Monumental Mysteries: Sugar House Pictures

Host Don Wildman explores a mansion in Michigan that was built on the back of the sweetest of swindles, and learns of a violent uprising in New York City’s Central Park.

Photos

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Spanning the entrance to San Francisco Bay, the vibrantly orange Golden Gate Bridge is one of this country’s most iconic monuments. This beautiful behemoth holds the distinction for being the most photographed bridge in the world, but few visitors realize that its origins are shrouded in tragedy. In February 1937, 10 bridge workers plummeted to their deaths – what caused this terrible accident? 960 1280

Getty  

Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre

On April 15, 1865, America’s beloved 16th president was assassinated by actor and confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. But what happened to Lincoln’s assassin? Was he killed as he resisted capture -- as our history books state -- or could he have survived and evaded justice? 960 1280

  

Garfield's Tomb

Garfield's Tomb

This magnificent building isn’t a castle or a cathedral, but the nation’s first true mausoleum, commemorating US President James A. Garfield. Despite the grandeur of this memorial, Garfield served the second-shortest term in US history, cut short by his untimely death. Who, or what, really killed President James A. Garfield? And how did his death herald in an invention that we still use today? 960 1280

  

General Grant National Memorial

General Grant National Memorial

Amidst the green oasis of New York’s Riverside Park, stands the General Grant National Memorial, the final resting place of president and Civil War legend Ulysses S. Grant. But how was this monument involved in one of the most audacious scandals of all time? 960 1280

  

Mercy “Lena” Brown's Grave

Mercy “Lena” Brown's Grave

In January 1892, 19-year-old Mercy “Lena” Brown succumbs to a strange disease – one that causes her to cough up blood as her body wastes away. At the time, many claim that Lena was a vampire, and they exhume her body to prove it. What literary classic did her story inspire? 960 1280

  

Tombstone

Tombstone

Designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1961, the town of Tombstone in southern Arizona is one of the best-preserved specimens of rugged frontier towns from the 1870s. But the town was also home to a dangerous renegade, whose reign of terror culminated in an infamous shootout that’s now the stuff of legend. 960 1280

Dennis Macdonald  

Boll Weevil Statue

Boll Weevil Statue

The Boll Weevil Monument in the town of Enterprise, AL, holds the distinction of being the world’s only monument dedicated to an agricultural pest. 960 1280

  

Falling Star Statue

Falling Star Statue

The Falling Star Statue in the sleepy town of Sylacauga, AL, was built to commemorate the first known instance of a meteor hitting a person in modern history. 960 1280

  

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station in New York City is one of the country’s best-loved landmarks. Its main concourse is crowned by an enormous astronomical mural painted in gold leaf and cerulean blue. The mural depicts the star signs of the zodiac and is the largest diagram of its kind in the modern world. But this zodiac is not like others, and sinister symbolism may be hidden within its design. 960 1280

Insight Imaging  

American Venus in Central Park

American Venus in Central Park

Scattered around New York City are 3 statues inspired by the same stunning model, Audrey Munson -- often referred to as the American Venus -- who was a muse to hundreds of artists. This statue stands at the USS Maine Monument in Central Park. 960 1280

  

Statue of Audrey Munson at the New York Public Library

Statue of Audrey Munson at the New York Public Library

Another Audrey Munson-inspired statue, entitled “Beauty,” can be seen at the New York Public Library. 960 1280

  

Located in Arizona, the Sitgreaves National Forest is home to over 400 species of wildlife and 680 miles of rivers and streams. But this verdant oasis was once the site of a bizarre encounter. Was a man abducted by aliens here, as he claims? 960 1280

  

Alien Abduction in Arizona

Alien Abduction in Arizona

In 1975, logger Travis Walton mysteriously disappeared from the forest and re-appeared 5 days later, claiming to have been abducted by aliens. All these years later, the veracity of his story has never been disproven. 960 1280

  

Anchor Bar in Buffalo

Anchor Bar in Buffalo

A carved wooden statues stands out front of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, celebrating the creation of the famous American dish: Buffalo wings. But when a journalist decided to track down the creator of the spicy treat, he found that the tale was not so simple. Who was the real inventor of Buffalo wings? 960 1280

  

Face in the Courthouse Window

Face in the Courthouse Window

The quaint southern town of Carrollton, AL, is home to charming churches and old cemeteries. But one window at the Picken’s County Courthouse has a mysterious and horrifying image that some say was left there by an angry spirit. 960 1280

  

Face in the Courthouse Window

Face in the Courthouse Window

Is the face, forever burned into the glass in the courthouse window, that of a former slave who was executed in 1878, after being accused of arson? And does he still haunt the town? 960 1280

  

Lake George, located amidst the mountains and forests of New York’s Adirondack Park, has been a vacation destination for generations. But at the turn of the century, some say a terrifying and monstrous beast arose from the depths of this typically placid body of water, inciting panic and creating a mystery that has remained unsolved for decades. 960 1280

  

Ames Pyramid

Ames Pyramid

On a summit near Laramie, WY, is a strange monument known as the Ames Pyramid. This national historic landmark commemorates 2 brothers who were the driving force behind the Trans Continental Railroad. But what massive financial scandal came about as a result of the Ames brothers’ achievement? 960 1280

  

Zodiac Island

Zodiac Island

Known to locals as Zodiac Island, this tiny strip of land in Lake Berryessa, CA, was a crime site for one of America’s most notorious serial killers. Two young victims were found here bound and bleeding from a vicious attack. So who was the Zodiac killer? 960 1280

  

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, is well known as the site of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but decades earlier, the monument played host to another landmark event in Civil Rights history -- a 1939 concert by the African-American opera singer Marion Anderson. 960 1280

  

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

But what threatening obstacles did Anderson overcome to perform her historic concert? 960 1280

  

Castillo San Marcos

Castillo San Marcos

Overlooking Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, FL, is the historic Castillo San Marcos. This landmark fort was the site of many battles, but it is perhaps best known for a secret romance and mysterious disappearance. 960 1280

  

Captain Manuel Abela

Captain Manuel Abela

What became of the fort’s commanding officer’s wife and her lover, Captain Manuel Abela? 960 1280

  

Isidor and Ida Straus

Isidor and Ida Straus

On Manhattan’s Upper West Side is a small oasis known as Straus Park, and in it stands a beautiful statue of a Grecian figure. This lovely monument commemorates one of the great tragic love stories of American history -- that of Isidor and Ida Straus. The department store baron and his wife would meet their fate in 1912 on the decks of the RMS Titanic. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Marfa, Texas

Marfa, Texas

A lonely structure outside the small west Texas town of Marfa serves as a viewing outpost for a mysterious phenomenon. 960 1280

  

Marfa Lights

Marfa Lights

For generations, people in this area have reported seeing a strange set of lights in the desert that vanish suddenly. Is there a scientific explanation for the Marfa Lights, or is something otherworldly at work? 960 1280

Jack in DC via Flickr Creative Commons  

The Hot List

Explore America’s most stunning scenery.
Join the conversation on Social Media!
Stay updated on the latest travel tips and trends.
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.