As the American struggle for independence intensified, Saratoga became a focal point of warring activities. Both colonists and loyalists maintained forts, camps, and officer headquarters within town. In 1777, after the two Battles of Saratoga, American forces gained the surrender of British
Gen. John Burgoyne, thus turning the tide of the Revolutionary War. The name Saratoga comes from the Mohawk word meaning either “place of the swift water” or “hillside country of the great river.” True to its name, the town spreads across rolling hills along the western side of the Hudson River. The river itself, together with two early main roads and a canal, brought prosperity to the area. Saratoga became a major shipping terminal. The town boundaries changed several times throughout the years, but the rural character of the town and the spirit of its residents remained constant.