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  • Writer's pictureCatherine White

Southern Tier Historical Hot Spots

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

The Southern Tier’s connection to American history is rich and deep.

In Elmira alone, a connection to some of the most crucial moments in American history are on almost every other corner.

Military and war history buffs can visit the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp, which operated from July 6, 1864 to July 11, 1865, and where 12,121 Confederate soldiers were incarcerated. Then they can stop by the John W. Jones Museum, which recognizes a former slave who arrived in Elmira via the Underground Railroad, and was responsible for burying or supervising the burial of all 2,963 prisoners who died at the prison camp, including Confederate soldiers that had been fighting for his enslavement.

Across the street from the sexton’s humble abode, turned historical location, sits Woodlawn Cemetery, where American legends of writing, sports and entertainment like Mark Twain, Ernie Davis and Hal Roach are buried. The cemetery is a serene place of comfort and beauty created in the model of the rural cemetery with rolling hills and big shade trees that change color with the seasons. Woodlawn National Cemetery, where the Confederate soldiers who perished at the Civil War Prison Camp are buried, is also located here. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Oct. 6, 2004.

There are plenty of other historical hotspots to visit in the Southern Tier, as well.

The list below is by no means complete, but they’re good places to get started.

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