Welcome to Agloe, New York – The Town That Isn’t

Welcome to Agloe, New York – The Town That Isn’t

Have you ever heard of Agloe, New York? It’s what is referred to as a mapmakers copyright trap or a “paper town.” Cartographers used them as a signal to show that their work had been copied. As such, a paper town only exists on paper.

In the case of Agloe that was true, then wasn’t, then was.

Though the town name is no longer featured on current maps, for a time it was. A general store that took the fictitious town name was built in the 1950’s. In a curious twist, the presence of that store actually put the town of Agloe on the map for real. But following the store’s demise, the town name was again removed from maps some time in the 1990s.

Agloe – the town that wasn’t, then was, now isn’t.

What is there now is a small sign welcoming you to Agloe and not much else. Kenny and I stopped for a look last summer while we were riding in the area. The not-town was popularized by the book Paper Towns by John Green. He put Agloe… back on the map. (sorry 🙂 )


“Did you just take me to visit an imaginary town?”

4 Replies to “Welcome to Agloe, New York – The Town That Isn’t”

  1. Cool, never knew about this. Sounds like a cool bonus location for a rally 🙂

    Do you have Why AZ or Why Not MS or Why Not NC on your list?

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