Once a tourist destination for history buffs yearning for a hands-on experience of life in Upstate New York in the 1800s and a yearly field trip destination for schoolchildren, Erie Canal Village in Rome slipped into disuse and disrepair in the last few years. That steady decline appears to be changing as a new group has purchased the park and rebranded it as the Empire State Heritage Park.
Surprising but true, in an era when boats plying the Erie Canal was still an efficient way to move cargo, taking a train trip across New York, say from Buffalo to New York City, was quicker at the end of the 1800s than today.
Looming over West Uticasince 1843, the Utica State Lunatic Asylum was once on the forefront of the progressive care of the mentally ill as New York's first center for their care. Closed now for decades, the main building of the Utica Psychatric Center, known as Old Main, has captivated those who live in its shadow and hear stories of its Haunts and Legends.
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