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Upstate Uncovered
100 Unique, Unusual, and Overlooked Destinations in Upstate New York
Upstate Uncovered
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Chuck D'Imperio - Author
Excelsior Editions
Price: $27.95 
Paperback - 466 pages
Release Date: May 2017
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6370-4


Summary Read First Chapter image missing

An exciting travel guide for Upstate New York road warriors, history lovers, and tourists.

In Upstate Uncovered Chuck D’Imperio mines deep into his travel journal and shares an astonishing array of fun and amazing places in Upstate New York that the casual traveler might otherwise miss. As one of Upstate’s most ardent advocates, D’Imperio has traveled the backroads and byways of the region seeking out the stories, tales, and folklore writ upon the landscape. He takes readers to one hundred small towns and cities from the Hudson Valley to the High Peaks of the Adirondacks and out through the rolling hills of the Finger Lakes region. Not only a reflection of “the road less traveled,” Upstate Uncovered includes pertinent information such as websites, photographs, personal interviews, and explicit directions to each of the included entries. While flipping through the pages, readers will be amazed at what turns up around every backroads corner in the region.

“This is the kind of insider-tourism knowledge that can only come from someone who loves a particular area and has spent a good portion of their life enjoying and exploring it. This is homegrown tourism done right, with enthusiasm, humor, and heart … immensely charming.” — Manhattan Book Review

“…invites readers to explore a delightful array of sights in Upstate New York.” — Syracuse Post-Standard

“This book is a delight. It’s raw meat for people (like me) who love to find and enjoy obscure historical treasures, but it is much more. Anyone who lives or travels in Upstate New York will be surprised and delighted at how much there is to discover and enjoy there. The nation’s smallest church? The grave of ‘The Moses of her people?’ New York’s biggest pair of pants? The town where ‘Oz’ began? A two-story outhouse? (You read it right.) The birthplace of The Twilight Zone? They’re all here, and more, in witty, warm, and lucid prose. Enjoy. You will.” — Mac Nelson, author of Twenty West: The Great Road Across America

“Upstate New York—the area north of New York City—is full of interesting and historically significant places to visit, explore, and enjoy. Much of its history has been slighted or overlooked. Chuck D’Imperio seems to have visited just about every community in New York in the course of his research for Upstate Uncovered and previous excellent books on the region. D’Imperio has a flair for descriptive and evocative writing, bringing history to life through his on-site interviews and shrewd historical observations. This is exciting history, well told, and engaging. Even readers who know New York history will find lots of surprises and new insights. Upstate Uncovered conveys a deep sense of the variety, vitality, and drama of Upstate New York’s history.” — Bruce W. Dearstyne, author of The Spirit of New York: Defining Events in the Empire State’s History

Chuck D’Imperio is a well-known radio personality in Upstate New York and the author of several books that celebrate the region, including Monumental New York! A Guide to 30 Iconic Memorials in Upstate New York, Unknown Museums of Upstate New York: A Guide to 50 Treasures, and A Taste of Upstate New York: The People and the Stories Behind 40 Food Favorites. He lives in Oneonta.

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Table of Contents

Upstate Uncovered is divided into five loosely defined geographical regions to help readers create their own itineraries when seeking out sites covered in the book.


Western New York

Including parts of Allegany, Chautauqua, Erie, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, and Steuben Counties

1. Angelica: “Roque Is the Name of the Game”

2. Avoca: “A Night on the Rails”

3. Belfast: “The Champion’s Barns”

4. Buffalo: “The Birthplace of the Buffalo Chicken Wing”

5. Buffalo: “The Oldest Active Fireboat in the World”

6. Canisteo: “The World’s Largest Living Sign”

7. Chautauqua: “The Queen of the Lake”

8. Dansville: “Upstate’s Angel of Mercy”

9. Dunkirk: “The First Shots of the War of 1812”

10. East Aurora: “America’s Five-and-Dime Store”

11. Irondequoit: “America’s Oldest Miniature Golf Course”

12. Jamestown: “I Love Lucy”

13. Lackawanna: “A Church for Father Baker”

14. Lockport: “The Flight of Five”

15. Mayville: “Oh, If These Walls Could Only Talk”

16. Westfield: “The President’s Whiskers”

Finger Lakes

Including parts of Cayuga, Chemung, Onondaga, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates Counties

17. Auburn: “The Moses of Her People”

18. Canandaigua: “The Chosen Spot”

19. Horseheads: “Zim’s Bandstand”

20. Lyons: “The Oldest Movie and Stage Theater in Upstate”

21. Penn Yan: “The World’s Largest Pancake Griddle”

22. Phelps: “America’s Only Two-Story Brick Outhouse”

23. Seneca Falls: “It’s a Wonderful Life”

24. Skaneateles: “A Jolly Olde Tyme”

25. Skaneateles: “The Mail Must Go Through”

26. Waterloo: “We Will Never Forget”

27. Wolcott: “An Eerie Moonscape along Sodus Bay”

Central New York

Including parts of Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Fulton, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, and Schoharie Counties

28. Amsterdam: “The Ragman’s Son”

29. Auriesville: “The Church of Seventy-Two Doors”

30. Bainbridge: “Stick with Us”

31. Binghamton: “Walking Distance”

32. Canajoharie: “The Last of the Dummy Lights”

33. Cardiff: “America’s Greatest Hoax”

34. Cherry Valley: “Drums along the Mohawk”

35. Chittenango: “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”

36. Cooperstown: “America’s Oldest Covered Bridge”

37. Cooperstown: “A Mighty Fine Guy”

38. Cortland: “Upstate’s ‘Nashville of the North’ ”

39. Danube: “The Oldest Missionary Church in New York”

40. Elmira: “The Battle at Sullivan’s Mountain”

41. Elmira: “The Birthplace of Huckleberry Finn”

42. Georgetown: “Built by Spiritual Hands”

43. Gilboa: “The Oldest Trees on Earth”

44. Hamilton: “A Sweet Commemoration”

45. Homer: “New York’s Biggest Pair of Pants”

46. Howe’s Cave: “New York’s Favorite Hole in the Ground”

47. Johnstown: “The Oldest Active Courthouse in New York State”

48. Middleburgh: “The Land of Tim Murphy”

49. Oneida: “The World’s Smallest Church”

50. Oneonta: “The Largest Indoor Barbecue Pit in the East”

51. Oneonta: “A Railroad Icon”

52. Pindars Corners: “The Senator’s Schoolhouse”

53. Rome: “Fill ’er Up!”

54. Sharon Springs: “Springs Village of Schoharie County”

55. Sherrill: “Free Love”

56. South Otselic: “An American Tragedy”

57. Syracuse: “The Shot (Clock) Heard Around the World”

58. Syracuse: “Green over Red”

59. Unadilla: “The Pride of the Village Beautiful”

60. Van Hornesville: “A Truly Remarkable Rural School”

Catskills, Hudson Valley, Capital District

Including parts of Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Orange, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Sullivan, Ulster, Washington,

Westchester, and Rockland Counties

61. Albany: “Upstate’s Most Beautiful Firehouse”

62. Albany: “His Master’s Voice”

63. Andes: “Lead Can’t Penetrate Steele”

64. Grafton: “Na-Mu-Myo-Ho-Ren-Ge-Kyo”

65. Hancock: “Eddie Murphy: The Last Honest Man”

66. Hoosick Falls: “Anyone Can Paint”

67. Mechanicville: “First Union Casualty of the Civil War”

68. Monticello: “The Bagel Capital of New York”

69. Mt. Tremper: “Jewels in a Catskill Silo”

70. New Paltz: “The Oldest Authentic Street in New York State”

71. New Windsor: “The First Purple Heart”

72. Ossining: “Up the River to the Big House”

73. Phoenicia: “On the Wings of Eagles”

74. Pomona: “America’s Oldest Family Fruit Farm”

75. Highland and Poughkeepsie: “A Walk in the Clouds”

76. Prattsville: “America’s First Civil War Monument”

77. Rensselaer: “The Birthplace of Yankee Doodle Dandy”

78. Salem: “The Old Burying Ground”

79. Saratoga Springs: “The Oldest Sporting Venue in America”

80. Schenectady: “The Oldest Barber Shop in New York State”

81. Schenectady: “Lawrence the Indian”

82. Schenectady: “The City (and Sign) that Lights the World”

83. Sleepy Hollow: “Tales of Sleepy Hollow”

84. Stamford: “A Watcher in the Woods”

85. Tappan: “Oldest Tavern in America”

86. Troy: “The Idea for the Ferris Wheel?”

87. Washingtonville: “America’s Oldest Winery”

88. Wilton: “Grant’s Last View”

North Country and Adirondacks

Including parts of Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington Counties

89. Cape Vincent: “America’s Oldest Family-Run Ferry”

90. Gouverneur: “The World’s Largest Roll of Life Savers”

91. Lake Placid: “God Bless America”

92. Malone: “Little House in the North Country”

93. North Creek: “Welcome Aboard, Mr. President”

94. Oswego: “The Last Active U.S. Army D-Day Invasion Ship”

95. Potsdam: “Upstate History Written in Stone”

96. Sackets Harbor: “Defender of the North”

97. Saranac Lake: “Little Red”

98. Watertown: “Oldest Indoor Shopping Mall in the United States”

99. Whitehall: “Birthplace of the American Navy”

100. Wilmington: “America’s First Theme Park”


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