Vacant lot where Sam's house stood.

Uncle Sam's Vacant Lot (formerly Uncle Sam's House)

Field review by the editors.

Troy, New York

Samuel Wilson, a.k.a. Uncle Sam, lived in a wooden clapboard house that was big, but otherwise unmemorable. It stood for over a hundred years after he died, but had no devoted fans like Graceland or the Munster's house. It was torn down in 1971 to make way for a freeway. The road was never built, and what remains today is Uncle Sam's Vacant Lot, a weedy expanse of dirt used as a car park by an adjacent building with boarded-up windows.

Sam's house in the day.

City officials talked for years of rebuilding the house, but those plans went nowhere. Yet Troy can't forget that it once had -- and then lost -- Uncle Sam's house. One new idea, according to Rensselaer County historian Kathy Sheehan, is to turn the existing lot into an urban park, dig out the foundation, put lights down in the hole, and cover the excavation with a big sheet of glass. You won't be able to visit Uncle Sam's house, but you would be able to peek into his basement.

Uncle Sam's Vacant Lot (formerly Uncle Sam's House)

Ferry St., Troy, NY
East edge of the city, on the south side of Hwy 2/Ferry St., about a hundred feet east of 5th Ave.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Uncle Sam's Chamber PotUncle Sam's Chamber Pot, Troy, NY - < 1 mi.
Aluminum Statue of Uncle SamAluminum Statue of Uncle Sam, Troy, NY - < 1 mi.
False Grave of Uncle SamFalse Grave of Uncle Sam, Troy, NY - < 1 mi.
In the region:
S.C. Billboard: Weird Science Comic, Howes Cave, NY - 36 mi.

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October 21, 2020

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