SARATOGA SPRINGS — The region’s contributions to American history and its role in the birth of the nation will receive a prominent boost in the new year with an appearance on a nationally broadcast popular PBS series.
Darley Newman - producer and host of the long-running “Travels with Darley,” was in town this week, filming segments for the series that will launch in January.
“This area is interesting because it’s a big part of the story,” said Newman, taking advantage of some down-time during filming to speak with journalists at the Old Bryan Inn in Saratoga Springs this week. “Saratoga was a turning point and really is significant in the shaping of America. It was a big part of what turned the American Revolution.“
Newman was in town with a film crew for a five-day run, arriving Sunday, Sept. 24 and working through Thursday, Sept. 28.
Monday’s filming tour took place along the eastern edge of the county and visited Saratoga National Historical Park - home of the battlefield and the infamous Benedict Arnold “Boot” monument. Tuesday explored Hadley’s Revolution Rail and Saratoga Springs, and Wednesday’s focus captured the historic Schuylerville region and adjoining communities, with pre-planned visits to the Schuyler House, the Saratoga Monument, and the sword Surrender Site.
Saratoga County Historian Lauren Roberts accompanied Newman for much of the visit. Roberts also serves as Chair of the Saratoga County 250th Anniversary Commission. The 250th anniversary celebrating the Turning Point of the American Revolution will reach full fruition in 2027.
“I think it’s great when we can be more educated about culture and history in the world. What people see, how people dress,” Newman said.
“All these things play into knowing more about ourselves because this is all part of our past. I mean, my grandparents came from Sweden and Finland. They were immigrants. So I haven’t been in America that long but I still feel that it’s all part of my history, too,“ she said.
Newman began showcasing her work on PBS in 2007 with the series “Equitrekking” – “I went horseback riding around the world,” she explained – and her latest long-running series, “Travels with Darley,” has been broadcast on PBS since 2016 and depicts 10 seasons which have included episode visits to everywhere from Istanbul, Turkey to Seoul, South Korea.
The Revolutionary War Trip segments launch in January 2024. Newman’s visit to Saratoga County follows earlier journeys to South Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey for the series.
“We’re taking a look back at the history of the American Revolution, but from the perspective of places that you can still visit today,“ Newman said. “We still find there are so many mysteries - things people are thinking about and still trying to solve. You read your normal history that you might learn about school – when I learned about the American Revolution I felt like it might be a little dry, but now when you get to go out and meet people you get new things coming to light.”