(WSYR-TV) — About 12 miles south of Syracuse is Cardiff, New York. It’s home to an incredible hoax, the Cardiff Giant, a story that fascinated the nation beginning in 1869.

Here’s the story:

“William ‘Stub’ Newell had two workmen on his farm, ostensibly to dig a new well behind his barn. Several minutes into the dig, one of the men spotted what looked like a foot and exclaimed, ‘I declare, some old Indian has been buried here!’ The two men continued digging while a small crowd grew around them. There, in a shallow three-foot pit, lay the figure of a man, legs together, with its right arm crossed across its lower abdomen and left arm trapped beneath its enormous body.”

Bob Searing, Curator of History at the Onondaga Historical Society

Within weeks the story had America in awe.

You can learn more about Central New York’s history by visiting the museum at 321 Montgomery Street in Downtown Syracuse. You can also check them out online at CNYHistory.org or on Facebook.