Saratoga is blessed with naturally carbonated mineral springs. These waters originate in bedrock layers 100 to 1000 feet below the earth's surface and rise through a crack in the earth called the McGregor Fault. Carbon dioxide gas in the water forces it to flow through the openings at or near the surface of the earth, creating spouters or spouting springs.
By the mid-19th century, an entire industry devoted to "taking the waters" had developed here. Grand hotels were built, and bathhouses and drink halls were constructed, where patrons could sample the waters and benefit from their curative powers. Local spring water was bottled and shipped worldwide.
By 1900, commercial pumping of water and carbon dioxide gas had endangered the flow and quality of the springs. A Committee of Concerned Citizens lobbied the State legislature to preserve the springs, and the Anti-Pumping Act of 1908 was passed. Gas companies, however, continued pumping while challenging the act in the courts. In 1909, New York State passed a bill creating a State Reservation where all of the springs, now under state control, would be protected.
In 1930, construction of the "New Spa" began. His complex of buildings, landscaped malls, and naturalized paths and springs, modeled after European spas, can still be enjoyed
Mohawk Indians at the High Spring
The Iroquois recognized the healing powers of the mineral waters long before the settlers came to the area in the 18th century and discovered the springs' medicinal quality for themselves
Lincoln Bathhouse - Spring 1915
The old Natural Carbonic Gas Company plant was remodeled into the Lincoln Baths.
Bus to Lincoln Baths
Regular transportation was provided between the baths and the village of Saratoga Springs.
Roosevelt Bathhouse II
When the Roosevelt Bathhouse II was constructed, it was considered the most modern and well equipped in the world. Almost all the buildings you see in Saratoga State Park today were constructed in the 1930s during the park's development as a health spa.
Lincoln #12 Pump House
The Lincoln #12 is one of eight pump houses near the Washington and Lincoln Baths. The pumps circulated water in the Lincoln Spring Grid underground to large tanks where it was held for drinking or for hydrotherapy. Today, this water is used in the mineral baths and is available for drinking at several locations.
Hayes Spring, 2002
Each spring varies in mineral content and taste, so we encourage you to sample the waters during your visit.