 map of the Putnam family property reveal how that initial land grant mattered to later generations.
- Plans for railroad and automobile roads show how transportation reshaped (or not) the space and activities in the city.
- Saratoga Springs' mapmakers are also revealed. Real estate agent Lester Brothers, surveyors and civil engineers Jesse S. and Samuel J. Mott, and Temple Grove Seminary professor and president Charles F. Dowd are among the area's mapmakers.
- A slideshow that shows several exhibition maps georeferenced on today's cityscape.
- Browse over 100 maps from local and national collections. (If you choose to use these maps in your own work, please acknowledge the original archive or library, and site this project!)
Today, Saratogians use historical maps to build our own maps drawing geographical data and other information (such as building location and changing public space) to understand how the Spa City has grown and changed over time.
This exhibit opened at the
on April 14, 2015 and remained open until December 2015. This exhibit is supported by the Alfred Z. Solomon Trust and JIMAPCO.