Governor Cuomo’s Historical Initiative


Southern Tier (WENY) -- Historic sites in the Southern Tier are thrilled with Governor Cuomo's new initiative, called Path Through History, designed to support the state's tourism and economic development.

More than 200 historic and culturally significant sites throughout New York -- a lot of them here in the Southern Tier -- will share $1 million in state funding.

The plan is to invest in relatively small expenses, like web sites and road signs across the state, to bring more tourism and traffic to local economies.

"I think it's a great thing to have this state recognizing the historic sites are also economic engines and that we're happy to be a part of it., said Bruce Whitmarsh, director of the Chemung County Historical Society. "One of the things that we've always struggled with as a small institution is we just don't have a budget to do marketing. Marketing is an important but expensive tool."

The state will allocate $100,000 each to 10 regional economic development councils.

"It will be interesting to interact with those folks [from the council] to see what they can do and what we can do for them to try and call a little bit more attention to Harris Hill and National Soaring Museum, particularly in terms of the World War II training effort," said Ron Ogden, director of marketing at the National Soaring Museum.

The plan is to build consistent road signs throughout the state and a website designed to make it easier for people to plan trips to Southern Tier landmarks like the grave sites of Mark Twain and Ernie Davis, the National Soaring Museum, and Corning Museum of Glass -- to name a few.

"I think that the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier area will get quite a lot of benefit out of this and all the different regions, all the different things important to the history of this area," added Ogden. 

The website is in the development stage right now, and the new road signs won't be ready for several months.