Grant will help mark 'Sword Surrender Site'

Plans moving along to modernize Saratoga's Revolutionary War history

— A $38,000 grant was awarded to The Friends of Saratoga Battlefield in December to pay for the construction of a new plaque to mark the “Sword Surrender Site” south of Schuylerville.

The grant was awarded by the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust and will be used to commission a bronze or brass relief sculpture that replicates the “Surrender of General Burgoyne” by John Trumbull, a well-known painting that hangs in the Capitol’s rotunda in Washington, D.C. The plaque will be installed at the historic 19-acre site where British General John Burgoyne surrendered his sword to American General Horatio Gates in 1777.

“The Solomon Trust grant will jump start the magnificent cultural landscape plan by Saratoga Associates for this key historic site recently purchased and protected by the Open Space Institute,” said Friends President Tim Holmes.

According to Holmes, the site will be a key feature for heritage tourism in the area, linking Saratoga Battlefield to sites in Schuylerville and Victory where the British retreated before their surrender. It is part of a larger project begun several years ago to link the Saratoga Battlefield in Stillwater to outlying historical areas to tell the region’s story of involvement in the Revolutionary War. That story includes sites like Schuyler House and the Saratoga Monument.

In early December, the group was awarded $191,000 from the state to purchase the former town hall on Ferry Street in Schuylerville to be turned into a state-of-the-art visitor’s center that will provide information about the battle in a modern way.

Holmes said interns from local colleges are working to develop applications that can be used on smartphones or tablets. As visitors tour the battlefield and outlying historical sites, they will be able to use the app to read historical information about the sites they visit, see pictures and watch videos.

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