The Judge Henry Walton Era

Woodlawn was the name given by Judge Henry Walton in 1824 when he acquired the current Skidmore campus property and built his Greek Revival mansion on it.  Walton, in fact, owned much of the land that became the northern part of Saratoga Springs.  He sold 130 acres of his holdings to Gideon Putnam who built a hotel on “Broad Way” (Walton’s spelling) and began laying out the village of Saratoga in 1805.

Walton Mansion 1820’s

Walton’s Mansion with spacious rooms was of very thick walls, cemented on the outside.  Its wide piazza roof was supported by four heavy masonry pillars.  It became a local landmark.

The first known map of this land was drawn by William Henry Walton (the Judge’s son who became an artist) in 1829.  It shows the Mansion to which the trail from (what is now) Clinton Avenue led.  Behind the mansion and partly surrounding the “Garden” are believed to be farm buildings.  Note the farm-related names given to several the parts of the property.  The wooded area around and to the north of the “Garden” is a first glimpse of what are now known as the North Woods.

First Woodlawn Parcel (detail)

The area labeled “Garden” is now Case Green on the Skidmore Campus.  The line of trees far to its left is where the Sussman Village Apartments are now located between the Jonsson Tower Lot and Clinton Avenue.  As is evident from the woods on the northern part of the property and the “Lawn” in the southern part that “Wood Lawn” (note the two word spelling of the name) as Walton first named it was an apt name.

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