Apalachin - After the Raid In the years that followed the Raid of 1957, Apalachin faced constant reminders of its small part in the nation's crime history. The source of those reminders included attempts to turn Barbara's house into a tourist attraction, a motion picture about the raid, and a humorous jab by "Mad" magazine.
What Might Have Been...
Development of Barbara's Estate
Joe Barbara sold his 58-acre McFall Road estate in May of 1959 to LaRue Quick, a local builder. The estate included a rambling 11-room house built of fieldstone, a four-car garage (complete with bar, kitchen, and showers), a summer house, a guest house, a 12-horse stable, and the infamous outdoor fieldstone barbecue fireplace.
Quick and Vestal realtor Russel C. Terry had plans to turn the property into a tourist attraction which would include a lake, parks, driving range, swimming pool, a short order stand (with soft drinks, hot dogs, and such) a modern deluxe motel, and a restaurant. At the front of the estate would be a plaque paying tribute to law enforcing agents of the country would proclaim "Apalachin-where Crime met its 'Waterloo.'"
According to Quick, such development would benefit not only himself and Terry, but Apalachin. Their idea would "bring a tax paying venture into (the) community" and employ approximately 35 local people.
Local residents didn't share their enthusiasm and unsuccessfully fought to prevent Quick from obtaining a necessary re-zoning of the property from residential to commercial. Although the Town of Owego denied the request for rezoning, Quick appealed to the State of New York which overturned the town's decision.
On April 24, 1960, the estate was open to the public for tours. There was no lake or driving range or swimming pool, or restaurant. But for one dollar, the curious got a tour of the inside of the house and were welcome to walk the grounds. Behind the barbecue pit was a short order stand where the tourists could buy a hamburger (35), a soft drink (15), or an "Apalachin Joe Barbecue" (50).
Inside the house, tourists were led by a guide through most of the 11 rooms including the pine-paneled 32' x 52' living room, and the large master bedroom which they viewed from behind a rope.
Residents didn't think much of living near a tourist attraction. Many thought that it was disgusting, that is wasn't very authentic, and that it disturbed the peace and quiet. Most hoped that interest would soon fade.
In response to complaints from residents, the Town of Owego successfully appealed the state's decision. The property was then no longer zoned commercial and could not be the site of such a tourist attraction.
Mr. Quick sold the estate the next year.
What Might Have Been - Map details Mr. Quick's plans to develop Joseph Barbara's former estate into a tourist attraction in 1959.
Movie "Inside the Mafia" Features Raid...from Where?
the movie "Inside the Mafia" was released. Directed by Edward
L. Cahn, the film starred Cameron Mitchell, Robert Strauss, and Elaine
Edwards. The plot involved rival hoods who set up a plot to bump off a
ganglord arriving for a big power meeting. In the movie's advertisement,
which ran in local papers, a small block of text in the corner stated:
"The raid that ripped the 'Crime Convention' in 'Apple Lake, N.Y.'"
Beneath the text was a drawing of a state trooper, kneeling behind a car
and pointing a rifle at a house.
"Mad" Takes Jab at "Lawless Manor"
Nothing is safe from Mad Magazine's satirical humor and the Apalachin Raid was no exception. In 1959, Mad's July issue featured a "Specialized Resorts Section" which included "Lawless Manor in the Heart of the Underworld at... Appalachin (sic), N.Y." For just $198 a day (in unmarked bills), guests could "live high...while (they're) laying low" and enjoy all sports ("mugging, arson, murder, jay-walking, etc."), "nightly raids on neighboring hotels, float your stiffs in our brand new salt-water swimming pool."
Mad Magazine's satirical advertisement appeared at the same time
that Mr. LaRue Quick was trying to develop the former Barbara estate in
Apalachin into a tourist attraction. Did Mad's jesting jab contribute to
local residents' unhappiness with plans that would not only draw attention
to but immortalize Apalachin's role in the Mafia Raid?
New Jersey Paper Remembers Raid
The November 15, 1997 issue of the Newark, New Jersey, newspaper The Star Ledger featured an article about the Apalachin Raid. The headline reads "The day curtain crasked down on the mob, 40 kyears since cops raided Mafia summit" The Star Ledger contacted The Apalachin Community Press while researching the story. The Community Press e-mailed the digital photo of the Barbara's House to the Star Ledger, which printed it in color with the story.