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North Bath is modelled on Ballston Spa, New York, whose geography and history align with the details given in the book and the film - specifically, proximity to Albany and the Adirondack Northway and the decline of the town coincident with the depletion of its mineral springs. A down-on-its heels town at the time the book is set, Ballston Spa has seen something of a downtown revival since then. Author Richard Russo grew up in Gloversville, 40 minutes west of Ballston Spa.Rival and more prosperous town Schuyler Springs is modelled on Saratoga Springs, four miles north of Ballston Spa.
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