My Favorite Irish Things  LbNA # 15424 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateMay 30 2005
LocationSyracuse, NY
Planted ByLock Wench    
Found By kathbee
Last Found Aug 28 2010
Hike Distance?

Tipperary Hill is a unique Syracuse neighborhood, where all things Irish are revered and celebrated. The Irish Erie Canal workers settled here upon completion of the canal. The neighborhood includes beautiful parks, gorgeous churches, friendly neighborhood pubs, unique architecture and the only upside down traffic light in the nation. The stamps in this series of letterboxes depict some of my favorite local Irish contributions. This hunt will take your through some of my favorite “Tipp Hill” places...and fittingly starts at the site of the “Green on Top” traffic light.

When the city first started to install traffic lights in the 1920's they put one at a major intersection on Tipperary Hill, on the corner of Tompkins Street and Milton Avenue. Some Irish youths, incensed that anyone would dare to put the “British” red above the Irish green, threw stones at it and broke the light. The city replaced it. The Irish broke the replacement. After a few rounds of this the city gave in and the “green on top” traffic light remains to this day.

In recent years some long time neighborhood residents of Irish ancestry owner raised some money and encouraged the city to demolish an old run-down commercial building and then to build a small park, the Tipperary Hill Memorial Park. They also erected a statue as a memorial dedicated to those whom, in their opinion, were brave sons of Ireland who had stood up to City Hall and won. It depicts one of the original stone throwers “all grown up” showing the light to his family. Check out the slingshot in the back pocket of the boy!

[ Yahoo! Maps ]

Map of
Tompkins St At Avery Ave
Syracuse, NY 13204

Take West Genesee St.(Route 5) to Avery Ave. Turn south onto Avery Avenue. When you get to Tompkins Street, turn left onto Tompkins and drive until you meet the Green on Top light. This is the corner of Tompkins St. and Milton Ave. and the Tipperary Hill Memorial Park will be on your left. Park on one of the side streets and walk to the park.

From Seneca Turnpike, take Velasko Road north all the way down the hill until you reach Onondaga Boulevard. There will be a Mobil and an Eckert’s on the corner. Go through this light to the next light. This is Grand Ave. Continue through the light and up the hill (Avery Ave) until you reach Tompkins Street. Turn right onto Tompkins and drive until you meet the Green on Top light. This is the corner of Tompkins and Milton Ave. and the Tipperary Hill Memorial Park will be on your left. Park on one of the side streets and walk to the park.

Box #1 - Tipperary Hill Memorial Park
Behind the statue is a fence with a plaque. The second bush to the left of this plaque hides my first favorite Irish thing. Replace the box carefully or the leprechauns will take it! Get back into your car and head through the Green on Top light onto Burnet Park Drive, a crooked little street. At the stop sign, turn right and you will be on Tennyson and you will immediately come to a Y in the road. Bear to the left of this Y onto Bryant and at the end you will find yourself on Avery Avenue. Across the street is the James Pass Arboretum..the site of the next letterbox.

Box #2 - James Pass Arboretum
Turn left onto Avery and at the stop sign turn right onto Salisbury and park your car of the grass. Get out and walk to the corner of Salisbury and Avery where you will see a circular entrance to James Pass Arboretum with metal posts in an arc and a series of stone columns. The James Pass Arboretum was established in 1927 by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and is unique in the city. Walk through either set of pillars and you will find a sign of plant types directly behind the chained gate. From this sign, continue to the gravel path. Bear left on the path toward the hill. As it starts to curve to the right, you will see a small sapling near the path and behind that a massive tree with many large branches coming out of its trunk. Head to the tree and you will find a tag on the back that says "yellow". Walk around the base of this tree, looking at the lower branches until you find an opening. Under some pieces of bark, hidden inside, is my second favorite Irish thing.

Box #3 - Burnet Park
As you return to your car you will see the entrance to Burnet Park across from the Pass Arboretum circular entrance. Drive into this entrance and you will see a wooden sign. Follow the sign’s directions to the pool area by heading to the left...but keep the golf course on your right. When you get to the pool, continue to the right past the golf course on the right and then follow the road as it bears left past a field. Continue on this road until you pass the back of the zoo (you might see bison from here!) and the zoo barn. Keep driving past the chainlink fence on your right and just beyond it you will see an open field. Park here and get out and find the tree stump to the right near the road. From the stump, look diagonally across the field until you see a large rock. Walk to the rock. To the left of this rock is a stump with bushes growing from it. My third favorite Irish thing is hiding here. When you get back to your car, continue on this road, passing the exit with the stone memorial and staying in the park. Bear right and you will come to the same way you entered the park. Exit here and you will be at the corner of Whittier and Avery, with the Pass Arboretum just across the street. If you prefer, spend some time exploring Burnet Park as it has much to offer. It includes a public golf course, the Gifford Zoo, ballfields, basketball courts, a swimming pool, a skating rink, a playground and plenty of lovely picnic areas.

Looking at the stamps, do you also love any of my favorite Irish things? *grin*