Stop the car! Roadside attraction ahead

Vintage postcard, 1000 animals

Vintage postcard, 1000 Animals

It’s getting to be the summer road trip season and I’ve been thinking about all the great (and the cheesy) roadside attractions that littered the blue highways when I was a kid. Our family traveled a lot in the summer, and with three kids and a dog, just for sanity’s sake that meant a lot of stops for leg stretching and temper cooling.

We were regular visitors to places like Santa’s Workshop in Wilmington and Stirling Game Farm’s 1000 Animals in Lake Placid, to Frontier Town and Enchanted Forest. On longer trips we toured limestone caverns, shabby reptile zoos, obscure museums and other local marvels wherever we needed to cool the motor.

And we marked progess to our destination by oddities seen out the window that might not have merited a stopover, but were always pointed out for comment.

So I was interested to stumble across Roadside America this morning, a site that crowd-sources and maps out features of interest in all corners of the country. They include the usual North Country tourist destnations, but here are a few you may have missed out on:

  • Tuberculin Rabbit Shrine, Paul Smiths, NY. Plaque on island in Upper St. Regis Lake commemorates test rabbits released there by Edward Livingston Trudeau to study how tuberculosis spread in the natural environment.
  • Tiny Church with Indian Statue, Wellesley Island, NY. Tiny chapel in the woods (seats six) featuring wooden Indian sculpted by Carmen D’Avino.
  • Big Crow Statues, Fishers Landing, NY. Three huge crows sculptures in a field by artist Bill Salisbury
  • Handmade Russian Orthodox Tiny Church, Turin, NY. RA comments: “it reminds us of something transplanted from a Fairyland theme park.”
  • Painted Pig Rock, Speculator, NY. A porcine rock formation, minimally enhanced with paint
  • Elephant Rock in Adirondacks, Hague, NY. Oddly folded rock, transformed with a bit of paint into a massive pachyderm.
  • Veronica’s Garden – Folk Art, Croghan, NY. Veronica Terrillion began filling her three-acre yard with sculptures in 1954, and kept at it for almost 50 years.
  • Skull and Noose of Last Man Hanged in Essex County, Elizabethtown, NY. Henry Debosnys shot and stabbed his bride — they had been married only a few weeks — while riding in a buggy. He was hanged in 1883.

You do have to get out of the car and go into the Adirondack History Center Museum to see the last.

Have a great time on the road this summer – and stop poking your brother. Add in your favorite roadside stops and sights in a comment below.


1 Comment on “Stop the car! Roadside attraction ahead”

  1. Byron Whitney says:

    Actually the tuberculin rabbit plaque is on what’s known as Rabbit Island at the upper end of Spitfire Lake near the passage into Upper St. Regis. It is visible from the water.

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