PBS series ‘Travels with Darley’ tapes in Saratoga County; Series to focus on Revolutionary War history

Darley Newman, star of the PBS series 'Travels with Darley' speaks to the media inside the Old O'Brien Inn

SARATOGA COUNTY – Darley Newman, the host of the PBS series “Travels with Darley” is assisting Saratoga County as it counts down to the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga by exploring the county’s rich Revolutionary War history.

Following a railbike tour in Hadley, Newman, who has been shooting the series in the county since Sunday, stopped by the Olde Bryan Inn, which had been owned by American Revolutionary War hero Alexander Bryan.

It is believed that Bryan spied on the British during the war, having gained their trust, and later used that position to warn American soldiers about an impending attack by the British, which came to be known as the Battle of Saratoga.

That battle was a turning point of the war.

“People think of history as in the past and it is but people are still studying and learning new things,” Newman said. “We’ve been sharing stories that I think are going to be surprising for people and will make them think in a new way about the past.”

Newman and county historian Lauren Roberts met in Virginia in March 2022 when Roberts, who is also the chairwoman of the county commission and member of the state commission overseeing the 250th anniversary celebrations, was at a conference with other state commissions to discuss the upcoming commemorations.

“We thought that partnering with her would be a really great idea to get the word out about all of the things you can do here in Saratoga County related to the Revolution,” Roberts said. “I think it’s one of the hidden gems that we have here. They’ve heard of the battlefield but there are all these other sites.”

Some of those places include the Schuyler House, the Saratoga Monument and the surrender site, Roberts said.

“We’re just as important as the turning point as all of those other sites, so it’s important that we bring that out and let people know–go to Boston, go to Philadelphia– but Saratoga is also a place you can explore both with historic sites and modern amenities,” Roberts said.

She said the goal of the lead up to the 250th anniversary is to educate people, promote heritage tourism and continue with historic preservation in the county.

Newman hopes that by showcasing the history of Saratoga and sharing some untold stories people will learn more about not only the country but themselves.

“I just think it’s really great when we can all be more educated about culture and history and the world–what people ate, how people dressed — all of these things play into us knowing more about ourselves in a way,” she said.

One of her favorite parts of her time in Saratoga County was getting to go on the Hadley Railbike Tours.

“It was really beautiful,” she said. “I love being outside in nature and I think when you combine nature and history it’s a really winning combination.”

The railbike tour takes people along tracks that go over a bridge, which overlooks the historic Hadley Bow Bridge.

On Monday, Newman toured the Saratoga National Historic Park with a forest ranger and park interpreter where they talked about the topography and terrain.

She plans to visit a number of other places while in town, including the Saratoga Surrender Site, Saratoga Monument and Schuyler Mansion Historic Site, Roberts said.

Olde Bryan Inn manager John Kosek said it’s exciting to have Newman taping at the restaurant.

“There’s a lot of history here,” he said.

The series, which is set to air in January, will also feature stories from South Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia.

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