In the blink of an eye it was gone.
Two centuries of history vanished off of the construction site of the stand-alone Rite Aid in 2007 as a mile marker for the Lansingburgh Turnpike disappeared after it was removed, ironically, for its protection.
An investigation by New York State Police failed to produce any leads at the time and no one from the public has come forward in all that time with information regarding the whereabouts of the roadside marker since it went missing during the summer of 2007.
The marker also apparently went missing from the memories of many as the owners of the property, Schuyler Companies, were recently reminded of an unfulfilled promise. Granville Town Board member Matt Rathbun said the company contacted him and planned to do as they said they would.
“They have ordered a replacement,” Rathbun said. “They called and talked to me and I directed them to a website that shows what it looked like,” Rathbun said.
When the piece went missing the company said they would replace the marker with a substitute if an investigation failed to locate the mile marker.
The investigation ended quietly years ago without finding the marker, or leads to its location, but a new marble marker was not installed.
Nearly four years later Schuyler Company was reminded of their offer in an e-mail from the New York State Department of Transportation in which said the company would not be allowed to proceed with their planned curbside work at the future site of the Tractor Supply Co. if they did not complete all of the tasks from their Rite Aid checklist.
The remaining task is replacing the marker.
Granville Town Historian Edi Sperling said she was contacted by the DOT seeking information about the missing marker.
Sperling said she supplied a description and pictures of the mile marker to the state agency.
Village Clerk Rick Roberts said he did not think the e-mail represented an issue that would delay the TSC construction. “Even in the case where they can’t relocate the historic marker I would think… it would seem to me that the state would have to accept some substitute,” Roberts said.
The 200-plus year old marker was carved from marble and had a rough surface after years of exposure to the elements.
The simple, gravestone-sized marker about two feet wide and more than three feet long said “Turnpike to Lansingburgh 53 miles” and along with an arrow which pointed away to the south.
At the time antiques expert and professional appraiser James Marquis said the value of the item was purely historical with its estimated value of $200 substantially less than that of its replacement cost estimated at $1,000.