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Gargoyles and spirit girls


Corn Hill's new Historic Trail identifies 10 historic or cultural landmarks within the neighborhood, including a granite obelisk commemorating the old Plymouth Spiritualist Church and its famous parishioners, "spirit rappers" Kate and Margaret Fox.

"It's a wonderful piece of art that is important in our neighborhood," says Rob Goodling, president of the Corn Hill Neighbors Association. "It is one of those 10 historic sites that will hopefully bring bikers and joggers and walkers through the neighborhood to learn about various historical aspects of Corn Hill."

The Fox sisters lived on Troup Street in Corn Hill and claimed the ability to communicate with the dead.

Sites or stops on the Historic Trail also include the Genesee River, Frederick Douglass Village on Tubman Way, and the former Rochester Orphan Asylum on the southeast corner of Greig Street and Hubbell Park. Clarissa Street's marker commemorates the neighborhood's contribution to the American jazz scene.

People wanting to travel the trail can pick up a "passport" at East Avenue Wegmans or the CHNA office at 133 South Fitzhugh Street. You can make rubbings of all 10 trail markers and then drop off or mail the passport to the CHNA office to be entered in an annual drawing for a $100 Wegmans gift certificate. The first drawing will be held at the 2014 Corn Hill Arts Festival.

Speaking of Corn Hill art, the CHNA is also looking to move its gargoyle monument. The limestone monument on Exchange Boulevard at Fitzhugh Place is in an ideal place visually, Goodling says, but road salt has irreparably damaged the statue. It needs to be moved to prevent further damage, he says.

"It's too bad because that's just the most perfect location," Goodling says. "Darn that salt."