Ithaca Hours. Image from the Photographic Collection at THC.
Image from the Photographic Collection at THC.
There are many heritage tour ideas that have been generated over the past year for visitors and
residents alike. Two that we would like to start developing build on our community's reputation as being both a socially involved and an "alternative" place. Please send me ideas of what might be included in an "alternative" Ithaca tour and one that would focus on our long history of being involved in social movements. A tour needs specific points to visit to help interpret the historic theme being highlighted - think in terms of people and places.
To seed your thinking here are a few examples. On the "alternative" front: Ithaca Hours, Rongovian Embassy, EcoVillage, and 1960 communes. In terms of social movements: anti-slavery, women's suffrage, and environmental justice.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Executive Director, Director@TheHistoryCenter.net
Bookstore & Gift Shop Highlights
*Items to be purchased in The History Center book store
Mention our newsletter and get 15% off from these selected titles!
Dolls from Girls Explore Series on Sale
in Honor of Women's History Month
From Left to Right:
first Black Woman Pilot;
was one of the first women aviators in the US, and she once visited Ithaca and is thought to have landed at the old airport near today's Hangar Theater;
, the iconic abolitionist and former slave who worked tirelessly for African American freedom before the Civil War, is believed to have spoken at Ithaca's St. James AME Zion Church.
NEW Polydactyl Ithaca Kitty
The History Center presents the long awaited new seven-toed Ithaca Kitty -
Ceaser Grimalkin 2017
Take a look at the story line of this nationally famous toy to find out the importance of updating its design.
On Display through April 15th
The pictures in this exhibition are from the stereoviews collection at The History Center in Ithaca, New York. The photographs celebrate the unique local landscapes with water features and have been enlarged and turned into anaglyphs by superimposing a stereograph pair into a single image.
Our Municipality Display Case
The A, B, C of James McLallen's Ulysses
On display through April 2017
The History Center has a display in the Exploring Tompkins County series featuring the Agriculture, Business, and Churches of James McLallen's Ulysses. We thank John Wertis, Town of Ulysses Historian, for providing the invaluable material, knowledge and time to bring this display to life.
League of Women Voters
On display through late Spring 2017
In this centennial year of women earning the right to vote in New York State, The History Center has a photograph exhibit highlighting the history and work of the Tompkins County League of Women Voters. Learn about this vibrant organization that works for good government through education, advocacy and community engagement.
Exhibitions Available Online
The Grange Movement in Tompkins County
Another THC exhibit from 2016 has become available online. Following the end of the Civil War in the 1860s the federal government encouraged the development of the Grange Movement. Designed to "promote the social and economic needs of farmers in the United States," local granges spread throughout the nation. At the high point of their development, there were more than 20,000 granges. Many of Tompkins County communities had granges, including those of Groton, Ithaca (Forest City Grange), Ulysses, Enfield, Lansing, and Dryden.
Celebrate March 2017 Women's History Month!
Seneca Falls Bus Tour
On July 19 and 20, 1848 the first Convention on Women's Rights was held at the Wesleyan Chapel on Fall Street in Seneca Falls. Organized by Jane Hunt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Ann M'Clintock and others, it was the birth of the Women's Rights Movement.
Saturday, March 25th, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (meeting at The History Center)
March is Women's History Month and in celebration The History Center is planning a trip to Seneca Falls on Saturday, March 25 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. We will visit and tour The Women's Hall of Fame, the Women's Rights National Historic Park and Chapel, see a beautiful painting exhibit "The Women of Social Visionaries Re-imagined," and make a stop for lunch in downtown Seneca Falls to see this historic community and if you wish, meander through the small shops.
There are still a few seats available!
Trip Fee - $35
Trip Fee for THC Friends - $31.50
via the Registration Page or by calling 607-273-8284 Ext. 227 or visiting The History Center (available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM).
NOTE: This trip is appropriate for ages 12 and up and will require a moderate activity level.
Generation to Generation Initiative
Collecting and Sharing Stories
Last spring The History Center conducted a successful pilot program pairing teens and elders in Tompkins County to archive local histories. We are looking for interested teens and elders for this year's Gen to Gen program, which will take place from March through May. This year we will explore place names and to some extent Women's Suffrage. If you would enjoy sharing your life experiences and wisdom with a high school student, and have lived a significant portion of your life in Tompkins County, this is the program for you! If you are a local teen who would like to know more about the history of Ithaca and Tompkins County from those who have lived it, this is the program for you!
|From left to right: Robert Nobles and Aidan Peck (Youth Volunteer), Generation to Generation class of 2016.
Here are a couple poignant comments from several of last year's participants:
From a teen:
"I loved hearing about Hazel's journey as a feminist, because it is a topic I am passionate about."
The benefits of this type of project from an elder: "...allows a young person to be exposed to an entirely different way of thinking about living and life and death."
For more information and to find out how you can participate, contact Carole West, Youth Education Director, at 607 273 8284 X229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eight Square Schoolhouse Announcement
DIGGING INTO CARRIE'S DIARY: A SUMMER CAMP
There may still be snow on the ground, but it's not too early to begin planning for this summer's activities! The History Center is pleased to present the 3rd year of our 'Digging Into Carrie's Diary' summer camp to be held the week of
July 10-14 2017,
Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM,
Co-ed Ages 8 - 13
Join us for a week of immersion into the 19th century life of 13 year old Carrie Manning, as told through the words of her 1869 diary. The Manning farm was near the present day site of Northeast School in the Town of Ithaca. A sampling of the topics and activities for this summer include c
rafting your own journal; w
riting with pen and ink; h
omespun activities; g
ardening & local herbs; N
ative American crafts;
Civil War History; n
ature walk and crafts;
Introduction to Archaeology;
Plus Guest presenters!
Each child will go home with a copy of Carrie's Diary, and we will visit Carrie's gravesite in Pleasant Grove Cemetery to wrap up the week.
For more information, including cost of the camp, contact: Carole West, Youth Education Director, at 607-273-8284 Ext. 229 or Eightsquare@TheHistoryCenter.net.
To register for the camp, fill out the Summer Camp Registration Form and contact:
Ksenia Ionova, Community Outreach & Visitor Services at 607-273-8284 Ext. 227 or Community@TheHistoryCenter.net.
HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturdays, March 25th & April 15th, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (at The History Center in Tompkins County)
Come volunteer at our next transcription bee!
Light refreshments will be served with lots of fun and an educational opportunity that will make Ithaca history come alive. Be sure to bring your laptop. Sign up to volunteer here.
Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park Talk: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Thursday, March 30, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM (at The History Center)
Park Manager, Jim Brophy will provide a look at the historic legacy of Robert H. Treman State Park, constructed during the The Great Depression. The talk will explore how the park serves the community and visitors to Tompkins County today; the park's role in the environment and economic development of Ithaca and Tompkins County; and major initiatives on the horizon.
Henry N. Hinckley and the Hinckley Foundation Museum: A Remembrance and Celebration
Friday, April 7th, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (at The History Center)
The History Center will host a presentation about Henry Hinckley and the Museum named in his honor during the April 7th First Friday Gallery Night at 6:00 p.m.
Henry N. Hinckley was born in Trumansburg, NY. The family moved to Ithaca and Henry attended Cornell University, graduating with a degree in architecture in 1911. He worked as an architect and for the Thomas Morse Air Craft Corporation. During World War I, he served in the Signal Corps and with the Air Force in France. After the war, he returned to Ithaca and worked as an investment banker, city building commissioner, owner and manager of residential properties, and collector and authority on antiques. After Henry's death in 1969, his house became the Hinckley Foundation Museum. The museum closed in the 1990s.
Town of Groton Bicentennial Opening Ceremony
Friday, April 7th, 6:30 PM (at the Groton High School Auditorium, Groton, NY)
This will be the "kick-off" event for the Town of Groton Bicentennial and is exactly 200 years from the first Town Meeting on April 7, 1817. Following the formal posting of the colors by the Groton American Legion, speakers will include Senator James Seward, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, County Legislators Michael Lane and Glenn Morey, and several others. After the short program, and music provided by the Groton School bands, a reception will be held with light refreshments. Admission is free. Check the
Groton Bicentennial Calendar
for more events.
Talk "A, B, C of James McLallen's Ulysses"
by John Wertis
Saturday, April 8th, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM (at The History Center)
In conjunction with the current Municipality Case exhibit, "A, B, C of James McLallen's Ulysses," John Wertis, Town of Ulysses Historian, will give a talk on t
he Agriculture, Business and Churches of early Ulysses.
Mapping Tompkins Sessions
||A recently completed Mapping Tompkins work, provided by TCPL.
Saturday, April 8th, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (at The History Center);
Saturday, April 15th, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (at TCPL)
In recognition of Tompkins County's Bicentennial, Tompkins County Public Library and The History Center in Tompkins County will partner this spring for "Mapping Tompkins," a community celebration of what it means to live, learn, work and play in Tompkins County.
Inspired by the book "Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers," "Mapping Tompkins," offers an opportunity for community members past and present to share-through writing and illustrating pre-printed, blank maps of Tompkins County - what makes Tompkins County a special part of their lives.
Participants are encouraged to preview the Tompkins County Map
and look at an
from the "Mapping Manhattan."
Crayons, markers and magazines for collage-style creation will be available for participant use during both sessions.
he New Jim Crow
Monday, April 17th, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM (at BJM gym)
Dismantling the Master's House. Hosted by Black Lives Matter Ithaca. Corresponds with New Jim Crow Chapter 6. Find out more information on the
Ithaca Fringe Festival (at The History Center)
Friday, April 21st, 5:30 PM - 6:20 PM
Saturday, April 22nd, 5:30 PM - 6:20 PM
Sunday, April 23rd, 11:15 AM - 12:10 PM
Ithaca Fringe Festival
will present the act "I Will Sell This House Today." The performer Sherrie Martin will show one day in the life of a Real Estate Agent as she overcomes obstacles and competitor sabotage -- will she get her house sold?
Carl Becker Lecture Series, sponsored by Cornell University Department of History
Thursday, March 21st, 4:30 PM (at Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall)
Greg Grandin (History, New York University) "Barack Obama and the Afterlives of American Exceptionalism."
Wednesday, March 22nd, 4:30 PM (at Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall)
Greg Grandin (History, New York University) "The Significance of the Frontier in Post-Donald Trump's America."
Thursday, March 23rd, 4:30 PM (at Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall)
Greg Grandin (History, New York University) "Toward a New International History of the Americas."
Talk "Polydactyl Cats in Ithaca" by Bruce Kornreich, DVM, PhD
Saturday, April 22nd, 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM (at The History Center)
Ithaca is famous for its concentration of polydactyl cats, that is cats with extra toes. If you do not own such a cat, you may have seen one or two wandering down the street or in a local SPCA center. In fact,
, a staple Ithacan stuffed animal toy, impersonates one of those mitten-pawed cats.
One narrative suggests when cats were shipped on boats from Britain to the New World, those cats had to develop extra toes to better balance on board the ship. On April 22nd, Dr. Bruce Kornreich from Cornell Feline Health Center will confirm or debunk this myth by providing insights into the history and genetics of this local anomaly.
Ithaca Heritage Pub Crawl
Saturday, April 22nd, 2017, 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM
The History Center and Historic Ithaca are combining some of our favorite things: history, historic buildings a
nd drinks! You'll be greeted at each location with a guide who will tell you about the history of the bar or building you're occupying. The "teams" will spend 20-30 minutes at each bar before rotating to the next location. The participating pubs are Simeon's, Watershed, Argos, Chanticleer, and Bandwagon. Find more information and sign up on the
Local History in Media
WSKG Series: Chords of Memory
In this episode of Chords of Memory we highlight the photography of Sol Goldberg, a photographer from Ithaca, New York. Joanna Patchett sings "Mister Sun." Photographs courtesy of the History Center in Tompkins County.
In this episode of Chords of Memory we highlight the photography of Verne Morton, a photographer from Groton, New York. Brian Hyland provides the music, playing the traditional Irish tune "The South Wind." Photographs courtesy of the History Center in Tompkins County.
Cayuga Radio Group
Local History Minutes
On Air March - December 2017
The History Center in Tompkins County and Cayuga Radio Group are pleased to announce a new series, "Local History Minutes" in honor of this year's Tompkins County Bicentennial. Starting in March and continuing through the rest of this year you will hear "minutes" that will address a wide variety of local history themes and topics. The series' goals are to be educational and entertaining and to entice listeners to learn more about what makes this a unique place. You will hear from employees, trustees and volunteers of The History Center; Tompkins County Bicentennial Commission members, Discovery Trail Directors, municipal historians and others. We hope that you will enjoy the series.
From the Collection
Redware & Stoneware
"I should like to be again settled...with a small pottery on a small but good piece of land...and then if I am favored with good health, I might be an advantage to the boys that are yet with me in attending to their education." Elijah Cornell wrote these words in early 1841 to his son Ezra. And so it turned out: in 1835 Ezra had purchased land near Fall Creek that was ideal for such a venture. Records show that by the summer of 1841 a kiln and small shop were built and the elder Cornell was producing redware pottery that he sold in the Ithaca market for the next several years. His output was prolific. One page of his journal from the early 1840s lists milk pans, jugs, tea pots, ink stands, bowls of many sizes, pudding pans, and chamber pots, all by the dozen.
Read more here.