The Saratoga Monument

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

 “The battles…of Saratoga and surrender of Lt. General John Burgoyne, on the 17th of October, 1777 formed a niche in the temple of Liberty, which patriotism will one day fill with an appropriate monument.”                                      - Saratoga Monument Association meeting, 1856

That monument proudly stands in Victory NY, where Burgoyne's camp entrenched during the campaign's final days.  Begun in 1877 and completed in 1887, the 55-foot stone obelisk captured in life-size sculptures key American leaders of 1777. General Philip Schuyler faces east toward his Saratoga estate, burned by the British but rebuilt the following month. To the west, Colonel Daniel Morgan faces the positions his corps took to help surround the British. In the northern niche, General Horatio Gates faces toward the route of British invasion from Canada. The southern niche remains empty, signifying General Benedict Arnold’s heroism in 1777 overshadowed by his later treachery. (taken from the

We first visited the monument in 2014, a fact I'm almost ashamed to admit having grown up within 30 minutes of Schuylerville. The monument is a sight to behold from every angle, and even more impressive inside for those able to climb the 188 steps that connect five levels and a viewing platform at the top. Upon the walls of the first two levels are 16 bronze bas relief plaques depicting dramatized scenes of the American Revolution. Other interior decorative items include ornamental ceramic tile, brass moldings, stained glass and terracotta cornices.

The cornerstone contains a U.S. flag, a 1777 silver coin bearing the image of King George III, an 1877 U.S. silver half dollar, a memorial to the opening of the New York and Canada Railway, Bennington Battle Monument Association documents and 21 newspapers.

The inside of the monument has been closed for repairs for a few years but the National Park Service put out this statement earlier this week,

"We're excited to announce that the Saratoga Monument will open Saturday, August 12! It will be open 10 am to 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays through October 15. This is your chance to check out this fascinating structure and climb the 188 steps to the top for a beautiful view of the surrounding area. Perhaps you will even come to love obelisks as much as 19th century Americans did! The Saratoga Monument is located on Burgoyne St. in the Village of Victory."

The next time you're in Schuylerville visiting the Gerald B. Solomon National Cemetery or the Saratoga National Historic Park Battlefield, plan some extra time to visit the monument. I know you'll be glad you did.

To read more posts about historical sites in Saratoga, check out my blog Directory under the Category: New York

Credit for narrative: National Park Service website

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