Edit - found a link: https://botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/apple-festival/
The tasting tent with over a hundred different varieties was an amazing experience.
Can we replace the current link with the Atlas Obscura one? That's what this Southern Living article is referencing anyway.
Thanks for the suggestion.
"The king of all apples"
I thought it was weird that this article didn’t mention it at all, but upon searching for a source the first article that popped up was also about this man (Tom) & talked about it 
Probably has to do with the nature of the websites demographic that they exclude it.
This reminds me of another person I’m familiar with though, who is preserving hundreds of tomato species - Dan at Rainbow Tomato’s Garden 
This directly led to the situation we have currently, where in the US, "cider" usually refers to cloudy apple juice, and specifically "hard cider" refers to alcoholic, fermented juice, while in the rest of the world, "cider" only refers to the alcoholic drink.
If you want to plant an old variety of apple, there is nothing to stop you having it on a dwarf rootstock.
Share some with your neighbors and maybe propagate some new trees to spread. Maybe your little corner of the world will have a special niche apple variety that will outlive you.
They are a very popular apple in the northeastern US, though, so if you grew up in that area it's no surprise you found them everywhere, for probably ~5 months out of the year.
While it's certainly true that the varieties of apple available are much larger now than they were, unfortunately a lot of the common varieties nowadays are bred with longevity more in mind than flavor, and also have parentage from e.g. red delicious and share its distinctive cardboard flavor (in my opinion).
Absolutely not true in New England--although I agree with your assessment on red delicious and golden delicious in particular. McIntoshes aren't great for cooking but they're pretty good eating apples--although I don't usually buy them my neighbor as quite a few trees of them in her orchard. Granny Smiths tend to be my go to for cooking.