Courtesy of theglen.com:
“Road racing came to Watkins Glen in 1948 by way of Cameron Argetsinger, a law student at Cornell University who often stayed at his father’s summer home on Seneca Lake, with the family having ties to the area since the early 1800’s. Argetsinger, an early member of the SCCA, proposed an amateur road race to be called the “Watkins Glen Grand Prix” to the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce. Amid an enthusiastic response to the idea, Argetsinger mapped out a 6.6-mile course using mostly paved roads with a short dirt and gravel stretch, and the SCCA sanction was obtained.
On October 2nd, 1948, 15 cars started the 8-lap, 52.8-mile Grand Prix, with Wayne, Pennsylvania’s Frank Griswold winning in a pre-war Alfa Romeo 8C2900 coupe, closely followed by Briggs Cunningham in his famous Bu-Merc. Other prominent entrants included William “Bill” Milliken, who rolled his Bugatti 35 in qualifying, giving “Milliken’s Corner” its name. Charles Addams, the cartoonist who created the Addams family, was also entered, along with Miles and Sam Collier, major figures in the history of American road racing.”