METTAWEE SPEEDWAY

Granville, New York

     I thought I had discovered the location of the old Mettawee Speedway [Mettowee - it depends on whom you ask] in North Granville, New York in September of 2004. My wife , my parents and I had just about despaired of finding the location as described by A former Granvillite, Art Visconti, when we decided to stop at a roadside stand for fresh corn. Noting that the proprietor was not a particularly young man, I asked him if he knew of any former race tracks in the area.

    He turned slightly to the right [East] and said, "Right down there, behind the Sunset View".

    Well, we expected the Sunset View to be a motel. It turned out to be a ramshackle farm - possibly even derelict by this point. I drove up into the furrowed and washed-out driveway only to find a suspicious young couple [no doubt renters] residing in the house. The young man said there was no stock car track out there - but he thought there was a horse track. Close enough, I thought, what would a twenty-something year-old know any way?

    It turned out the kid was right. The stock car track was further down the road, near what today is  Ford dealership. I will have to go back to Granville and start over.

    From what I can tell, we have unearthed the 1950's era track whose ranks provided competitors for Pico, Stateline, Fairmont, and even Devil's Bowl - not to mention most likely sending a few to New York tracks like the Pine Bowl, in Snyders Corners and even Fonda.

    From what I can recall of my one trip there as a very small child, the track held a Sunday afternoon program whose feature came abruptly to a halt when there was a hell of an accident and local driver Ed Barnes ended up taking down the pole that carried all electric power to the judges' or announcer's stand - or whatever. Everyone went home. I don't know how much longer the track operated, but it didn't survive into the 1960's, as far as I can ascertain. 

   Visconti [and probably others] occasionally asked to use the track to try out their race cars for Fairmont, but it never again opened.

April 27, 2008 addition to the story: On the way to Saratoga, my wife and I stopped by Granville, NY, and actually ran down the Mettowee Speedway location for certain this time. I had always heard that people had to go behind a farm to enter the track, and so the Sunset View Farm location seemed right. Acting on info from Ted Vogel, we ended up at the Wilson Farm, which may be closer to Fort Ann than Granville. There, Ray Wilson, who was four at the time of the track's operation, not only verified we were finally in the right place - but he produced an actual aerial photo of the speedway. I would say EXTREMELY rare. So, check out the new site, which I proceeded to also locate on Terraserver. My thanks to Ray, who grew up to be quite a snowmobile racing star in his own right.

 


USGS Terraserver Photo
This is apparently the correct Mettowee location - behind a farm, like the other track, but further
west, near a Ford dealership. I drew in an oval to mark the spot.

    
USGS Topo Map
I have attempted to show approximately where the track lies. But I can't get the oval I drew to stay put on the map. It lies in that white space to the left of the BM letters.


Courtesy of Ray Wilson
This is one of the gems of my website now. An aerial photo, hired out by the Wilson family, was taken by a Rochester, NY - based aerial photographer named DeWolf. The photo shows an irregularly-shaped track, made to fit in the available pasture site. People entered off Route 22 as seen above, and bought tickets from someone in the old school bus that can be made out by that entrance. We see a tiny announcers' stand in the infield, across from equally tiny grandstands. I can make out concessions and equally-spaced light poles, one of which Ed Barnes mowed down the only time I got to attend. Spectators parked off turns one and two, off the left side of the photo. Wilson said that, for one year, there were also  bleachers on a hill which would have been a ways off turns three and four, to right of the photo. There appears to be fencing on the peripheries of the property, and I would have to guess cars pitted in the infield. The road leading to the lower righthand corner was probably for the water truck.

A FEW POSSIBLE COMPETITORS AT METTAWEE SPEEDWAY

Art Visconti,
Granville, NY

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The Loomis Brothers, Granville, NY

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Bill Stevens,
W. Sand Lake, NY

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Steve Danish,
Cropseyville, NY

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Don Leffler,
E. Greenbush, NY

Ken Delong, 
Whitehall, NY

Spence Parkhurst, Saratoga Sprg, NY

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Wally LaBelle,
 Glens Falls, NY

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Joe Messina
Troy, NY 

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Foster Wendell, Greenfield Ctr., NY

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Courtesy of  Vogel Family

George Baumgardner, Saratoga, NY

 

Jeep_Caprara_37.jpg (51910 bytes)

Courtesy of Herbert Family

Jeep Herbert, Schenectady, NY

 


Courtesy of  Otto Graham site

Pete Corey,
Crescent, NY

 

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Al Rodd, 
Shushan, NY

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New Yorker Pete Peterson's son proudly poses by his dad's car at the Pine Bowl. Peterson probably ran Mettawee, as well.

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Link Petit, Sr.
Great Barrington, MA


Pettit Collection
Link Pettit
His own car.

Pettit Collection
Link Pettit
Mettawee Victory

Hackel Family Collection
Lee Palmer
Bob Hackel's Car

Ken Gypson Collection
Nelson Moore
Granville, NY

Courtesy of Hoffer Family
Bob Hoffer,
Argyle, NY

Courtesy of Hoffer Family
Unknown Car

Courtesy of Ron Hoffer
Bill Morse's 467,
driven by Charlie
Morse. Likely, a Mettawee competitor.

 

Courtesy of Ron Hoffer
Frank Petty's car,
probably at Schuylerville
driven by Hank Schmidt. Likely, it ran at Mettawee.

 

 

PHOTOS OF THE METTAWEE SITE IN 2008
All Ladabouche Photos


The site of the former entrance off Route 22

 


Looking toward Turn Four

Looking toward Turn Three

Looking toward Turn Two

Looking toward the farm and Rt. 22

Looking toward the bank off Turn 3 & 4 where they once had bleachers. Check out behind the people Link.

 
   


Courtesy of  Mark LeFrancois
This photo of the Danish's 61 Jr. might be showing his car or brother, Al's. I would guess the bleachers in the background
were those described by Ray Wilson as the "ones on the bank beyond turn three".

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