The Search for Utica’s Lost Proctor Eagles ~ The Haunts And Legends Of New York
Steeped in history and legends, New York is filled with stories of the forgotten, eerie and the weird that influence us everyday. You probably know about Utica's "Parkway Eagle," But do you know about the other Eagle monuments the Proctor family placed around Utica?
Lite 98.7's Eric Meier has teamed up with Folklorist P.W. Creighton to explore the haunts and legends of New York. Through their travels into the dark and often overlooked spaces they will bring these historic sites back to life and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.
In this episode Eric guides the explorers around Utica in search of Eagle monuments, some well known, others lost to history, that the Proctor family bequeathed to the city they loved so much.
The Proctor family was particularly fond of eagles and the symbolism of freedom they convey. It was the family that had the large eagle monument placed at Conking Park overlooking the Parkway.
Oneida County Historian, Joe Bottini, shared with us a story about the Proctor family releasing an eagle from the cupola of the American Hotel on one Independance Day in the early 1900s.
Another eagle is placed atop the Proctor Memorial Building at Baggs Commemorative Park in downtown Utica near Union Station. The eagle there was fashioned at Tiffany's in New York City.
An eagle that's now lost to history was located at a now overgrown entrance to F. T. Proctor Park on Bleeker Street near the Masonic Home. Searching through the brush, we found was was once a driveway into the park and the pedestal where the eagle was once perched.
Finally, there's one more bit of Eagle symbolism involving the Proctor family. Utica's Eagle Street begins at Gensee Street directly across from the family's Fountain Elms home.