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This year we are setting up letter boxes at historical sites around Troy near the Flag Day parade route on 3rd & 4th Streets. The letter boxes contain a stamp, stamp pad and log book for people to use in typical letterboxing fashion. Want to know more about letterboxing? This web site is a great place to start!

Here is our clue sheet for all the letterboxes, which will be in place by Sunday, June 11th in time for the parade (a few might be out earlier too!). Below is a copy of the press release for the event:


For Immediate Release

Contact Jon Elbaum, 518-795-0934


TROY CULTURAL ORG LAUNCHES GEOCACHING PROJECT @ FLAG DAY PARADE Find 8 Hidden Boxes with 8 Original Stamps Commemorating Bicentennial

TROY, NY (6/8/16) — The Troy Cultural Alliance is launching a “geocaching” / “letterbox” treasure hunt on Sunday, during the Flag Day Parade, to promote Troy’s bicentennial celebration.

There will be eight hidden “caches” (waterproof plastic boxes) hidden at historically significant sites not far from the Flag Day Parade route.

Inside each hidden box there is a unique rubber stamp featuring an original image of an historic Troy building or landmark drawn by local artist Ben Karis-Nix using a computer and stylus. Tom Tongue, executive director of Tech Valley Center of Gravity, made the rubber stamps using one of the center’s laser cutting machines.

“When you find one of these caches, you get to take the stamp out and stamp paper that we will provide,” Tongue said. “If you’re good at following the clues, you can find all eight.”

Members of the Troy Cultural Alliance will be distributing “passports” and clues during the Flag Day Parade. The passports and clues will also be available in the vestibule of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, located at 30 Third St., at The Rensselaer County Historical Society, located at 57 Second St., and at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, located at 265 River St., and they will be available for download online at: http://www.tvcog.net/letterboxing-at-flag-day-parade/

“Some clues are just GPS coordinates that tell you pretty much where the box is, though you may have to look around the site a little bit. Other clues are observational clues,” Tongue said. “We tried to hide the cache in some cases. There are even a few multi-stage cashes where the first box contains a clue to where the real cache is located.”

“We wanted historically significant sites that have reflected 200 years of Troy’s history, whether it’s industrial or social civic,” said Kathy Sheehan, Rensselaer County and City of Troy historian. “If this goes well we have identified more sites throughout Troy, including Lansingburgh, where we can hide more boxes and stamps during the rest of the bicentennial year.”

According to Sheehan, this project borrows a little bit from “geocaching,” which is a modern outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices, and “letterboxing,” which traces its roots back to 19th century Britain and features remote boxes for leaving postcards to be found and mailed by the next hiker.

“This is a fun, different twist on something that has been going on for a few hundred years,” Sheehan said. “You’re going to have to look at the buildings, look under things, look at the clues, to find the hidden boxes.”

While seven of the eight images are straightforward depictions of the Troy landmarks, The Green Island Bridge is fancifully depicted as “TroyBot,” a giant superhero that can transform itself from a bridge into a benevolent humanoid robot protector of the city.

The beloved character, created by Karis-Nix, already appears on t-shirts, in online videos and in murals. This special stamp shows TroyBot as never before depicted and should delight fans.

“I think I’ve convinced my five-year old that TroyBot is real. Whenever we drive over it, he says ‘That’s the bridge that turns into Troybot! He’s a bridge right now but sometimes he turns into robot,’” Karis-Nix said. “The plan is to have these stamps in use perpetually, so people can find them for a long to come and they will become part of the Troy imagery and ephemera that one can collect.”


To download the images of the stamps, visit the following dropbox link:



The Troy Cultural Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit umbrella organization for Troy-based arts and cultural organizations with a mission to promote Troy as a cultural destination. The Alliance is supported by annual membership dues as well as funding from grants and business sponsorships. Its current member institutions include: The Arts Center of the Capital Region; Chapel + Cultural Center at RPI; Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company; EMPAC; Friends of Chamber Music; Rensselaer County Historical Society; Hudson Valley Community College; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Russell Sage College; The Sanctuary for Independent Media; Troy Civic Theatre; Hudson-Mohawk Industrial Gateway/Burden Ironworks Museum; Troy Public Library and Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

The TCA also provides the opportunity for businesses and other non-profits to join as non-voting members. The Alliance will work in concert with the Troy Business Improvement District (BID), the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce, Rensselaer County Tourism and City of Troy.


For information about the Troy Cultural Alliance, visit:

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Jon Elbaum, 518-795-0934, Jon@troymusichall.org