Anthony, Mabel “Biddie”. 1999. “An Oral Narrative Recorded by Courtney Reid.” West Side Oral Narrative Project: Transcribing Discourse and Diversity in Saratoga Springs, New York, Annotated Transcript No. 5, April 28, 2021
Michael C. Ennis-McMillan, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Elijah McKee, Class of 2021
Mary Ann Cardillo Fitzgerald, WSONP Co-founder and City Historian of Saratoga Springs, UWW Class of 2000
May 18, 1999
Annotated Transcription Publication Date
April 28, 2021
Congress Street, sporting district, Black-owned businesses, Black history, gambling, sex work, food habits
Mable “Biddie” Anthony (1916-2015) moved from Pittsburgh to Saratoga Springs in 1940, when her husband, Marvin “Butch” Anthony began managing the Hill Top Inn on Congress Street. Biddie poignantly reflects on sweeping changes she saw in the city over her lifetime. She recounts her first impressions of Saratoga’s winters, the summer crowds, and how she learned about the city’s sporting district, which included musical entertainment, bars and restaurants, dancing, gambling, and brothels. From her experiences of living and working on Congress Street, Biddie creates a mental map of homes and businesses, including Hattie’s Chicken Shack, the Golden Grill, and Jack’s Harlem Club. She made many friends while holding numerous jobs, including writing numbers, bartending, waitressing, cooking, and housekeeping for different families. She maps out her family’s roots in Virginia and Pennsylvania and shares her views on identifying as a Black woman and a Blackfoot Indian. She also discusses her immediate family, including her daughters, Suzanne and Michelle. [Interview duration: 01:03:02]
Anthony, Mabel “Biddie”. 1999. “An Oral Narrative Recorded by Courtney Reid.” West Side Oral Narrative Project: Transcribing Discourse and Diversity in Saratoga Springs, New York, Annotated Transcript No. 5, April 28, 2021, edited by Michael C. Ennis-McMillan, Elijah McKee, and Mary Ann Cardillo Fitzgerald. Saratoga Springs, NY: Scribner Library, Skidmore College.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.