This month marks the 40th anniversary of the famous (or to some infamous) Mafia Convention raid at the estate of Joseph Barbara, Sr. on McFall Road in Apalachin. Some of the mobsters fled into the woods to escape police. Although many were caught and taken in for questioning, some eluded police and in their flight encountered local residents.
Two mobsters ended up at a residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, just past the current elementary school where they were treated to coffee and a snack before they called for a ride.
Two others ended up at the new - and empty - Apalachin Elementary School on Penn- sylvania Avenue, where they were mistaken for contractors by the principal. (The school had just been built and was scheduled for dedication the next day.) The principal called a cab for the men.
A resident from the McFadden Road area gave a ride to one of the mobsters and was later stopped by the police and questioned.
A local woman who was on her way to town in her new Cadillac was stopped by the police because of the vehicle she was driving.
Another Apalachin resident remembers that two well-dressed gentleman came into her home. She claims they took her small safe containing her life savings.
A man who was a gas station operator on Main Street remembers all the big, new cars stopping for gas that day and knew that something was going on up on McFall Road.
Another resident remembers coming home on the school bus and seeing guys in fancy suits running through the corn field on McFall Road.
If you or anyone you know had an encounter with the Mafia on November 14, 1957, please send it to us at:
7830 Route 434
Apalachin, New York 13732.