Elmira College was originally founded as a women’s college in 1855. Located in the heart of Elmira, NY, the college initially enrolled nearly 1200 students, and was one of the first institutions in the world to grant baccalaureate degrees to women equal to those of men. The school has been coeducational since 1969, but the student body has remained relatively the same size it was in 1855. The college also had a deep connection with noted American humorist and author Samuel Clemens, and today houses the Center for Mark Twain Studies. Throughout its history, a number of unexplained events have been reported on campus.
Established in 1851, Evergreen Cemetery in Owego covers 51 acres of a beautifully landscaped, terraced hillside. Two stone pillars and a large iron gate mark the entrance, while small streams and stone fences meander across grounds. A wide variety of stone markers and monuments mark the sites were those who worked and lived in Tioga County over the last two centuries as buried. There are also unique sections devoted to veterans of the Civil War and firefighters. One of the most visited gravesites in the cemetery is that of a young Indian maidenknown as Sa-Sa-Na Loft, who died in a tragic train accident after visiting Owego in 1852. This gravesite is also the epicenter of a number of eerie tales.
In this web exclusive clip, Professor Tucker explains the tradition of leaving tokens and coins at Sa-Sa-Na Loft's grave.
In 1870, Sherman Phelps, a successful businessman and banker, built a three-story brick Victorian mansion on Court Street in Binghamton, NY. Phelps would later serve as mayor of Binghamton. Isaac G. Perry, who later became the chief architect of the State Capital Building in Albany, NY, designed the Phelps mansion. In 1973, the mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic American Buildings. In 2005, the mansion opened to the public as a museum.
In 1907 Alonzo Roberson Jr., finished construction on his large Italian renaissance revival styled mansion that had taken him three years to build. The home, built along the prestigious Front Street and Riverside Drive area of Binghamton, included an elevator, central heat, combination gas and electric lighting fixtures, and a dumb waiter. At the time of his death, Alonzo willed his home to the city to be used as an educational facility. In 1954 the mansion became the Roberson Memorial Center. Over the next half-century, The Roberson Museum and Science Center has transformed and expended into a regional educational facility.
West of Owego, old Route 17c rises to crest a large hill. For over two hundred years, this road has served as a vital artery of trade and travel. At the top of this hill, there was once a sharp curve in the road – known to locals as the Devil’s Elbow. The Devil’s Elbow has been the site of a number of paranormal tales. From the time of horse drawn carriages to today, travelers along this highway have reported encounters with a phantom hitchhiker in white who seems to wander this section of road for eternity.
Hyde Hall, located near Cooperstown, NY, is considered one of the finest examples of a neoclassic country mansion in the United States. George Clarke (1768-1835), a prominent and wealthy landowner, modeled his home after the great estates of England. Construction began in 1817, and it took almost 17 years to complete the sprawling mansion complex. Hyde Hall was home to five generations of the Clark family, however by the the mid-1900s, the mansion and outbuildings had fallen into disrepair. The Friends of Hyde Hall, now Hyde Hall Inc., formed in 1964 to help restore and preserve the house.
Actor Andrew Criss speaks with WSKG's Bill Snyder about the new play Mr. Hart and Mr. Brown, being performed by the Chenango River Theatre. Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham' s play is based on a real-life historical figure and the the young reporter who discovers more about Hart than he is comfortable knowing. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1036680.mp3
Festival chair Jessica Vecchione speaks with WSKG's Bill Snyder about the Catskill Mountains Film Festival. The deadline for entries is March 21st. The Festival is looking to encourage regional filmmakers to work together, with special emphasis on creativity in young filmmakers. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1031936.mp3
Illustration courtesy of the Catskill Mountains Film Festival.