Hudson’s River and encamped in the plains of Saratoga at which
place there is a handsome and commodious dwelling house,”
wrote a British officer of Schuyler House in September 1777.
The officer was a member of Gen. John Burgoyne’s invading
army, whose troops were resting in the small hamlet of Saratoga
on their march south to capture Albany. Less than a month
later the retreating general ordered the house and all of
Schuyler’s mills and outbuildings burned to the ground.
mill was spared from burning and, as the period-garb-clad
guides at Schuyler House will point out, brushing over the
iron latches of the house’s massive front door, workers were
tasked with sifting through the rubble to salvage any useable
hardware—in 1777 every nail and hinge had to be hand-forged
by a blacksmith. Schuyler had to pay his crew three times
the going rate, for fear of “redcoats,” but it took them only
three weeks to rebuild the spacious country home from the
foundation up. Schuyler House has been restored to its revolutionary
grandeur, and this weekend, bustling with 18th-century activity
(though partially quelled by the summer’s unforgiving rains),
the house and grounds offered an entertaining and enlightening
step through time.
to 18th-century day were greeted by the rhythmic strains of
fiddle and hammered dulcimer. Husband-and-wife duo Anne and
Ridley Enslow shared not only their music, but their extensive
knowledge of their instruments, from their history to their
construction and a little in between—did you know the flexible
Pernambuco wood used to make violin bows was originally used
to make sturdy barrels? It was as good an introduction to
the hammered dulcimer as one can hope for: Anne Enslow played
the hammered dulcimer in the Broadway production of The
Secret Garden—a particularly remarkable resume credit
for a particularly rare instrument—and her evocative, light
touch proved why.
husband-and-wife team demonstrated the brewing process for
a fine porter from start to finish. Always a crowd pleaser.
With malted barley stewing in a cast-iron cauldron over an
open fire, the brewers offered tastes of the process: a bite
of malted barley, another taste of the sweet fermented mush,
a look at the delicate green hops flower (added for its antibacterial
properties and tasty pollen). And finally, they cracked open
a keg and ladled out cups of the brew itself. The 18th-century
homebrew was a definite hit, much, it seemed, to everyone’s
steps past the brewers, Liz G., a master gardener turned 18th-century
herbalist for the day, offered tours of the Schuyler House
herb garden. The compact plot brims with 42 different types
of herbs, and their caretaker gave visitors an equally compact
and brimming education in botany, and in the plethora of medical,
culinary and household uses for the herbs. Sure, you know
aloe will sooth a burn, but how about rosemary for hair loss
or geranium as a styptic? If you run out of Band-Aids, try
a soft leaf of lamb’s ear. For a candle wick: milkweed.
couple, settled on the wide-plank porch, elaborated on the
herbalist’s lesson. The two have woven their contemporary
careers into a mutual fascination with the history of medicine.
Stuart Lehman is the education coordinator for the state Capitol
and governor’s mansion; his wife, Ruth, is recently retired
from nursing. Their combined knowledge of history and contemporary
medicine made for a fascinating examination of the insight
and errors of the past.
the herbalist’s aromatic remedies were jarred and labeled,
alongside more exotic specimens collected on botanical expeditions.
A mortar and pestle ground cloves and willow to a sweet, fragrant
analgesic. A table of unsettling medical tools sent chills
up the spine: leather retractors, bullet probes, amputation
saws, lances for bloodletting, even a seemingly innocuous
jar of water, which, when lifted, revealed a writhing mass
of hungry leeches.
doctors certainly didn’t get it all right. Abdominal surgery,
no matter how minor, wasn’t attempted; patients would be lost
to peritonitis. Wood and bone handles, insufficient cleansing,
and a lack of germ theory made infection not a risk but a
guarantee. It was, in fact, the color of a patient’s puss
that determined their prognosis.
didn’t get it all wrong either. Eighteenth-century doctors
could tackle cataract surgeries, amputations and even surgeries
to relieve brain swelling. Many active elements in the botanical
remedies are extracted or synthesized by contemporary pharmaceutical
companies. Even those writhing leeches packed a powerful medical
punch: Their bite injects an intense anticoagulant. Enough,
in some cases, to alleviate a heart attack or stroke.
ball mangled with tooth marks—chewed so a patient wouldn’t
bite off his own tongue from the pain of surgery—was a harsh
reminder of the trials of colonial life. A twilight spin through
the battlefield on the trip home was eerily infused with the
specters of battle: the grating of the amputation saw, the
screams of surgery, hands lining worn boots with lamb’s ears
to soften footfalls, ladles of porter, haunting music. The
details that shaped a nation.
PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (Saratoga State Park, Saratoga
Springs, tickets: 476-1000). Sun: Saratoga Music Festival
with Bob Dylan, the Levon Helm Band, the Swell
Season, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band,
Steve Earle, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings,
Raul Malo. Tue: the Allman Brothers Band, Bob
Weir and Ratdog.
ON THE ROOF (Rooftop patio, Tang Teaching Museum and Art
Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, 580-8080). Fri:
Sonny & Perley.
ALLEY BAR (Long Alley Road, Saratoga, 587-9766). Tue:
karaoke with Mark the Shark.
SARATOGA (2839 Route 9, Malta, 587-0048). Thu: Winchester
and Young (6 PM). Sat: karaoke.
LENA (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022). Thu:
open mic. Fri: Bill Staines. Sat: Laura Vecchione.
Sun: Peach Pie.
SOPHIE (Saratoga Hotel, 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs,
583-3538). Fri, Tue: Cole Broderick. Sun: Cole Broderick
CAFÉ (392 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 583-1106). Thu:
open mic with Nate Solomon. Sat: A-Man karaoke.
Wed: Nate Buccieri.
CLUB HOUSE (30 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 580-0686).
Fri-Sat: DJ Daniel Van D.
BAR & GRILL (411 Geyser Road, Ballston Spa, 587-9478).
SOUTH (2128 Doubleday Ave., Route 50, Ballston Spa, 884-2926).
INN (1 Gridley St., Saratoga Springs, 587-4909). Thu:
CONFIDENTIAL (38 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 584-0130).
Thu: Jeff Walton (5:30 PM). Fri: White Flag
(5:30 PM); TS Ensemble (9 PM). Sat: JT Maple
(5:30 PM); Groove Syndicate (9 PM).
HOUSE (1 York St., Saratoga Springs, 226-0014). Tue: Masters
CAROLINE STREET (1 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 587-2026).
Fri, Mon: Sarah Pedinotti Band. Sat: Lee Shaw Trio.
RESTAURANT (Saratoga National Golf Course, Union Street,
Saratoga Springs). Fri: Happy Daze.
LAKE RESTAURANT AND PUB (Round Lake Road, Round Lake,
899-1060). Thu-Fri: karaoke.
CITY TAVERN (19 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 581-3230).
Fri: Big Johnson Blues Band.
(168 Lincoln Ave., Saratoga Springs, 584-4030). Thu-Wed: piano
bar with Roger Morris.
(13 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 581-1316). Fri-Sat:
NIGHT CLUB (30 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 580-0686).
Fri-Sat: DJ Daniel Van D.
Tales, Steamer No. 10 Theatre, Arts Center in Saratoga,
320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Through 8/17, Sat-Sun at 4
PM. $10. 438-5503.
Dance, Saratoga Music Hall, 474 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.
8/16, 7:30: beginning swing dance lesson; 8-11:30 PM: largest
monthly swing dance. $15. 587-5132.
Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga
Springs. 8/14, 8 PM: Philadelphia Orchestra will perform works
by Strauss and Rossini, and, with pianist Martha Argerich,
Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. $18-$72.50. 8/15,
8 PM: Philadelphia Orchestra, with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet,
will perform works by Roussel, Saint-Saëns, Debussy and Respighi.
$18-$72.50. 8/16, 8 PM: Family Night with the Philadelphia
Orchestra and violinist Sergey Khachatryan performing an all-Tchaikovsky
program. $18-$72.50. 8/20, 8 PM: Philadelphia Orchestra perform
excerpts from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream;
also, works by Janácek and Rachmaninoff. $18-$72.50. 587-3330.
Little Theater, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga
Springs. 9/18, 8 PM: Pianist Yuja Wang, with members of the
Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, will perform works by Dohnanyi,
Liszt and Brahms. $36.50, $41.50. 9/19, 8 PM: Violinist Vadim
Repin and pianist Nikolai Lugansky, with SCMF members, will
perform works by Bax, Bartók, Debussy and Beethoven. $36.50,
Museum at Saratoga, 69 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs.
Wacky Wednesday After-School Kids Club Wednesdays, 3:45-5
PM. Ages 6-10. Free with museum admission. 584-5540.
Disney KidZone at Saratoga Polo on 8/17, 8/24. Kids can
meet ponies and more. Call for info. 584-8108.
County Arts Center, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Sat,
Sun through 8/17, 4 PM: Cinderella Tales. 584-4132.
Beekman Street Art Gallery, 70 Beekman St., Saratoga Springs.
542-6688. Sporting Life: A Solo Show by Adriano Manochia.
York State Military Museum, 61 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs.
581-5100. Worth a Thousand Muskets: Civil War Field Artillery.
Also, Battleground for Freedom: New York during the Revolutionary
War. Also, World War II: United for Victory. Also,
Fiery Trial and Sacrifice: New York and the First World
Studios Fine Art Gallery, 96 Broad St., Schuylerville.
369-3280. Summer Suite. Through 8/30.
County Arts Council, Arts Center Gallery, 320 Broadway,
Saratoga Springs. 584-4132. 25 Years of the Travers: Poster
Art by Greg Montgomery. Through 8/31.
County Arts Council, Member Exhibition Hall, 320 Broadway,
Saratoga Springs. 584-4132. Adirondack Light and Adirondack
Reflections. Through 8/31.
Hospital Medical Library, 211 Church St., Saratoga Springs.
583-8301. Rocky Roads: Coast to Coast View. Through
Springs Amtrak Station, Station Lane, Saratoga Springs.
437-6877. Sen Ba: War Horses. Through 8/31.
Springs Public Library, 49 Henry St., Saratoga Springs.
584-7860. Photographs by Andrew Derk. Through 8/31.
Springs Visitors Center, 297 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.
587-3241. Saratoga Springs Alive!, oil paintings by
Cynthia Whitman. Through 8/31.
Teaching Museum and Gallery, Skidmore College, 815 N.
Broadway, Saratoga Springs. 580-8080. Opener 15: Amy Sillman:
Third Person Singular. Through 1/4/09. Also, Elevator
Music 12: Jessica Rylan. Through 9/20. Also, Opener
14: Dean Snyder: Almost Blue. Through 8/31.
Spa Farmers Market, Wiswall Park, Ballston Spa. Thursdays,
3-6 PM; Saturdays, 9 AM-noon.
Farmers Market, High Rock Park, High Rock Avenue, Saratoga
Springs. Saturdays, 9 AM-1 PM; Wednesdays, 3-6 PM.
in the Park, Congress Park, Saratoga Springs. 8/19, 10
AM-4 PM: Art and entertainment at this outdoor visual-art
show and sale. 584-4132.
Fair, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Saratoga Springs.
8/16, 9 AM-3 PM: Select from fine arts, plants and gardening
accessories, used books, and hand-crafted items. 584-1555
Lake Arts & Crafts Festival, The Historic Park Grounds,
Round Lake. 8/16-17. Sat, 9 AM-5 PM; Sun, 10 AM-4:30 PM: This
show will feature 200 skilled artists and craftsmen, selling
and demonstrating their unique products. 899-2800.
Annual Antique Show, Canfield Casino, Saratoga Springs.
8/16-17, 10-5 PM: One of the highlights of the Saratoga summer
season. The show opens 8/15, Friday evening, with a wine tasting
and preview from 5-8 PM. $7 antique show, $40 Friday preview.