Saratoga Springs Public Library Stereoview Collection
Information and stereoview scans provided by Local History Librarian Teri Blasko at the Saratoga Public Library.
The history of Saratoga Springs NY has profound local and national significance. From the crucial Battle of Saratoga and the early colonial settlers to the Saratoga Race Track, the Gambling Era, and the significant role played by the USS Saratoga in US naval history, the rich history of Saratoga Springs NY is colorful and wide ranging.
A story in a picture, The Robert Joki Stereoview collection at the Saratoga Springs Public Library illustrates the rich upbringing of Saratoga Springs, NY, from the tapping of the natural spring system, the development of Broadway in the 1800s and the ravaging fires that shaped Saratoga's cityscape.
With a simple trick of the mind, stereoview images present two offset images with use of a stereogram to create 3D depth from 2D images. Stereoviews were increasingly popular in the mid-1800s and captured anything from mundane life to beautiful environments lost with time.
With 1,435 stereoscopic images in the collection, the Saratoga Springs Public Library holds the largest public collection of stereoviews of Saratoga Springs in the world and was acquired by the Friends of the Library in 2013 from the late Robert Joki.
Saratoga Stereoview Walking Map
Rober Joki was a history buff and avid collector and in 1998 he published the book “Saratoga Lost: Images of Victorian America”, an illustrated history of Victorian-era Saratoga Springs. Scenes from Saratoga’s past come to life - the grand hotels, the elaborate mineral spring pavilions and amusements that entertained the worldly guests of Spa City.
The Robert Joki Stereoview collection is open to the public in the Saratoga Room at the Saratoga Springs Public Library during the room’s public hours or by appointment.
Below are images from The Robert Joki Collection (one side of the stereoview card), highlighting important landmarks in the heart of Broadway.
City Hall (Town Hall): Completed in 1871 and capped with a bell tower with clock, which was removed in 1936. By 1826, Saratoga Springs was legally recognized as a village, and the area was frequented by prominent political and cultural figures of that day, including Martin Van Buren and Stephen Douglas. The building changed name in 1915 when the city was incorporated.
US Hotel: This magnificent hotel, which stood on the west side of Broadway on the south side of Division Street, replaced the original hotel built in 1824, which was destroyed by fire in 1865. The new Victorian version (seen in this photo) opened for business in 1874. During World War II it fell on hard times and was razed in 1946.
Morrissey's Pool Room
Morrissey's Pool Room: Owned by prize fighter, gambler and politician John Morrissey, a Troy native who built his famous Club House (later the Canfield Casino which now houses the Saratoga Springs History Museum). This structure stood on Putnam Street which, in the late 19th century, continued across Spring Street and ended at Congress Street. It was connected to Morrissey’s Club House by a walkway. The 1860’s brought more growth and development to Saratoga with the birth of the Victorian and Gambling Eras.
Congress Hall: Built by Gideon Putnam, who fell from scaffolding in 1811 while the hotel was under construction and died in 1812 from his injuries. The hotel burned in 1866. The mansard style version seen in the stereoview opened in 1868. The hotel was razed in 1912. It stood on the east side of Broadway between East Congress (entrance to Congress Park) and Spring Streets.
Crescent Hotel: Located at the southwest corner of Broadway and West Congress Street where the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center now stands. Erected after a fire on July 4, 1864 destroyed Stanwix Hall, the brick hotel burned on October 1, 1871.
Photo of the great Columbian Hotel that replaced the original hotel which burned in 1871. The hotel was enlarged 1875-76 but burned in 1965 in the “Convention Hall” fire. The Victorian Era from the 1860’s to the1890’s represented a golden age
in the history of Saratoga Springs NY. Many luxurious Saratoga resorts and spas
accommodated the heavy influx of visitors during this period, fullfilling high society's desire for an extravagant retreat at a luxurious spa.
: Discovered in 1803 by Gideon Putnam, it was later acquired by John Clarke who erected a Grecian Pavilion in the 1830s.
The pavilion was replaced in 1875 by the Congress and Empire Spring Company with the high Victorian Gothic version seen in the stereoview which connected Columbian and Congress Springs. Saratoga Springs has long been celebrated for its splendid natural springs
, bubbling with rich mineral water.
Congress Spring: View in stereoview taken from inside original park which occupied the land south of East Congress Street. Discovered in 1792 and acquired in 1826 by Dr. John Clarke who bottled the water. Prior to settlement, Saratoga was inhabited by the Iroquois Indians who called the area “Sarachtogue,” which means "hillside of a great river" or "place of the swift water." Native Americans flocked to the valley each summer for healing and peaceful meditation by the natural springs.
Music Pavilion: The music pavilion was a charming example of Victorian decoration used by the park band during their evening concerts. It was demolished in 1930 and replaced with the war memorial in 1932.
Clarendon Hotel: Opened around 1860 on the west side of Broadway and razed after the 1902 summer season. Throughout the latter years of the 19th century, Saratoga Springs’ status continued to rise, and the area was considered one of the most prominent travel destinations in America, booming with natural beauty, culture, gaming and fun. Current site of Saratoga Central Catholic High School.