Recommended by the New York Times, August 2007!!!

Tour and a Book

Our most popular activity for groups

Guests (your group of at least 15) are treated to a first person tour of the Batcheller Mansion by Mr. Batcheller (Hollis Palmer.) Those who participate receive a copy of one of Hollis’ books (he has written twelve). The entire experience takes about 90 minutes and allows guests to appreciate what it was like to live in the Victorian house the New York Times called “Saratoga’s Crowning Glory.”


The Batcheller Mansion was built and furnished for a cost estimated at $100,000 in 1874. They rushed to complete the house in time for a reception for President Grant.

By 1974 the house was abandoned after last serving as a boarding house. The story of the dilapidated condition of the house has been told so many times that it would sound like exaggerated lore if it were not true. To those in the city, it appeared that what was once its crowning glory would join many other old buildings in the city, meeting its ultimate fate at the hands of the wrecking ball.

In 1974 a young attorney purchased the house for $40,000. He chose not to destroy the house but rather to restore it to its previous grandeur. In the next decade he poured over $200,000 into the house. Still unfinished but on its way back, the house was sold in 1984 to its current owner who has invested several times that amount.

Located one block off Broadway, and on one of the most utilized routes to the track, the restored mansion became the unofficial emblem of the city.

Please note: The Mansion has stairs only, there is no elevator.

Click here for scheduling and rates.