The story behind the Pompey Stone located in the Syracuse area of Manlius spans nearly two centuries. Honestly, the best part, this is the story of a prank turned into a historic marker.

In 1820, a local farmer named Philo Cleveland reported finding the Stone when clearing his fields in Manlius. According to The Historical Marker Database, the stone had an interesting name and year on it:

The Stone, which is engraved “Leo De L’N VI 1520,” was believed for many years to be an authentic artifact from a Spanish explorer.

In 1894, it seemed the truth of the stone started to surface. Throughout Central New York there were claims that two local men had doctored it in a blacksmith shop in nearby Oran, New York. When those rumors started coming out, the stones authenticity immediately fell into question.

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The field where the stone was found continues to be farmed to this day, in which you can go visit the field if you'd like. The marker was created in 2017 by William G. Pomeroy Foundation and New York Folklore Society. If you'd like to visit it, here is the location and address:

Location. 42° 56.373′ N, 75° 58.477′ W. Marker is in Manlius, New York, in Onondaga County. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3482 Watervale Road, Syracuse NY 13204."

Pompey Stone Marker
Deryn Pomeroy/William G. Pomeroy Foundation

Go check out one of the oldest pranks in Upstate New York.


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