SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (February 9, 2018) — During the 1800s and early 1900s, Saratoga Springs was a magnet for the rich and famous during the summer season.

Talk Blog

On Thursday, Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. at The Summit at Saratoga (1 Perry Road, Saratoga Springs), Charlie Kuenzel, co-owner of Saratoga Tours LLC, will give a presentation titled, “Lillian Russell and Diamond Jim Brady: A Saratoga Love Affair?”

“Lillian Russell was the nation's premier singer/actress of that time and she travelled the world performing in operettas and theatre,” said Kuenzel. “She often visited the Spa City and was seen many times accompanied by Diamond Jim Brady, a wealthy businessman, who made his fortune in the railway industry and was well known for his love of jewels, especially diamonds.

“Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, Brady had a public flirtation with Russell and he wooed her with beautiful jewels, which she wore to the race track, casino and lavish Gilded Age parties. Their relationship provided prime gossip material for the porches of Saratoga's hotels during the summer months,” he added. “But was it a love affair, or was it just a deep friendship? We will explore their special relationship and how they perfectly complemented one another.”

Kuenzel is a native Saratogian who spent three decades as a science educator in the Saratoga Springs City School District before retiring in 2000. Today, he and his partner Dave Patterson, educate and entertain thousands of Saratoga visitors with fascinating stories about The Spa City’s architectural styles, resort location and mineral baths’ curative powers.

The presentation is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Reserve your place by calling (518) 430-2136, or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Light refreshments will be served. For directions to the community, please click here.