TOWN OF MALTA.
The town of Malta is bounded on the north by Saratoga Springs, on the east by
Stillwater, on the south by Clifton Park and Half moon, and on the west by Baliston and Milton. Its surface is
chiefly undulating. The Kayaderosseras creek forms a part of the northern boundary. The Mourning kill passes through
the northwestern corner of the town. The outlet of Baliston lake flows southeasterly through the northwestern part
and empties into Round lake. Anthony's kill, the outlet of Round lake, flows easterly. These are the principal
streams in the town. A portion of Saratoga lake occupies the northeastern corner of Malta, and Round lake-lies
in the extreme southern part of the town. The Delaware & Hudson Railroad enters the town at Round Lake and
passes in a northwesterly direction to East Line, thence northward.
The first settlements in Malta were made by two men named Drummond and McKelpin, who located on the west shore
of Saratoga lake. John Hunter and Ashbel Andrews located near Round lake about 1764. Michael Dunning settled at
Dunning Street about 1771 and opened a tavern. Samuel Smith had an early tavern at East Line.
Malta was formed from Stiliwater March 3, 1802. A portion of Saratoga was added March 28, 1805. The first town
meeting was held at the house of Michael Dunning, jr., April 6, 1802, when these officers were elected:
Supervisor, Samuel Clark; clerk, Ashbel Andrews, jr.; assessors, Joseph Rockwell, Luther L andon, Dean Chase; commissioners
of highways, Abraham Valentine, Ebenezer Dibble, Uriah Hawkins; overseers of the poor, William Dunning, Samuel
Gates; constables, Pontius Hooper, Eleazer Millard, jr.; collector, Pontius Hooper; overseers of highways, Obadiah
Tompkins, Elisha Wood, Si.muel Gregory, David Keeler, Reuben Doolittle, Jesse How, Cornelius Abeel, Stephen Ireland,
Timothy Shipman; fence-viewers, Obadiah Mather, Robert Hunter; pound.keeper, William Dunning.
The following have been supervisors of the town:
1802, Samuel Clark; 1803, Samuel Clark, jr.; 1804-1812, Ashbel Andrews, jr,; 1813- 1818, John Dunning; 1819-1822,
Palmer Cady; 1823-1826, Dennis Marvin; 1827, Samuel Hunter; 1828-1830, Palmer Cady; 1831-1832, Gould Morehouse;
1833-1835, Timothy Tripp; 1836, Gould Morehouse; 1837, Timothy Tripp; 1838, George Rogers; 1839, Robert Hunter;
1840, Timothy Tripp; 1841, David Coggeshall; 1842, George Burr; 1843, George Burr (held over; no choice at election);
1844, Oliver P.. Raymond; 1845, Samuel A. Doughty; 1846, Lewis J. Fish; 1847, William A. Collamer; 184.8, David
Rowley; 1849, James Van Hyning; 1850, George Rogers; 1851, John M. Olmstead; 1852, George Rogers; 1853, Peters
Sickler; 1854, Robert K. Landon; 1855, William D. Marvin; 1856, David Rowley; 1857, James Tripp; 1858-1859, Henry
Van Hyning; 1860, James Tripp; 1861-1862, A. Bentley; 1863, Peters Sickler; 1864-1865, James Tripp; 1866, Charles
Rogers; 186, Robert K. Laudon; 1868-1872, Henry Van Hyning; 1873-1874, William A. Collamer, jr.; 1875, Thomas Sweet;
1876- 1879, William A. Collamer, jr.; 1880-1882, Daniel C. Briggs; 1883, David N. Collamer; 1884-1885, George W.
Rowley; 1886, William A. Collamer; 1887-1889. James E. Lamb; 1890, Le Grand D. Bardin; 1891-1892, Everett W. Allen;
1893-1897, S. W. Pearse; 1898, Lafayette B. Collamer.
There are no villages in Malta. East Line is a small hamlet in the western boundary of the town. Dunning Street,
or Malta, is near the centre. Maltaville is just north of Round lake. Malta Ridge is in the northern part of the
town. Round Lake is the, principal centre of population.
Round Lake occupies an anomalous position among the residential localities of
Saratoga county and of New York State. About two hundred acres of land, most of which consists of a well kept grove
of tall trees, the major portion of which is inclosed on all sides by a fence, contain the colony controlled by
an incorporated body known as the Round Lake Association. The grounds lie west of the beautiful sheet of water
known as Round lake, three miles in circumference, and are picturesquely situated, being surrounded by sloping
hills and woods.
The place is not an incorporated village and probably never will become such. It is located in the town of Malta,
a little over nineteen miles from Troy, and thirteen miles from Saratoga Springs, on the Delaware & Hudson
railroad. The grove, most of the available space in which is filled with summer cottages and substantial residences,
some of which were erected at the expense of many thousand dollars,. is cut up by picturesque avenues. The west
side of the grounds is devoted to spacious lawns and attractive beds of flowers. In the centre of all is the spacious
auditorium, where, in the summer, are held many religious meetings, lectures, preachers' institutes and Sunday
school assemblies, and a regular annual musical festival occupying nearly an entire week, in which noted vocalists
and orchestras participate. Several fine hotels are located on the grounds, all but one of which, however, are
closed during the winter season. In the northwest corner of the grounds is Griffin Institute, built by Rev. Dr.
William Griffin, for many years president of the Round Lake Association. This building is used for the Round Lake
academy, a splendidly equipped school which is open all the year. On the edge of the bluff, in the southern part,
Stands the George West Museum of Art and Archeology, a handsome and well equipped structure built by the Hon. George
West of Baliston Spa, who has served the association as treasurer for many years. Garnsey Hall, Kennedy Hall, and
Alumni Hall complete the public and semi-public edifices. The Burnham house, built for hotel purposes, came into
the hands of the late Dr. Griffin, who directed that it be used as a dormitory for the academy.
In the summer of 1867 Joseph Hillman of Troy interested a number of other prominent Methodist laymen in the
project far forming an association to purchase a site for a camp-meeting ground. The present site of Round Lake
was finally selected, and September 20 of that year the first meeting of the projectors was held there. May 5,
1868, the State Legislature passed an act constituting Mr. Hillman and his associates the first trustees of "the
Round Lake Camp meeting Association of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the Troy Conference." The corporation
was permitted to possess real estate, not exceeding $150,000 in value, and to derive from its personal property
an annual income not exceeding $30,000. At the first meeting of the trustees, May 4, 1868, Joseph Hiliman was elected
president, Charles W. Pierce vicepresident, Edgar 0. Howland secretary, and George Bristol treasurer. April 1 following
about forty acres of land located on the west side of Round lake was purchased from Rice Hall and John Moore.
The first regular Troy Conference camp.meeting at Round Lake began September 1, 1868, those in attendance living
in tents or in wagons. Thirty discourses were delivered during the meeting. The attendance on Sunday, September
6, numbered about eight thousand persons.
In 1869 the work of improving the grounds on an elaborate scale began. More than a thousand young trees were planted
along the avenues outside the wood and at other points, and thirteen cottages and eight or nine other buildings
were erected.2 July 6 of that year the first meeting of the National Camp meeting Association began, nearly twenty
thousand persons being in attendance in one day.
From this time on many improvements and changes were made on the grounds. In 1872 the association granted the privilege
of regular summer residence to tho5e who owned or might rent cottages on the grounds, the season being limited
to the time from July 1 to October 1. In the spring of 1873 the Delaware and Hudson Canal company built a spacious
and attractive passenger station at the western entrance to the grounds. July 15, 1874, President Ulysses S. Grant
visited the grounds and attended the first "fraternal camp meeting." He was introduced to the people
assembled by Bishop James and was greeted with prolonged applause. Later in the year the area of the grounds was
greatly enlarged by the purchase of sixty five acres of land on the west side of the railroad. Subsequently fifteen
acres were added on the north side of the property. Avenues and building lots were laid out on a part of the new
On Saturday, July 10, 1875, the work of drilling a mineral well near the southwest corner of Burlington and George
avenues was begun, the association having been assured by geologists that mineral water could be obtained by boring
through the strata of Hudson river shale. September 11 the drill penetrated a spring at a depth of more than thirteen
hundred feet from the surface. When the well had been drilled to the depth of fourteen hundred and three feet and
was tubed, an analysis of the water showed that its composition differed little from the water of the Congress
spring at Saratoga Springs. Some time after the completion of the work a torpedo was exploded in the well, since
which time there has been no flow of water.
The first Sunday school assembly held on the grounds began its sessions July 22, 1877. The following year Rev.
W. W. Wythe, M. D., the designer of the topographical representation of the land of Pal. estine at Chautauqua,
constructed a similar structure on the west side of the lake. The plot was about five hundred feet in length, on
a scale of two and a half feet to the mile.
No meetings, excepting that of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of New York State were held on the grounds
in 1883 on account of the financial embarrassment of the association by reason of unremunerative improvements.
Affairs were finally adjusted and the meetings were resumed the following year.
Alumni hall, located on the south side of Whitfield avenue, was dedicated July 18, 1884. The building, a frame
structure, cost $1,900, and the money was contributed by the alumni and the friends of the Round Lake Alumni association.
The dedication of the new auditorium took place on Sunday, July 19, 1884, and was in charge of Rev. James P. Newman,
D. D. The building, one hundred and four by eighty feet, erected at a cost of $3,152.18, furnishes sittings for
two thousand people. The Summer school was established in 1886, the first director being James H. Worman, Ph.D.,
of Vanderbilt university.
The Round Lake waterworks system was constructed in 1887, the committee in charge of the work consisting of Charles
D. Hammond, M. B. Sherman, Silas Owen, E. A. Hartshorn and the Rev. William Griffin, D.D. A receiving reservoir
was constructed east of the supplying springs, west of the railroad, and fourteen hydrants were conveniently erectecL
The storage tanks had a capacity of 37,000 gallons. The sewerage of the grounds was also satisfactorily accomplished,
as no sewage contaminates the water of the lake. A new waterworks system was completed in 1896, and the place is
now supplied with the purest of spring water.
The M. B. Sherman Hose company was organized June 18, 1887, by the election of these officers: Charles P. Ide,
president; Marshall L. Barnes, vice-president; Charles D. Rogers, secretary; J. Frank Fellows, treasurer; A. B.
Batchelder, captain; Fred A. Converse, first assistant; T. N. Derby, second assistant
Griffin Institute, built by the Rev. William Griffin, D. D., at an expense of more than $15,000, was completed
in the summer of 1887. It has a frontage of eighty six feet and a depth of more than fifty feet.
The George West Museum of Art and Archaeology, the gift of the Hon. George West of Baliston Spa, constructed in
1887, cost the donor $17,000. It contains paintings, statuary, antiquities, curiosities, etc. It is the most conspicuous
building on the grounds. Garnsey Hall, built by Mrs. Caroline Garnsey, was erected in 1887 at an expense of $8,000.
Kennedy Hall cost $7,500 and was erected in the same year by Mrs. Nancy M. Kennedy.
A library of rapidly increasing proportions was established in 1896 through the efforts of Mrs. William Barker
In 1890 the Regents of the University of the State of New York chartered the Round Lake Summer Institute and subsequently
also extended the charter to the Round Lake Academy. The officers of this institute were: Rev. Dr. William Griffin,
president; Hon. George West, treasurer; Rev. B. B. Loomis, Ph. D., D. D., secretary; J. D. Rogers, registrar and
assistant treasurer, and other members of the board of trustees of the association to make twenty-one trustees
of the institute. The object of the institute was to carry on a system of summer education in the various branches,
secular and religious. The Griffin Institute, West Museum of Art and Archeaology, Garnsey and Kennedy Halls and
Alumni Hall are now the property of the Summer Institute, having been deeded to the trustees of the institute.
The late Dr. Griffin, who all through the latter years of his useful life had been giving his fortune to churches
and education, left his residuary estate to the Round Lake Association for the benefit of the Round Lake Summer
Institute. It is doubtful if, anywhere in the country, there can be found an institute which has grown up from
its comparatively small beginnings into so broad and varied facility for scattering blessings throughout a large
portion of the surrounding country.
The presidents of the Round Lake Camp-meeting association were:
May 1, 1868, to April 27, 1881, Joseph Hiliman; April 27, 1881, to October 19, 1886, Rev. Rodman H. Robinson, D.
D.; November 3, 1886, to July 19, 1887, Rev. William Griffin, D. D July 19, 1887, the name was changed to that
of "The Round Lake Association," its present title. Dr. Griffin became president of the new association,
remaining as such until his death, March 26, 1898. May 11, 1898, Charles D. Hammondof Albany was elected to succeed
him as president. Lewis Gage was superintendent of the association from 1868 to April 1, 1874. On that date he
was succeeded by Captain John D. Rogers, who still retains that office, and for years has been secretary and financial
secretary of the association.
Gradually Round Lake has developed from a small summer colony into a large and prosperous comthunity, with a winter
population of from three to four hundred and a summer population averaging 2,000. It contains nearly three hundred
residences, some of which were erected at considerable expense. Its future success as a summer resort is assured.