The Cortland County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), along with many local Cortland County tourism partners, are pleased to announce the launch of Cortland Curiosities: A Strange and Forgotten History Trail.
The trail tells the history and lore behind the County’s interesting, wacky and occasionally spooky past. The launch features nine county-wide themed driving paths and incorporates pre-planned routes with maps, addresses, descriptions and historical photographs. You will hear stories about hauntings, scandals, murders and larger-than-life characters that cover all corners of Cortland County.
“When you dive into Cortland County’s rich history, you will find so many unique stories that make it the perfect setting for a curiosity trail,” said Michelle Enright, Executive Director of the Cortland County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It is a fun way to introduce visitors and residents to the many layers of this County’s history and allows people to experience Cortland County from a different perspective.”
The new, mobile-friendly website enhances the trail with additional information and historical photos, as well as an interactive map to offer users a self-guided tour of the County’s interesting past and historical landmarks. County accommodations and an ever-updating events schedule is provided to encourage visitors to spend the evening.
“The goal is to add stories to the trail every year to keep the oddity lovers engaged with Cortland County’s unusual past,” said Enright. “While the history is the main draw of this project, we will be approaching restaurants, retail locations and art studios to develop themed events or workshops or trail-inspired menu items to encourage visitors to experience all the wonderful assets our community has.”
The CVB collaborated with area historians and attractions to flesh out the stories and obtain photographs. Cortland County locations featured on the trail include the 1890 House, CNY Living History Center, Cortland County Historical Society and the NYS Country Music Hall of Fame.
“The Center for the Arts of Homer is excited to be a part of the Cortland Curiosity Trail with our recent acquisition of The Homer Cardiff Giant,” said Ty Marshall, Executive Director of the Center for the Arts of Homer. “Created in 1957 for the Homer sesquicentennial, this local re-creation of a ten-foot-tall, petrified man discovered in 1869 tells the story of ‘the greatest hoax in US history’ known as The Cardiff Giant. Located on our north lawn (Cayuga Street) facing the Homer Village Green, the Homer Giant has recently been interred for permanent display throughout the year.”
“It's been a pleasure for Cortland County Historical Society to work so closely with the Cortland County Convention and Visitors Bureau to locate the curious and interesting tales from our county's past and put them together into a new and exciting opportunity for visitors to experience,” added Tabitha Scoville, Director at the Cortland County Historical Society. “I'm excited for the launch and can't wait to hear about people's travels through the sometimes mysterious and alternately curious history of Cortland County!”
The complete list of Cortland Curiosity trails for the initial launch includes: The Wickwire Legacy, The Harum Hoax, The Sautelle Circus Spectacle, The Misfortune of Grace Brown, The Firecracker Trail, Whodunit’ in Homer, Wild Women of Cortland County, Boneyards and Burial & Grounds, and One-Off Oddities.
“I applaud the CVB staff and the county’s tourism partners for working together to dream up this trail and am thrilled that this new asset of Experience Cortland is officially launched,” added Enright.
More details, and an ever-updating events schedule, can be found on the official event website: www.cortlandcuriosities.com.
The Convention & Visitors Bureau worked with ABC Creative, an advertising agency based out of Syracuse, NY, to design the collateral.
The Cortland County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s purpose is to enhance the general economy of Cortland County, its cities, towns and villages, through promotion of tourist activities, conventions, trade shows, special events and other directly related and supporting activities.
The CVB office is located at 42 Main Street, Cortland, NY. For more information on the Cortland County Convention & Visitors Bureau, please call (607) 753-8463, visit us on the web at www.experiencecortland.com, or follow us on our social media channels.
Share your Cortland County adventures with us for a chance to be featured! Tag @experiencecortland and use hashtag #experiencecortland.