3 Historic Sites in New York That Only Locals Know About

Updated on May 12, 2020
Holley Hyler profile image

Holley Hyler is an IT consultant and published freelance writer living in New York.

A photo from Sonnenberg Gardens near Canandaigua, NY. One of my favorite places to visit that showcases the state's unique beauty.
A photo from Sonnenberg Gardens near Canandaigua, NY. One of my favorite places to visit that showcases the state's unique beauty. | Source

I wanted to title this "Most Interesting Historic Sites in New York," but that would be a tall order! I have seen what I am sure is only a small fraction of the history here, but I wanted to compile a list anyway since these are sites I did not know about until I lived here.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The FDR MuseumOne of the Museum's Photos of FDR
The FDR Museum
The FDR Museum | Source
One of the Museum's Photos of FDR
One of the Museum's Photos of FDR | Source

1. The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Whether you are an FDR fan or you know little about him, you are in for a treat if you visit here.

The Roosevelt home is located in Hyde Park, along the Hudson River. During FDR's second term, he realized how many records had been lost by previous administrations and sought a better alternative. From what the docent told me, Franklin's mother was aghast when he expressed he wanted to someday open their home to the public.

Those who did not like FDR believed he simply wanted to construct a monument to himself. Actually, he felt that the American people deserved more transparency with their government at the executive level, and he enjoyed history and collecting things as well, especially stamps.

If you aren't able to visit in person, there is an online archive called FRANKLIN that contains correspondence from various people in the administration, including his wife Eleanor and his private secretaries, Grace Tully and Missy LeHand, among others. It has a good collection of documents concerning other topics relevant during FDR's presidency, of which there were many since he served nearly four terms and led the US through the Great Depression.

The actual home he lived in has been turned into a museum. The furniture and other possessions are laid out as they were when he lived there, though not everything is original. In addition, there is another building that serves as part of the museum and it houses the car FDR drove, a 1936 Ford Phaeton with custom hand controls that gave him the ability to drive despite polio.

If you live in the Buffalo area, it's about a 5.5-hour drive. Hyde Park is a charming area with several hotels and restaurants, should you wish to stay there. My friend and I stayed at a hotel more within Poughkeepsie about 15 minutes away. (If you get hungry while you're at the library, I recommend Mizu Sushi!)

2. The Home of Susan B. Anthony

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the home of Susan B. Anthony, located in Rochester. Anthony's work helped pave the way to the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. This house is where she lived for 40 years and is also the site of her arrest in 1872, after she voted in the presidential election illegally. Women's rights were just one cause that Anthony fought for; she also participated in the abolitionist and temperance movements.

The docents here are very knowledgeable and passionate about Anthony and her work. (I volunteered in the gift shop for a short time during a slow summer for me and experienced this firsthand.) They share interesting and sometimes humorous stories about Anthony and how she handled certain events in her life while you go through each of the rooms. There is a gift shop in the house next door, which was also where we purchased our admission tickets when we went. The surrounding area is charming as well, with a memorial park to Anthony and Frederick Douglass just down the street.

Should you wish to visit Anthony's grave, it is located in Mount Hope Cemetery, also within the city of Rochester. Frederick Douglass is also buried there.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Memorial to Red Jacket in Forest Lawn.On the side of this statue: "I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams." - William Butler YeatsThe Blocher Mausoleum inside Forest Lawn. The tomb is underneath the memorial.
Memorial to Red Jacket in Forest Lawn.
Memorial to Red Jacket in Forest Lawn. | Source
On the side of this statue: "I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams." - William Butler Yeats
On the side of this statue: "I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams." - William Butler Yeats | Source
The Blocher Mausoleum inside Forest Lawn. The tomb is underneath the memorial.
The Blocher Mausoleum inside Forest Lawn. The tomb is underneath the memorial. | Source

3. Forest Lawn Cemetery

Forest Lawn is located in Buffalo and is perhaps most well known for being home to Rick James's gravesite. But what most intrigued me was the glass memorial located near the main entrance to the cemetery. This is called the Blocher Mausoleum and has an interesting story behind it.

My fiancé and I did some research but were unable to find many facts surrounding the death of the central figure in the mausoleum, the likeness of Nelson Blocher. He is laid out for viewing and clutching a Bible, his parents standing on either side of him. There is an angel above, said to resemble a maid that Nelson had fallen in love with. The relationship had been discouraged due to Nelson's status. He was the only son of John and Elizabeth Blocher. Most sources claim he "died of a broken heart," which to me indicates either self-neglect and/or death by suicide. Evidently, the girl he loved not returning his feelings took a large emotional toll on him.

As is already apparent by the monument itself, the family was quite wealthy, especially due to some investments and a footwear business that John Blocher ran after he served for a year in the army. He became one of Buffalo's wealthiest citizens. Some sources believe it was his wife that encouraged him to construct the mausoleum as a loving tribute to their son. Today, it would cost a few million dollars to make something like this. The family lived in an elegant residence on Delaware Avenue, the same street as the main entrance to the cemetery.

Some links to the Blocher story are listed below. Feel free to do your own research, and let me know if you find anything good!

Others who are buried here include Red Jacket, a Seneca orator who signed the Treaty of Canandaigua, and Millard Fillmore, the 13th President of the US. While the Blocher Mausoleum has an interesting story behind it, the largest and most expensive mausoleum in the cemetery is the Letchworth-Skinner Mausoleum.

The FDR Presidential Library and Museum:
4079 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538, USA

get directions

The Susan B. Anthony Museum and House:
17 Madison St, Rochester, NY 14608, USA

get directions

Forest Lawn Cemetery:
1411 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209, USA

get directions

© 2020 Holley Hyler


Submit a Comment
  • Holley Hyler profile imageAUTHOR

    Holley Hyler 

    3 months ago from Upstate New York

    @ Kyler, I have been to NYC a couple of times, nearly ten years ago now (jeez, that makes me feel old). I checked out the lounges only from the outside (and saw the lines of people waiting to get in), haha. Didn't try to get in, probably due to exhaustion from the rest of the day spent touring. I did go to a couple of more lounge-y places during my time living in Los Angeles. It's worth trying at least once! An interesting experience.

  • Kyler J Falk profile image

    Kyler J Falk 

    3 months ago from Corona, CA

    Have you ever been to any of the, "exclusive," clubs in New York? I don't mean to break away from the article with all its amazing info and wonderful pictures but my direct interests in New York are the lavish night clubs and lounges that only certain individuals can get into. I hear the night life in New York City gets pretty darn wild and I always wanted to go to an upscale neon lounge and then walk around the city.

    Great article, Holley!

  • Bushra Iqbal profile image

    Anya Ali 

    3 months ago from Rabwah, Pakistan


  • Holley Hyler profile imageAUTHOR

    Holley Hyler 

    3 months ago from Upstate New York

    Thank you, Liz! I hope you enjoy them, if you visit virtually or in-person.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    3 months ago from UK

    You have compiled an interesting list of places to visit in New York. I especially appreciate the historic background information to them.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)