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Ballston Spa History Tidbits

Ballston Spa

Railroad and Trolley History Tidbits

Aside from its more well known competition with Saratoga Springs geysers in the distant past and the remarkable decline and rebirth it has seen, Ballston Spa has an interestng railroad and trolley history as well. Treks "in the field" uncovered an amazing amount of Mill Ruins along the Kaydeross and simple hikes around town reveal a few fascianting details about its trains and trolleys of yesteryear.

The banner at the top of the page was a graphic published in a Popular Science Magazine way back in 1892. The article was about the "Development of American Industries Since Columbus: Leather Industry" and featured this illustration of the brand new leather factory in Ballston Spa. The property was the site of a tannery called Haight’s Tannery starting in about 1887, and it then became American Hide and Leather, at one time among the largest leather tanneries in the United States. Further Details

Trolley History Tour

On Dev 26th, 2015, Gino DiCarlo took me on a quick loop thru town and pointed out a few fascinating details of the once omnipresent street car lines. Did you know part of Ballston Spa was once an island(!) or that it was serviced by three street car lines as well as the railroad? Take the tour >

D&H Bridge at Front Street

The Delaware & Hudson Railroad used to run through the center of town on a high embankment that curved over Front Street as it continued northward. This line was rerouted in the 1950s, staying straight north on the east side of town. The old line was abandoned and the railroad bridge over Front Street was removed a decade or so later.

The Iron Spring is next to the Front Street Bridge. I remember as a small child, our family would drive through the now fenced-off small tunnel which lead into Washington Street. We would squeal with delight :-)

The old railroad line on the embankment is now a rail trail.

Ballston Lake Historical Map

Iron Spring

Iron Spring


RR BRidge - Trail Entrance

Tedisco Trail

  On Saturday, March 28, 2015 - I hiked the Jim Tedisco Rail Trail. There was snow on the ground. Photos and observations on the industrial ruins and old abutments that continued the rai line over the Kayderosss can be seen here >