Steeped in history and legends, New York is filled with stories of the forgotten, eerie and the weird that influence us everyday. Tucked away on the back roads of of northern Oneida County is a sign of a global legend.

Lite 98.7's Eric Meier has teamed up with Folklorist P.W. Creighton to explore the haunts and legends of New York. Through their travels into the dark and often overlooked spaces they will bring these historic sites back to life and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.

While filming the episode about the Freemason Secrets of Baron Du Steuben, the explorers happened across an unusual sign on one of the side road in Steuben. A historic marker reported one of the early settlers in the area helped circumnavigate the globe alongside famed explorer Captain Cook.

Captain Simeon Woodruff
Circumnavigated the Globe with Captain Cook
Leased this farm May 26, 1791
From Baron Steuben
Buried Capel Ucha Cemetery

 

Captain Simeon Woodruff traveled with Captain James Cook when he was exploring the South Pacific in the late 18th century. Captain Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made three voyages to the Pacific Ocean and achieved the first recorded European contact with eastern coastline of Australian and Hawaiian Islands as well as the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

After Captain Cook's death at the hands of the Sandwich Islanders, Captain Simeon Woodruff accepted an invitation by Baron Steuben to take up residence leasing a farm in what is now known as the town of Steuben in 1791. Woodruff's exploits and legend continued to grow as he explored the area and became well known for hunting bears despite his progressing age.

One prominent account recorded in the Steuben town history tells of one of his most interesting hunts. A bear had gotten into one of his traps and as Woodruff was lame at the time, he called on a couple of his neighbors. Armed with a Queen-Anne Flintlock musket Woodruff led the party to the bear. Unfortunately, the musket misfired. He kept resetting the musket as the bear charged them. The young neighbors started running away while Woodruff kept trying. The musket finally fired dropping the bear a mere four feet from the barrel of the musket. It was said that he shouted after the kids "Run you cowards, run" after they left the old man to face the bear alone.

Captain Simeon Woodruff was a high ranking member of the Freemasons when he passed and as a result although his grave is unmarked however, many know where he resides now. The legend of Steuben's great explorer and bear fighter lives on through the woodsman and hunters that travel the trails today.

 

Watch the Complete Haunts and Legends Season 1 via this Youtube Playlist

Watch the complete first season of the Haunts and Legends of New York including our explorations of the Happy Valley ghost town near Syracuse, the Lost Village of Delta near Rome, Utica's Secret Underground Waterways and the Hidden Vault at Bagg Commemorative Park in Utica.