Ballston Spa has an interesting history of trains and street cars. At one time, it was serviced by three trolley lines and the railroad. Now of course the large curved embankment long since abandoned by the Delaware & Hudson (D&H) dominates the landscape but there are vestiges of the trolley lines around town as well if you know where to look.
On Dev 26th, before we ventured up the Kaydeross Valley in search of the old mills, Gino DiCarlo took me on a quick loop thru town. Knowing my interest in the trolley era, he wanted to point out a few “not so obvious landmarks” of once omnipresent street car lines.
The map below illustrates the various railroad and trolley lines including the now filled in river and "the island."
|Base Map from http://www.openrailwaymap.org|
A walk up the short hill on Prospect Street gave us a glance at how the Kaydeross Railroad (KVRR) came in thru the town. Bath Street was the old electric railroad’s right of way.
|At the old Union Mill - looking south|
|This is Bath Street - built on the ROW of the Kaydeross Trolley|
We strolled on by the old Tannery...
|This was once a thriving industry|
...and Gino pointed out where the Schenectady Railway (SRW) snuck across what is now just an insignificant driveway to descend onto Washington Street.
|Note ascending pavement - this was the route of the SRW|
The old Hudson Valley Railway (HVRW) offices still stand proudly on Front Street but apparently the SRW wan’t allowed to connect with its competitor at this location.
The two lines came close at the corner of Milton and Washington but never connected! Only when the D&H bought and merged them was a direct connection finally made!
|Yesteryear (from the Gino DiCarlo Collection)|
Curious cement abutments right over Gordon Creek by the old hot dog place indicates where the SRW crossed and the abutments parallel to the Mechanic Street Bridge over the Kaydeross Creek are remnants of it’s continued route northward.
|Looking east from Milton Avenue over the Gordon Creek crossing|
|Why is this strange short cement wall here? It was where the SRW crossed!|
Mechanic Street Bridge
|The abutment was where the SRW crossed|
|A dam and cement remnants at the Mechanic Street bridge are vague reminders of the early mills here|
The Now Missing Island
What’s equally fascinating is that a sizable chunk of this area was actually an island replete with a foundry and a mill - appropriately named “Island Mill.”
|This view is looking east from the Rt 50 bridge over the Kaydeross -|
the area to the right was once an island!
|Mills highlighted in green|
What Happened to Galway Street?Galway Street was once a rail yard.
|Note Rail Yard and Turntable|
See the view now - Google Street View >
(Galway Street at Science St intersection - looking east)
Take a Google Street View Tour
At the Mills - Northhttps://email@example.com,-73.8510289,3a,75y,23.9h,89.07t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sD_TIOw2XcJ9YQgexs5o_Aw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DD_TIOw2XcJ9YQgexs5o_Aw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D95.748642%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656
At the Mills - Southhttps://firstname.lastname@example.org,-73.8510289,3a,75y,207.23h,82.17t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sD_TIOw2XcJ9YQgexs5o_Aw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DD_TIOw2XcJ9YQgexs5o_Aw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D95.748642%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656
The Tannery Alleywayhttps://email@example.com,-73.851308,3a,75y,218.26h,88.77t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sRo17tcW3Ai7yuZZrsB3jag!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
The Driveway Descenthttps://firstname.lastname@example.org,-73.8512712,3a,75y,253.83h,71.54t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shJDD4-_oX-WMQjO5IvgoaA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Main Street - The Two shall Not Meet!https://email@example.com,-73.8489061,3a,37.5y,12.28h,86.08t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s2P15OcFTPP6raQWkCZiTbA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
HVRW Stop on Front Streethttps://firstname.lastname@example.org,-73.85098,3a,90y,326.25h,90.29t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szYdvyHRZjjGYZtzk5N__ew!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Milton Ave crossing Gordon Creek (SRW abutment remnants are here)https://email@example.com,-73.8490806,3a,75y,123.46h,75.45t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s40WIuXqOMuH5cAMXhosy_Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Mechanic Street Bridge Abutment
Saratoga County Picture Gallery
Direct Links to Timothy Starr's Historical Photos
|Delaware & Hudson through Ballston Spa|
Note Turntable -- This was the approach to the Galway Street Rail Yard
|Sans Souci Hotel, built in 1803 and torn down in 1887|
Further Recommended Reading
Lost Industries of Saratoga County
Ballston Spa, New York (Wikipedia)