The Little Town that Wasn’t
Have you heard of Agloe, New York? It’s what is referred to as a mapmakers copyright trap or a “paper town.”
Where is Agloe?
These days Agloe, New York exists only in the hearts and minds of fans of the book and subsequent movie Paper Towns by John Green.
You can visit the place on the map where Agloe wasn’t, then was, then wasn’t again near Roscoe, New York.
Visit where Agloe isn’t on Google Maps
What the heck is a paper town?
Cartographers used fictitious town names, or paper towns as a trap to illustrate that their hard work had been copied by other unscrupulous mapmakers. As such, a paper town only existed on paper.
Is Agloe a Real Town?
No. Yes? Err… No.
In the curious case of Agloe, that it was only a paper town was true, then it wasn’t, until it was once again.
Though the town name is no longer featured on current New York maps, for a time it was there in all it’s make-believe glory.
A general store which adopted the faux-town name was built in the 1950’s. And in a curious plot 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 sometime in the 1990’s.
Agloe, the town that wasn’t then was, isn’t again.
Returning to Paper
All that remains now is a small sign welcoming you to Agloe, Home of the Agloe General Store, and not much else. Kenny and I stopped for a look in the summer of 2016 while we were riding in the area.
The not-a-town town was popularized by the book Paper Towns by John Green. Someone who is super corny might say that Green put Agloe… back on the map. (sorry, not sorry)
Visiting the not-a-town town of Agloe, New York
If you’d like to visit the imaginary town yourself, you’ll find the general store sign affixed to a utility pole on Route 206 near Roscoe, just southwest of its intersection with Beaverkill Valley Road.