Saratoga Springs is special. Its reputation goes back to 1767 when Native Americans brought Sir William Johnson to the area for the healing powers of the High Rock Spring. From this humble beginning, the popularity of Saratoga Springs and its many mineral water springs grew from the 19th century to the mid-20th century. Railroads played a key role in that growth. The first train entered Saratoga Springs in 1832. Regularly scheduled passenger trains made Saratoga Springs more accessible, and as a result, it grew by leaps and bounds. Beautiful train stations welcomed visitors, the Saratoga Race Course opened, large bathhouses were constructed, the Grand Union and other luxurious hotels awaited overnight guests, and many people from all walks of life visited the casino in historic Congress Park. Visits to historic locations such as Mount McGregor and North Creek were made easier by train. Along with the railroads in and around Saratoga Springs, this book also includes historic highlights of those locations.
Richard Chait has been an avid railfan for many years. This is reflected in his writings and societal activities. Born and raised in Rochester, New York, he has spent many summers enjoying Saratoga Springs. He currently maintains a residence in Saratoga Springs and has gained full appreciation for the many contributions rail transportation has made to the rapid growth of the area.