New state map highlights LI attractions

Sagamore Hill was the home of President Theodore

Sagamore Hill was the home of President Theodore Roosevelt from 1885 until his death in 1919. Called the Summer White House during Roosevelt's presidency, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Dec. 3, 2011) (Credit: Carl Corry, 2011)

The homes of Theodore Roosevelt, Walt Whitman and Gold Coast millionaires along with other Long Island attractions will be featured on a new state historical road map and on roadside signs announced this week by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The "Path Through History" map and accompanying signs will highlight more than 200 of New York's historically and culturally significant sites, such as Long Island's North Shore, where the map and signs will note: "1880s-1920s American captains of industry and finance build homes along the Gold Coast."

The program is designed to showcase New York's rich heritage and promote tourism and economic development, Cuomo said Wednesday.

 

"From Mark Twain writing Huckleberry Finn in Elmira to John Coltrane's one of a kind jazz being played on Long Island," Cuomo said in a statement, "now we are putting our state's heritage on display for the world to enjoy."

R. Moke McGowan, president of the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, who was involved in early planning for the map, said, "It will certainly help our ability to better sell Long Island." He added that it's always positive when "you can create not just awareness but then help direct people to these historical sites."

The governor said the state will allocate $1 million to jump-start 10 regional heritage tourism marketing plans, one of which is Long Island-specific. "We're certainly looking forward to the state's assistance with this," McGowan said.

Large "Path Through History" signs bearing historical facts -- a dozen in all on Long Island -- will be erected along major highways. Many more directional signs at appropriate exits will guide visitors to historical attractions.

The governor's office said the map and signs will be completed in the near future.

"When you have something that is standardized, you give people the ability to recognize that it is a historically significant site," McGowan said. "With the standardization of these kinds of signs around the state, it gives anyone who is interested in history, whether it's the Gold Coast or the Revolutionary War, the ability to take advantage of it."

He said he stressed to state officials the importance of adequate detailed signs along local roads to get visitors to the attractions highlighted in the map and on the highway signs.

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