Thursday, July 21, 2016

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Crackerjack

It's already hot and it is only 5am in the morning. Sun is out and it is bright bright. Heading for Syracuse for day one of four day journey to grab some Americana sites, National Historic Landmarks and INK, cancellation stamps for the National Park Tour.

As usual we are heading out the Mass Pike to get out of town. We had to stop multiple times to adjust this, check that and just get into the comfort zone of riding. Hit the Mass Pike right around 8 and headed west. First stop was the Upper Housatonic Valley NHA Housatonic Valley Association on RT 102 in South Lee. Fast on and off the Mass Pike. I am guessing it is around 9:30 or so and they are not open. Off to a good start, a BUST !!

Crystal was hungry and there is suppose to be a Subway right around here according to the GPS. Second BUST where the GPS had it, NO Subway. I figured it was up in Lee Premium Outlet Mall. Lots of separate buildings with Brooks Brothers, Clarks (I use to love their Wallabees), J Crew, Lacoste (I use to wear their polo shirts, the ones with the little alligator before they were even popular. Pricey even back in the 70's), Tommy Hilfiger and a food court. Third BUST, Subway wasn't open yet. Really !!

Back on the road, picking up the Mass Pike to get thru Albany. Hit Rotterdam, NY and jump off onto NY 58 for the Mabee Farm Historic Site. This is a 2 for, has INK for the National Park Tour and on the National Register.

The property was first acquired by Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen in 1671. He purchased the property from the Mohawks and received a grant for the patent in 1680 from the English Governor Edmund Andros. It is the oldest house still standing in the Mohawk Valley. Wikipedia

Just up the street is Lock E10 Crainesville on the Erie Canal. This is just east of Amsterdam. It right across the street from Cushing Stone Company that left white crap all over the back of the Spyder. All of the signs say Florida, NY and it feels like Florida.

Right next door to the lock is the Adirondack Power and Light Company generating plant. I just can't resist old industrial buildings. Originally a steam electric plant put into operation in 1922. It was designed by the world famous architectual firm of McKim, Mead and White of New York City and is located on the south side of the Mohawk River near Lock 10 of the Erie Barge Canal. This abandoned power plant is now used for storage by the Cranesville Block Co. No wonder there is no steam coming out of the smokestacks.

Headed right thru Amsterdam. There is a VW that sits atop a smokestack as you are leaving town. I did not stop and take a pic since I took one a couple years ago. Just a couple miles away is the first Americana site of the day. On Johnson Ave near ONeil St is a rock with a plaque on it, commemorating the last Revolutionary War Battle.

The Battle of Johnstown was fought in Johnstown, New York. It was one of the last battles in the Northern theatre of the American Revolutionary War, with approximately 1400 engaged at Johnstown on October 25, 1781. Wikipedia

We are about 1/2 the way across New York, but we keep zig zagging creating a saw tooth path. Glimmerglass State Park sits on NY 31 and is home to Hyde Hall. We pulled up to the gate and told the kid all I wanted was a picture of the mansion and did not intend to stay. He says you are just going up and back, Yup was my response and he let us in without paying the $7 entrance fee. Hyde Hall is a National Historic Landmark

Hyde Hall is a neoclassical country mansion designed by architect Philip Hooker for George Clarke (1768–1835), a wealthy landowner. When built it was the largest private home in the United States. Constructed between 1817 and 1834, it is one of the finest American houses. It combines the architectural traditions of England and America. Wikipeidia

One of the foreman working on the house was passing us and told me the houses back then didn't have foundations like we know them today, so they used gravel around the house for the water run off or something. He then said the gravel was also put down so the owners inside could hear approaching people since it would create a crunching noise as they walked on the gravel. If we were that game BULLSHIT, I might have to call bullshit, instead I simply responded REALLY ??

Not to far away is Cooperstown, where the Baseball Hall of Fame is located and the 2nd Americana Tour stop of the day. Man the place was crowded. Quick pic and we are outta here.

The Hall of Fame was founded in 1939 by Stephen Carlton Clark, the owner of a local hotel. Clark had sought to bring tourists to a city hurt by the Great Depression, which reduced the local tourist trade, and Prohibition, which devastated the local hops industry. A new building was constructed, and the Hall of Fame was dedicated on June 12, 1939. Wikipedia

In Utica, we stopped at the New York State Lunatic Asylum at Utica, a National Historic Landmark.

The Utica Psychiatric Center, also known as Utica State Hospital, opened in Utica on January 16, 1843. t was New York's first state-run facility designed to care for the mentally ill, and one of the first such institutions in the United States. In 1978 the last patients were transferred to other care facilities and the hospital was closed. It is now an unoccupied, run-down building that is being used as a records archive for the New York State Office of Mental Health. Wikipedia

There is something about these old asylums. We have probably stopped at least 20 of these places over the years. Architecturally they are suppose to create an atmosphere of calm and serenity for the patients. To me they look like a place on American Horror Story for the sole purpose of torturing folks.

Chittenango is the last stop of the day, just outside of Syracuse where we are staying. We captured both INK here for the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and it is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Chittenango Landing Dry Dock Complex provided dry dock for canal boats on the old Erie Canal. The original complex was built in 1856 and abandoned after this section of the "enlarged" Erie canal was bypassed by the new barge canal in 1917. Wikipedia

Miles for the day, right around 350.

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