Before and after the Battles of Saratoga John Neilson farmed these heights, located at Stop #2 along the park's auto tour road. Today his restored home looks much as it did when Generals Arnold and Poor used it for quarters in 1777. This single-room house may be small, but the panoramic view from the porch is larger than life! Be sure to stop by and chat with our dedicated rangers and volunteers to learn about this historic structure.
Season: Memorial Day through Columbus Day, weather permitting
Hours vary depending on staff and volunteer schedules. Please check with park staff at the front desk in the visitor center, or call (518) 670-2985 before your visit.
"On the summit of the height, three fourths of a mile northwest of Bemis’s, [John Neilson] owned a clearing of a few acres when the war broke out, and he had...a small dwelling...thereon. The dwelling...is still there."—Benson Lossing, 1848
Fortifying the High Ground
John took Lydia and their possessions to the safety of her parents’ home in Stillwater. He then exchanged his home for a tent, serving with his local militia regiment—some of whom would be encamped nearby.
Use of the House
The American army used this house as a divisional and brigade headquarters. Ephraim Woodworth’s house, 1/2 mile south of Neilson’s, was headquarters for the American army commanding general, Horatio Gates.
After the Battles
John and Lydia returned shortly after the army’s departure and began restoring the farm. Their crops had been ravaged, and their fields torn up. John filed a damage claim in May 1778, in the amount of £100 (about three times a soldier’s annual salary), but he was not reimbursed.
Last updated: September 2, 2021