Surrender of General Burgoyne Recreated
10/19/02

Victory At Saratoga


Volunteers Walt Hayes and Tom Wood using modern tools to put up a "new" old fence at Fort Hardy


Looking down the split rail Locust fence at Fort Hardy

Community Efforts to Improve Fort Hardy

Schuylerville Mayor John Sherman joined the Fort Hardy Committee and 20 members of the community in the construction of a new "historic split rail locust snake fence" at Fort Hardy Park in Schuylerville. Fort Hardy is one of the most important locations in the history of our country because in 1777 a British army under General John Burgoyne surrendered and laid down their arms at the Fort bringing to a conclusion the Battles of Saratoga, known as the "Turning Point" of the American Revolution. 

"It is a tremendous honor to work with community members to improve Fort Hardy, where 226 years ago, Americans fought for their freedom," Mayor John Sherman said. "As a Village park site, Fort Hardy provides recreational opportunities for our children and highlights the Revolutionary War heroes who fought here and the role they played in the founding of our nation. We have an obligation to improve these historic and recreational sites for the benefit of future generations, and the addition of the fence helps showcase the natural and cultural heritage of the site and will encourage hundreds of families to come and learn more about the rich history of our community." 

Located on Ferry Street (Route 29) and along the Hudson River in Schuylerville, Fort Hardy Park played key roles in the Revolutionary War and later in the Industrial Revolution. Today, Fort Hardy is home to the Village's visitors center, athletic fields, beach park, and youth center. This effort dovetails with current and future development of all the historic resources of the Old Saratoga region including Schuyler Park, the National Park sites and the Old Champlain Canal. 

Village Historian and Fort Hardy Committee Co-Chairman Tom Wood said, "Fort Hardy Park played a crucial role in the fight for American independence. It is important that we recognize and protect historic treasures like the Fort Hardy site for future generations." 

Fort Hardy Co-Chairman Bill Reynolds noted, "History is the future of Schuylerville. It is with great pride that we accomplish this fence building. This is an idea that was developed during the planning for the 225th Anniversary of the American Victory at Saratoga (October, 2002). It took an additional year to accomplish it but with the help and support of the Village Board, the Town of Saratoga, and many community members, along with the Scenic Byway grant program, we were able to make this project successful. This effort magnifies the importance of the struggles that occurred here and it helps signify the importance of this site." 

The committee members researched the fences at a number of historic sites and National Parks to find a simple landscape element that would incorporate native and historical values to replace the chain link fence that at one time separated the athletic fields from the state highway. The split rail fence represents fencing which dominated the American landscape for over 200 years. A genuine American innovation, this style of fencing was described in the colonies as early as 1652 in New York. The fence is constructed in the "battlefield style" with rails laid across each other at an angle. To lock it in place, farmers would drive a pair of crossed posts into the ground at the junctions of the rails, then lay a heavy top "rider" rail in the crotch of the crossed posts. By the 1870's, when the Champlain Canal was in use, this fencing was the predominant fence type throughout the country. Fort Hardy Committee member Sara Osborne researched the fences and, with the assistance of town resident Hal Bigelow, she was able to find over 300 locust rails at the Harrington family in Easton. Learn More


Another Victory in Old Saratoga 

The Fort Hardy committee reports that over 700 people participated in events to commemorate the 226th Anniversary of the American Victory at Saratoga. Several community organizations have joined together to develop the first annual Siege Week celebration (October 12- 18, 2003) with events that included walking tours of the Siege Field, talks from reenactors, a community recognition dinner and candlelight tours of the Schuyler House.

Visitors participated in the various events from a four state region (New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) 

and the economic impact of the variety of events was approximately $92,000 (based on NY State tourism figures.)  

 "We are very proud of our efforts to honor the American ideals and values birthed by the American Revolution and secured by the Victory at Saratoga," stated Sean Kelleher of the Fort Hardy Committee.

The Fort Hardy Committee worked in partnership with Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce, Old Saratoga Historical Association and Saratoga National Historical Park in

 establishing the annual Siege Week celebrations.

 The series of events commemorate the seven days that the British General John Burgoyne's troops were encircled in Old Saratoga (Villages of Victory and Schuylerville) before victory was declared at Saratoga. This Victory at Saratoga is recognized as one of the fifteen most decisive battles in world history and the Turning Point of the American Revolution. 

Plans are underway for next year's events.  If any organization would like to partner with the Fort Hardy Committee please contact them at 583-0506

Local Connections

Saratoga National 
Historical Park

Visitors Center at Fort Hardy

Stark's Knob 
Scientific Reservation


3 Valleys to Freedom  

  Schuylerville Area 
Chamber of Commerce

Town of Saratoga

Village of Schuylerville


Fort Hardy Committee

The Fort Hardy Committee was an idea birthed during the 225th. Celebration when fourteen local governments and interested community organizations voted to support the concept of the historical development of the Fort Hardy area.  Learn More


Old Saratoga
Historical Association

The Old Saratoga Historical Association is an educational organization which promotes interest in the history of Old Saratoga, Schuylerville, Victory and the Town of Saratoga areas, from Native American occupation, through the Dutch, French, British and colonial American
to modern times. 
Learn More

 HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION HELP PLAN OLD SARATOGA PARK

The Old Saratoga Historical Association participated in a one-day long-range interpretive plan workshop focused on Old Saratoga (Schuylerville) with the Saratoga National Historical Park. The Association was able to assist the National Park in developing a 10-year plan for coordinating the interpretive media, personal services programs, and education programs focused on the Old Saratoga Region. 

The members of the Old Saratoga Historical Association who participated included President Deborah Peck Kelleher, board member and Town of Saratoga and Village of Schuylerville and Victory Historian, Tom Wood, and board member and Visitors Center Manager Timothy Holmes. In addition, association member, heritage tourism consultant, and Heritage New York Grant Manager Sean Kelleher participated.
Learn More

Did you know just north of the Village of Schuylerville is Stark's Knob, a scientific reservation under the management of the New York State Museum.  Stark's Knob is a geological formation of international interest, being a feature of volcanic origins unique in New York State.

This site is provided by the Center for Heritage Education and Tourism.
The Center wishes to contributing to the prosperity of the community 
and to its quality of life.  For more information on the Center visit
www.chetonline.org

these pages last modified 11.07.03 Credits & Questions   Disclaimer and Ownership