A DESTINATION

The official "Home of Uncle Sam," Troy, NY is also home to exciting public events, wonderful small business, and a unique variety of things to do. Everyone has their own personal favorite reason to visit Troy, but if you don't yet, read on.

These are some of Troy's most popular attractions in proximity to the Downtown Business Improvement District, offering diverse activities like historic tours, recreation, arts and cultural events, and much more. To learn more about places to go and things to do beyond Downtown, including the Frear Park Golf Course and the Burden Ironworks Museum, please visit the City of Troy's Visitor Page!

The Arts Center of the Capital Region   /  
265 River Street  (518) 273-0552

The Captain J.P. Cruise Line  /  
278 River Street(518) 270-1901

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC)  EMPAC Building, 110 8th Street  (518) 276-3921

The Hart-Cluett House   /  57 2nd Street  (518) 272-7232

Rensselaer County Historical Society   /  
57 2nd Street  (518) 272-7232

Riverfront Park / Monument Square   /  
2nd Street and River Street

Troy Downtown Marina   /  
427 River Street  (518) 892-3348

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall   /  
30 2nd Street  (518) 273-8945

Troy Public Library – Main Branch   /  100 2nd Street  (518) 274-7071

Troy Waterfront Farmer's Market    /  
Saturdays 9am-2pm, Monument Square (May-Oct)/Atrium (Nov-Apr)  (518) 708-4216

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Samuel Wilson was born to Scottish parents in Arlington, Massachusetts. In 1789, he and his brother, Ebenezer, moved to Troy where they set a brick-making business and later, a meat-packing business. 

At the time of the War of 1812, Wilson was a prosperous meat packer. He obtained a contract to supply beef to the Army, which he shipped in barrels. As government property, the barrels were branded with the initials "U.S.," but soldiers joked that the initials referred to "Uncle Sam," as Samuel Wilson was often called. Over time, anything marked with the same initials (as much Army property was) also became linked with his name. 

After the War of 1812, the concept of "Uncle Sam" began to take hold. Representations of Uncle Sam as a symbol began appearing in 1813. In 1817, James Flagg created the iconic "I Want You" recruitment poster. In 1961, Congress officially recognized Samuel Wilson of Troy as the progenitor of the Uncle Sam icon, which has represented the United States around the world for more than a century and a half. 

Samuel Wilson died in 1854 and was buried in Troy’s Mt. Ida Cemetery. In 1858 his son Benjamin bought a plot at Oakwood, where Samuel was re-interred. His wife, three of his children and two of his grandchildren are buried at Oakwood. 

Troy has some of the best Tiffany windows and interiors in the world. It’s a legacy of [the city’s] incredible affluence in the 19th century, a consequence of its commercial and industrial success.
— P. Thomas Carroll, Hudson-Mohawk Industrial Gateway
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Tiffany stained glass windows can be found throughout Troy, appearing inside the Bush Memorial Hall on the Russell Sage campus, in the Troy Public Library, and, notably, inside St. Paul's Church on Third Street, the site of the conference. Those windows were created using a plethora of pioneering techniques. Whereas the details on stained glass windows had, up until that point, been primarily created by painting on colored glass panes, Tiffany Studios used the glass itself to create detail. Instead or painting the folds in a figure's robe, Tiffany artists would fold the glass to create the effect of folded clothing, a technique used to create what is known as drapery glass.