NY Route 15 at NY Route 13, Chittenango, New York | Officially Marked Monument
Official and unofficial markers, from the dignified to the kitschy, vie for the visitor’s attention in the heart of Chittenango. This is the birthplace of Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, and from village elders to the most casual merchant, everyone wants you to know it.
In 1978 the village launched its Oz Festival, now known as the annual Oz Stravaganza, held each summer.
Not even invoking the name of Auntie Em (most likely, an authorial nod to Baum's mother-in-law Matilda Joslyn Gage) could ensure this shuttered business's success. No matter, another entrepreneur will come along soon enough to keep the name in play.
And of course, the sidewalks of
Chittenango's central business
form twin Yellow Brick Roads, hugging
either side of Genesee Street (NY
State Route 5). The
original sidewalks (built from actual
yellow bricks) were installed in 1982.
In 2006, those were replaced with
stamped, dyed concrete, expected to
wear better than actual bricks. Note
the expansion line between two plates
of concrete stamped with the brick