History Happenings  December 2017
The History Center's Electronic Newsletter 
The Corner
"Libe" Slope at Cornell was a great place to go sledding on a snowy winter day around 1950 when this photograph was taken. Photo from the Collection of The History Center.

This is a busy time of year. Those of us involved with The History Center hope that you will pause over the next month to have intergenerational conversations about connections to place, engaging with history, past milestones and hopes for the future. Generation-to-generation discussions can thread together the past, present and future and help to build community. Ask questions across the generations within your family but also with colleagues, friends and acquaintances. We encourage you to reach beyond your typical social networks as opportunities arise to deepen your connections to place and to understand your role in making history.

"In all of us," wrote Ithaca-born Alex Haley, author of the popular novel Roots, "there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."

Director of The History Center in Tompkins County
Support Your Local History Center

On the left:  Extended family and descendants at Snyder Hill Farm. Photo provided. On the right: Snyder Hill Farm Tour, October 14, 2017.

Please support The History Center in Tompkins County. The John Marcham Research Library, the Eight Square Schoolhouse, our archives & collections, and exhibits & programs add multiple dimensions to your local history center. We take an active role in creating a sense of place and providing opportunities to share perspectives. 
To give, please visit  TheHistoryCenter.net/donate.
Bookstore & Gift Shop Highlights 
A Month of Holiday Shopping

Come and shop at The History Center in Tompkins County between Saturday, November 25 and Saturday, December 23. We will have over 40 titles of local history books, maps, postcards, and other items with discounts in the range of 15% to 60%!
Current Exhibitions

Main Gallery Exhibition
The Maps of Tompkins County
Maps are powerful and engaging forms of visual communication. They show us our world, and the myriad smaller places within it. Maps simplify, scale down, and organize what otherwise would be too large, too distant, or too complex to be seen.
Maps fulfill a multitude of functions, and are used for a variety of purposes. Political maps, railway maps, waterway maps, soil maps; from cross-sections of lake water depth to trolley routes; maps are irresistible and invaluable resources for learning about our environment in all its tremendous diversity.
This exhibit displays a sampling of The History Center's map collection from the 19th through the 21st centuries.

Peter Webb & Phyllis Webb of Caroline, n.d. Photo from the Collection of The History Cente
Our Community Corner 
The Webbs - A Tompkins County Family
In honor of our county's bicentennial The History Center is celebrating one long-established family from Caroline, the Webbs and their descendants, who exemplify the strength, character, and dedication to family and community that highlight the best of Tompkins County. Peter and Phyllis Webb were both born into slavery sometime in the 1790s and brought to New York as children. Phyllis (she had no last name) was born in North Carolina. Peter Webb, who was born around 1792 in Virginia, was brought here by John James Speed, a slave merchant who settled in Caroline on Level Green Road. Through tremendous hard work and perseverance Peter bought his freedom in 1818; Phyllis would be freed when slavery was abolished in New York State in 1827.

This photograph exhibit tells the moving and enriching story of one family's triumph over extreme hardship and their prosperous and vibrant descendants. 

Former Map Room
The Many Names of Fall Creek
Late November through March 2018
Names tell a story. Known to the Cayugas as Nogaene, Fall Creek flows past Tompkins County places whose names acknowledge the many connections we have with the creek--from business success to technical triumph, and even personal tragedies. 
The exhibition is co-sponsored by: 
Tompkins County Bicentennial Commission  and  Names on the Land--Tompkins County

Woodard School - District 7 - Last Day Picnic. Photo - Courtesy of the Town of Enfield Historian, Sue Thompson.
Exploring Tompkins County: A Municipality Display Case
The Town of Enfield: Schools as a Center of Our Community
Exploring Tompkins County display is a collaboration between The History Center in Tompkins County and Tompkins County's municipal historians. This exhibit shows how Enfield schools have been continuously bringing the community together. We thank Sue Thompson, Town of Enfield Historian, for  providing her knowledge and time to create this unique exhibit.
Upcoming Events

First Friday Gallery Night: Exhibit Opening
"The Many Names of Fall Creek" 
Friday, December 1, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM (at The History Center)
Join Names on the Land--Tompkins County's 6:00 PM launch of the exhibit, "The Many Names of Fall Creek." The exhibit traces the path of Fall Creek from Groton City to Cayuga Lake, pausing at its small towns and tucked-away places to explore more than 200 years of Tompkins County history through photographs and maps. Each place name tells a story of the people who have shaped and been shaped by Fall Creek. Local historians will discuss place names in the hamlet of Forest Home and follow the romantic names on the earliest tourist trail along Ithaca Gorge. Share & invite friends!

"Climates of Change" Performances

December 1, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. (at Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts)
December 2, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. (at Enfield Valley Grange)
December 2, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. (at Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts)
December 3, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. (at Community School of Music and Arts)
December 4, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. (Cornell Campus Sustainability Summit)
Co-directed by Sarah K. Chalmers & Godfrey L. Simmons. The play is created from stories told by various communities throughout Tompkins County about global warming: the controversies, the science, the economic impacts, and the different ways this crisis affects diverse populations. Read more about the shows here: http://civicensemble.org/climates-of-change/

Names on the Land Program & Celebration 
Saturday, December 2, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (at The History Center)
On Saturday, December 2 nd, the Names on the Land-Tompkins County celebrates its first year of collecting county place name histories with a program that begins at 2:00 p.m. at The History Center in Tompkins County. Municipal historians and local history enthusiasts from around the county will share how place names offer an approach to telling local history. Place names tell us about the people who have settled the area, the geography that influences where we live, work, and play, and the values we hold important. Learn how digital tools help us visualize these sometimes forgotten places and how they can reveal patterns of our history. 

HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturday, December 2, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (at The History Center)
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. 

Holiday Music & Shopping 
Saturday, December 9, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (at The History Center)
Come to The History Center in Tompkins County to listen to Doug Robinson, London McDaniels, and Johnny Russo's beautiful music while browsing holiday offerings for sale. Bring friends to enjoy live music, seasonal refreshments, our great selection of local history items & books, and compelling discounts! 

Engaging Local History  
Thursday, December 14, 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (at Tompkins County Public Library)
Join Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen for these free monthly workshops on exploring and 'doing' local history.

Special Exhibits in New York State Museum, Albany, NY
Erie Canal Bicentennial, New York State in WWI, and NYS Woman Suffrage

From the Collection 
We're Moving!

Artifacts are being readied for packing at The History Center in Tompkins County, November 30, 2017.

Think about the last time you packed up your home and moved. You planned carefully, and bought boxes and packing materials for all your belongings. Some things, like plastic kitchen containers or your kids' toys, you felt could be stuffed into boxes without much worry. Others, like dishes, you probably took more care and used more packing material while wrapping them up.
And then there was your great-grandmother's glass clock from 1894. It's delicate, beautiful, fragile, and irreplaceable. It has been passed down through your family for generations, and you have fond memories of her showing it to you when you were a small child. It's so much more than just a timepiece, it's an indelible part of your family heritage. Think about how much more care you put into that packing job. Now, if you multiply that effort by thousands you'll get an idea of what we are going to be doing here at The History Center starting this fall. In late 2018 we are moving to a new location so we're going to start packing our object collection. All of our artifacts are precious parts of local history, many with their own family connections and stories, and each one must be packed with care and skill. Our collection is the essential enduring element of our organization and our job is to see to it that we pass it down to our successors (and yours) in as good shape as it is now. Read more...

Rod Howe | Executive Director | Director@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 222
Donna Eschenbrenner | Archivist | Archives@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 224

Carole West | Educator, Eight Square Schoolhouse | EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 229

Ksenia Ionova |  Community Outreach & Visitor Services | Community@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 227

Karen Binder | Bookkeeper & Administrative Services | Admin@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 225

Cindy Kjellander-Cantu | Design & Support Specialist | Design@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 223

STAY CONNECTED @TompkinsHistory