It’s back, but not exactly. The marker denoting the end of the Lansingburgh Turnpike, an historic roadway running from Lansingburgh to Granville went missing during the Quaker Street construction project for the Rite Aid next to Price Chopper Plaza in 2007.
Some time during the week of Aug. 8 a blindingly bright new white stone appeared on the lawn of the Rite Aid; somehow unnoticed by many driving by.
“We’re very happy it’s back, that’s an important monument, we’re glad they (Schuyler) stepped up and did what they said they were going to do for us,” Granville Supervisor Matt Hicks said. Hicks announced the arrival of the replacement monument at the Aug. 11 town board meeting.
Granville Town Historian Edi Sparling said she was pleased to find out the marker had been quietly replaced.
“The good thing is there’s a replacement there, that’s what was needed,” Sparling said.
Workers put the new stone in the ground some time during the week of Aug. 8, but no one was sure exactly when.
Sparling said she had been in the area Monday and had not seen a marker at that time.
“I’m glad that it’s in because I was getting a little concerned about the time element,” Sparling said. The marker had been set aside during a paving project to protect it when it went missing.
Schuyler Companies agreed to replace the marker after the police investigation failed to recover the stone in 2007, but work finished at the site and the marker had not reappeared and was possibly forgotten.
Until the spring; as a part of the work the company has undertaken bringing a Tractor Supply Company location to Granville, permits were needed from the New York State Department of Transportation.
Emails obtained by the Sentinel have state DOT reminding Schuyler of their commitment to replace the missing marker following completion of the Rite Aid job and makes the replacement a condition of granting needed permits.
The 200-plus-year-old marker was carved from marble and had a rough surface after years of exposure to the elements.
The white marble marker resembles a gravestone with letters carved in its face that read, “Turnpike to Lansingburgh 53 miles.”
Officials believe the marker was stolen, but an investigation by State Police proved unable to recover the historic piece of marble or a culprit in its disappearance.
The mile marker was one of approximately 53 markers between just outside of what are now the village of Granville and the outskirts of what is Lansingburgh.
Experts said only a handful of the markers remain.
The toll road corporation that placed the markers was established in April of 1799 to “improve” “from the village of Lansingburgh through Cambridge and Salem to the house now occupied by Hezekiah Leaving in the town of Granville,” according to records from the New York State Assembly cited in a website article on a site dedicated to the turnpike.
Approximately 12 to 18 inches in width, with approximately 24 inches of stone sticking out of the ground, the marker was placed on the site approximately 200 years ago.
“Just getting it in there is a positive thing,” Sparling said.
Antique appraiser James Marquis, who makes regular appearances in Granville courtesy of the Granville Lioness Club, said at the time of the theft the value of the marker was difficult to determine, but probably not particularly large.
“It’s of historical value and only in this area,” Marquis said.
Marquis said the marker might be taken by someone to place in a collection, but had a value of only about $200.
Because of its size, the fact that it was carved and is made of marble, Marquis said the replacement cost far outweighed the actual value and was close to $1,000.
“It’s not something (thieves) could readily sell,” he said.