Liverpool Legends - Liverpool Public Library Local History Video Project


R.D. Smith Exit 38: The Land of Broken Dreams

Price: $10.00

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With hosts Marlene and Richard Ward

R.D. Smith was discharged from the Army in 1946. Two years later, he received $250 from the State as mustering out pay and decided to use the money to purchase some 'waste land' near Duerr Road. In 1952, when the New York State Thruway was being built through Liverpool, he started to put together his eclectic collection of folk art, birdhouses, small buildings, and assorted discards called 'The Land of Broken Dreams.' As Bob says, "If anyone has something really different they like to pass it on."

The name, 'The Land of Broken Dreams' came from a song. When Bob heard the title, he quickly jotted it down deciding that it was the perfect name for his large collection of recycled materials.

The site located near exit 38 of the New York State Thruway draws many visitors. Drivers passing by often catch a glimpse of the many objects on display and decide to stop to see what else there is. People from as far away as Hawaii and Russia have stopped for a closer look.

Mr. Smith's collection has been the subject of several videotapes and pieces of his folk art have been featured in Heritage magazine.

Running Time: 27:18

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