Wait? Does Uncle Sam Have Two Grave Sites In Troy?
As we get ready to celebrate our independence day I thought I would learn the true story of our beloved Uncle Sam who lived in Troy. I found the usual stuff about Samuel Wilson who was a meatpacker in Troy and the inspiration for the character of Uncle Sam.
So this is a weird story that comes from a website called Roadside America that claims that there are actually two graves dedicated to Uncle Sam. One gravesite, in Oakwood Cemetary, has the historical marker and headstone proclaiming that this is the site where the original Uncle Sam is buried. Most people when asked about Uncle Sam in the capital region point to Oakwood Cemetery as the final resting place of Samual Wilson.
The writers of Roadside America were in Troy and claim they were walking around Troy asking about Uncle Sam when one man came over and told them that Uncle Sam was buried "over there" pointing to Oakwood Cemetary. Then another man came up and said, "no, it's over there by the bridge." That man was pointing toward the highway 2 bridge near Front Street.
So, there is an old historical marker in a little concrete lot near Front Street. The historical marker is about Uncle Sam but doesn't mention anything about this being his gravesite. Next to the historical marker is a huge stone slab that kinda looks like a grave, but it's a commemorative marker for a bridge that was knocked down in the 1970s. According to some locals, this is the actual final resting place of Uncle Sam and not the grave in Oakwood Cemetary. So which one is the real one? I'm, guessing it's the grave in Oakwood Cemetery, but you know how local legends are...they have a life of their own.
To get to the False Grave, drive along the river on Front St. Park in the lot on the land side of Front St., just north of the overpass for the Hwy 2 Bridge. You'll see a pedestrian tunnel at the back of the parking lot. Go through the tunnel to reach the False Grave.