False Grave of Uncle Sam
Troy, New York
While we were taking photos of the Uncle Sam statue in Troy, a homeless man with a shopping cart shuffled over. "He's buried here," the man said. Yes, we answered, his grave is in Oakdale Cemetery. "NO!" the man shouted. "At the bridge! The grave is at the bridge!"
Later, while we were at Uncle Sam's Oakdale grave, a second helpful local approached us. "He's got another grave, you know," the man said. "On Route 2, next to the bridge."
Circling the Route 2 bridge revealed no obvious monuments or tombstones, but a police officer directed us to a place we'd have never found: a litter-blown plot of pavement hemmed in by the approaches to the bridge, next to a housing project, and only accessible through a pedestrian tunnel from a small parking lot.
There's a rust-pitted generic marker to Uncle Sam, erected in 1962, when it was no doubt much more visible. Next to it is the "grave": a large marble slab, flat on the ground, eaten and stained with age, inscribed with writing similar to the kind found on old tombstones. It has nothing to do with death or Uncle Sam. It's a slab marking the completion of the bridge that had once stood there, before it was knocked down in 1970.
Still, some folks in Troy know about this hidden spot and its Uncle Sam marker, and think that he's buried there, and will tell you about it. Visit, or they may yell at you.