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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

NEW YORK

“The Empire State”

 

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for New York

 New York is another one of the early colonies that eventually became a state.  Its long period of settlement has contributed many ghost towns to our interest list. 

 

There are old canal towns, lumbering centers, mining camps, frontier forts, resorts and other habitations worth looking for.

 

However, I have not had the opportunity to explore much of New York (other than NYC), so what remains at any of these sites is unknown to me. 

 

If you know of any ghost towns in the Empire State that are not listed here, or know the current status of towns listed with little information, please contact us…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

ADIRONDAK

Essex Co.

Old iron/titanium mining town. Class C ghost town. Last residents probably in the late 1940's early 1950's. Oldest building goes back to 1830's. It is off County (?) Highway 25, north of Newcomb, NY. Easier to give coordinates:

N 44.088279 deg   W 74.056064 deg.

Contributed by  Bruce Behan, Jul 01, 2004

 

I should have added that the town is also known as "Tahawus" (pronounced "Tah-hahs.") It is accessible to the public ( there is a tailhead parking lot there for one of the hiking trails) and I believe there are plans to preserve the town.

BB, Jul 02, 2004

 

SEE Tahawus (BELOW)  GBS

ALPINA

Lewis Co.

Iron forge community site north of Lake Bonaparte, at the northern point of the county, 15 miles north of the town of Natural Bridge.

BAILEYTOWN

Orange Co.

Baileytown is shown in the 5th Edition of DeLorme's NY State Atlas & Gazetteer.  It is near West Point.

BEAVER RIVER

Herkimer Co.

At the east end of Stillwater Reservoir, 10 miles east of the town of Stillwater, which is in the north end of the county, due east of Lowville.

CAMP SCHUYLER

Herkimer Co.

Near the Mohawk River, one mile east of Mohawk, & 1.5 miles south of Herkimer.

CANNONSVILLE

Delaware Co.

Now under one of the reservoirs that supply water to New York City.

DELAWARE & HUDSON CANAL

Sullivan Co.

Ghost canal and assorted gatehouses and other habitations.  There are many locations along this canal worth looking for.

DOODLETOWN

Rockland Co.

Doodletown in Rockland County NY was a town established prior to the American Revolution along the Hudson Valley.  It was inhabited until the 1960's when the state acquired the last piece of land as part of the Bear Mountain State Park. Most buildings have been torn down, however a mansion, hotel and a power plant still exist as well as a road (now little more than a path in the woods), a cemetery and other infrastructure still exists although somewhat overgrown and hidden in the woods.

Contributed by RPirong, August 27, 2006

ELLIS ISLAND

 

New York Co.*

SEE NOTE in text

In Upper New York Bay at the mouth of the Hudson River, southwest of the southern tip of Manhattan Island.  Access is by Ferry.  Ellis Island is a class C/F location. In 1998, the US Supreme Court split Ellis Island between NJ and NY.  This historic immigration station was an extremely busy, self contained island community that served as one of the busiest immigration stations in the country from 1892-1954.  PHOTO!

This was our Ghost Town of the Month for January/February 2009

FORT LEVIS

St. Lawrence Co.

A 1750s era French military post in the St. Lawrence River, on Chimney Island (Isle Royal) about 3.5 miles from Ogdensburg.

GIBSONVILLE

Livingston Co.

A paper mill town at the north end of Letchworth State Park, west of Mt. Morris.  It once had 40-50 houses, a hotel and several stores.

GREENWOOD FURNACE

Orange Co.

Just east of the NY State Thruway (I-87), four miles south of Harriman, and west of Echo Lake.

HAMMONDVILLE

Essex Co.

Hammondville is an abandoned iron village west of Crown Point, on the west side of Lake Champlain. Much of the ground in the area has collapsed, and exploration may be dangerous.  A few buildings are said to still be there.

HOGENCAMP

Orange Co.

This small iron mining camp was located in the center of Palisades Interstate Park, northwest of the SH 210/Seven Lakes Parkway interchange, east of I-87.  It supported the Hogencamp Iron Mine, which was in operation from 1861-1885.  Nothing but rubble remains.

KNOTLIMB

Orange Co.

Between the west bank of the Hudson River and the River Hills.  Actual location not determined. 

 

During 2004 and 2005 I rec'd a couple E-mails from folks about this town.

 

"I have information on the ghost town "Knotlimb". It in itself is not an actual place. This is part of an old legend from a book I read as a child. Can you share with me what you know of the town?" (I responded but never heard back - GBS)

AND

"How did you hear about "Knotlimb" ? Do you know the secret as I do? Perhaps we can help each other out on this one."

(I never heard back from them either - GBS)

 

My interest is picqued.  Does anyone out there know anything about Knotlimb? Is this a real place?  OR is it fictional?  I'd love to hear from you.  GBS

LOVE CANAL

Niagara Co.

A section of Niagara Falls called Love Canal was abandoned in the 1970's and 80's.  It was a huge media event, as President Carter declared a federal emergency at Love Canal.

 

The story goes as follows. Over the course of 20 years from the late 50's to 1978 people had been complaining of noxious odors and strange substances seeping through the ground in Love Canal.  It was during this time that Children in Love Canal were becoming very sick and many residents were falling victim to cancer in alarmingly high numbers.  Birth defects were extremely high as well.  An investigation in 1978 had shown that although it was not secret, many if not all of the residents of Love Canal were unaware that their neighborhood had been constructed on a toxic waste dump which has been active up until about 5 years before the first homes and school was built on the land.  Building foundations and sewers had punctured a clay seal placed over the toxic waste site.

 

Aside from the Toxic chemical waste dumped in the 40's and 50's.  The army had also used the site to dispose of waste from chemical weapons projects in the decades before.  Prior to that, the city of Niagara Falls had used the site for waste disposal as well. EPA tests confirmed chromosome damage in residents of love canal.  800 families were relocated.

 

All that remains of the west side is streets and the homes have been demolished. There are a handful of homes still standing on the east side.  The toxic area has been closed off and today some new development is taking place near the fence that separates the deadly zone from a less contaminated area.  The new area has been renamed Black Creek Village,  I'm assuming developers figured the stigma attached to the name Love Canal would keep people from moving in.

 

Contributed by RPirong, August 27, 2006

MODEL CITY

Niagara Co.

An industrial "utopia" east of Lewiston, and near the mouth of the Niagara River.

 

“Geoff” responded and added this info Aug 29, 2006

 

He found the site on Google maps and said: “If this (Google map location) is accurate, and that's where Model City was, it appears to be a business and a baseball park now. If you look at the hybrid picture the road is called Model City Road. I never knew that's what the name was about. That may or may not be Seneca Indian Nation Territory. If you follow Model City Road down the picture it’s not far from Indian Hill Road and the building you see on the right is a gas station on reservation land.

NEVERSINK FLATS

Sullivan Co.

Neversink Flats was submerged when the New York City Board of Water Supply built Neversink Dam in the Catskill Reservoir System.

ORANGE FURNACE

Orange Co.

This early day iron forge community was located just southeast of Lake Tiorati.  Exact location not determined.

PORTAGE

Livingston Co.

Early 1900s era resort in the southern end of Letchworth State Park, just north of Portageville.  It died in the 1930s.

RICHBURG

Allegany Co.

Oil boomtown on Little Genessee Creek, in the southwest corner of the county.  On SH 275, two miles northeast of Bolivia.

SHARON SPRINGS

AKA – New Dorlach

Schoharie Co.

This class E recent semi-ghost town was a great resort town through the 1940’s.  It smells like sulfur because it happens to have several sulfur springs which were believed to have healing properties.  It was settled by the Hasidic Jews who were banned from Saratoga Springs, NY.  There are giant run-down and abandoned hotels and several abandoned bath houses.  It has some great photo opportunities and is one of the most beautiful, charming and creepy towns I have ever visited.  It’s about 30-40 min. outside of Albany.

 

It is located at the “edge of the Catskill Mountains, overlooking the beautiful Mohawk Valley” (Chamber of Commerce)

Contributed by Claire Phelan  (November 14, 2006)

 

For a detailed history on this historic old community check here:  http://sharonspringschamber.com/history.htm

ST. HELENA

Livingston or

Wyoming Co.

A sawmill town east of Silver Springs, at the north end of Letchworth Park.  Exact location not determined.

 

The following info was submitted Jan 30, 2004 by Dale B.

 

St Helena, New York is sorta my neck of the woods. It used to be a sawyer town, but to the best of my recollection there is nothing left of the operation. I took a rafting trip down through the gorge when I was about 15 or so, but I don't remember seeing any building foundations. St Helena was located along the Genesee River to the north of Letchworth State Park, also known as the Grand Canyon of the East. There is a narrow, overgrown dirt road/trail at St Helena that the kayakers used as a landing after running the rapids in the gorge. I believe that the USGS co-ordinates would be:

Long:

77.9879684

Lat:

42.6202469

If I remember correctly, any & all remnants of St Helena were washed away in a flood sometime in the mid 1950's, but I'm not sure. The area is fairly hard to reach by foot because of the steep hillsides, but like I said, there is a trail accessible with a Jeep and big soft tires. 

TAHAWUS

Essex Co.

Tahawus, NY, is probably the best example of a ghost town in New York State.  It's an old mining village deep in the Adirondack State Park on Essex County Route 25.  The road is closed but people can still enter by foot.  Most of the original buildings are still standing though in very poor condition and are not safe to enter.  Most impressive is the original Iron Ore Mine and furnace still intact.

 

Contributed by RPirong, August 27, 2006

 

SEE Adirondak (Above)  GBS

WATERBORO

Chautauqua Co.

On old SH 17, about five miles west of Randolph, and northeast of Jamestown.  Just west of county line.

 

 

OUTSIDE LINKS

Of interest to NEW YORK Ghost Towners.

 

Between the Lakes.com is an interesting website dealing with northeastern items of historical interest.

 

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America. Gary B. Speck Publications is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of ***

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

 

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

 

For more information on the ghost towns of NEW YORK, contact us at Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line. 

THANK YOU!  :o)

IMPORTANT

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in NEW YORK above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of NEW YORK, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

 

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THIS PAGE

FIRST POSTED:  December 27, 2003

LAST UPDATED: August 07, 2010

 

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