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Credit: Marist College Library Archives and Special Collections

The Saratoga Springs History Museum: The Canfield Casino

UPPER HUDSON
http://www.saratogahistory.org/
Congress Park
P.O. Box 216
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: June-September Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. October - May Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Closed January
Phone: (518) 584-6920

 

Historical Description:

The Casino was built in 1870 by John Morrissey, a retired prize fighter and politician raised in Troy. Morrissey’s Club House (as it was then known) quickly became a popular but exclusive gaming establishment—neither women nor locals were permitted in the gambling rooms. After Morrissey’s death in 1878, the building was owned by Charles Reed and Albert Spencer and became known as the Saratoga Club-House. In 1894 it was bought by Richard Canfield, who in 1895 added the Tiffany window in the west wall of the first floor. In 1902 Canfield bought up much of the property to the north and east of the building to create the Italian Gardens, and in 1903 he built on the magnificent dining room that features stained-glass signs of the zodiac in a vaulted ceiling. In 1911, the City opened it up as a place for drinking spring water, playing games (no gambling), smoking, and reading. In the next couple of decades, many large tea parties were held here, and the City currently rents out the Casino for weddings and other big events.

 

The Site:

The building holds the Beatrice S. Sweeny Manuscript Archive, which is a major repository in Saratoga Springs for business and personal papers and ephemera relating to the grand hotels, spas, casinos and lake houses, and businesses. It holds the papers of Reuben Hyde Walworth, last Chancellor of the State of New York; Ellen Hardin Walworth, one of the founders of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Frank Sullivan, humorist who for years wrote for The New Yorker; the records of many local businesses, including ledger books from the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company Railroad and the Labrake Tombstone Company; and many letters written by Saratogians serving in the Civil War. The building also contains the Bolster Photographic Archive. For further information please call or visit the website.

 

Directions:

From the New York State Thruway (I-87)

• On I-87 get off at exit #15 towards Gansevoort/Saratoga Springs • Turn Left on Rt-50 • Turn Right on Rock St.

• Turn Right onto N. Broadway.

The Historical Society of Saratoga Springs is located in Congress Park off Broadway (Rt. 9) in downtown Saratoga Springs. For further directions call or go to website

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