The History Center ends the year grateful for the multiple ways that county residents engage with us and use local history to gain perspective and to make informed decisions about the future. At times the discovery is playful and other times serious. We are grateful for the range of topics and initiatives that our mission statement allows us to address such as housing, welcoming refugees, our entrepreneurial spirit, music, changes to the land, social movements, heritage tourism, and youth-elder oral histories. We look forward to engaging with you in 2017. May it be a year of discovery, knowing and connecting.
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!
Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers
by Ronald E. Ostman and Harry Littell
The History Center's bookstore now includes a recently published visual history of Pennsylvania's Railroad Lumbering Communities - Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers: The Photographic Legacy of William T. Clarke.
Discovered in a shed in upstate New York and a barn in Pennsylvania after decades of obscurity, Clarke's photographs offer an unprecedented view of the logging, lumbering, and wood industries during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
50 Years of Ellis Hollow Quilting
by Beverly West
Recently, The History Center has received copies of newly published "50 Years of Ellis Hollow Quilting": a detailed book and a booklet. The booklet includes images of Ellis Hollow Quilts. The detailed book includes all the quilts along with plans, designs, and photos of the process and workers for each quilt.
Made in Tompkins County:
A Timeline of Local Enterprise
Through February 18th, 2017
This broad survey takes a look at the long sweep of enterpri
se in Tompkins County, from its earliest days to the 21st century. Read more here.
Sponsored by Tompkins Trust Company
Our Municipality Display Case
The A, B, C of James McLallen's Ulysses
On display through April 2017
The History Center is has a new 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.
Celebrating History Awards 2016-2017
||Marcham Hall, Cayuga Heights by Jack Lambert
Courtesy of Cayuga Heights History Project
Sunday, January 29th, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (at Marcham Hall in the Village of Cayuga Heights) (with February 12 as a back-up date in case of inclement weather).
The History Center's trustees and employees view the awards as a way to honor those who are making history, engaging with local history, interpreting local history, and/or whose work resonates with our mission statement.
- Carol Kammen, Tompkins County Historian
- The Cayuga Heights History Project Team: Bea Szekely, Village of Cayuga Heights Historian, Pat Longoria, Carole Schiffman and Randi Kepecs
- Robert (Bob) Baxter, CEO, Dryden Mutual Insurance Company
- League of Women Voters in Tompkins County
- Eli Zhang, Youth Volunteer, John Marcham Research Library
- Francesca Chu, Youth Volunteer, John Marcham Research Library
RSVP by January 25 to firstname.lastname@example.org
First Friday Gallery Night: Ithaca Underground at The History Center
Friday, January 6th, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (at The History Center)
Ithaca and Tompkins County have a rich history of local music. As part of an ongoing series we will celebrate that history by featuring three generations of musicians. On Friday, January 6 starting at 5:30 p.m.,
, and the
at The History Center in Tompkins County. It is an opportunity to continue the ringing in of the new year!
Morse Aviation Program with Don Funke
Saturday, January 7th, 2:00 PM to 3.30 PM
The presentation is part of a series related to The History Center's current "Made in Tompkins County" exhibit. Morse Equalizing Spring Company, later named Morse Chain Company, was established in 1880 by Everett Fleet Morse. This presentation will focus on the early years and include insights into the events of 100 years ago.
The presenter, Don Funke, is President of the Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation and heads up the restoration efforts of the Thomas-Morse Scout produced in Ithaca 100 years ago. Don came to Ithaca 44 years ago with NCR as manager of the Technical Services Organization and liaison to the Field Service Operations worldwide.
Encountering History with Carol Kammen
Thursday, January 12th, noon to 1:15pm (at TTC Study Room, TCPL)
Explore the art of "doing history" during Tompkins County Public Library and the History Center In Tompkins County's monthly, "Encountering History" program. Facilitated by County Historian Carol Kammen, these free, 75-minute drop-in sessions will be held at noon on the second Thursday of each month in the Library's Tompkins Trust Company Study Room and are perfect for anyone interested in history and exploring historical events and documents
The New Jim Crow
Community Read Event:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Felons Need Not Apply
January 16th, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM (at GIAC)
Hosted by The Returning Citizens Welcome Group. Corresponds with NJC Chapter 4.
History Forge Transcription and Data Entry Bee (Volunteers Needed)
Saturday, January 14th & January 28th, 2017 - 11:00 PM to 1:00 PM (at The History Center)
Come volunteer at our next transcription bee!
If you want to participate please email Ksenia email@example.com. 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.
Entrepreneurs: Then and Now
Saturday, January 14th, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (at The History Center)
There is a long history of innovation and entrepreneurship in Ithaca and Tompkins County some of which is highlighted in the current exhibit entitled "Made in Tompkins County." This program will highlight the entrepreneurial spirit that has been evident in our community with a focus on the past 30 years and into the present. How has the entrepreneurial environment changed over the years and what has been the effect on the community? There will be a panel presentation followed by Q&A.
Common Threads: Textile Traditions in Tompkins County
Saturday, January 21st, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (at The History Center)
Visit The History Center in Tompkins County between 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 21, for demonstrations by crocheter Saundra Goodman, embroiderer Enikő Farkas, and the Tompkins County Quilters Guild. Afterwards, folklorist Hannah Davis of the
New York Folklore Society
New York State Council on the Arts
will discuss her documentation of traditional arts and culture in Tompkins County. Attendees are encouraged to interact with demonstrators, ask questions, and provide feedback. Refreshments will be provided.
Save the Date: Panel discussion "Businesses in our Midst that Value Place"
Saturday, February 4th, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (at The History Center)
There are Tompkins County businesses for which place matters from any number of perspectives such as location, workforce, access to technology, branding, entrepreneurial spirit, lifestyle and community connections. There will be a panel presentation followed by a discussion with the audience.
From the Collection
City Hall Model
A Model of the old Ithaca City Hall, 1990
by Charles W. Barber
This model of the old Ithaca City Hall was built in 1990 by Charles W. Barber, a former City of Ithaca engineer. It is made of balsa wood and foam core. Brian Nevin donated it to our collection in 1994.
The original Ithaca Village Hall was designed in 1842 by Isaac and Caleb Earl and finished in 1844. When Ithaca became a city in 1888 the Village Hall served as City Hall until 1965. Located on the northeast corner of Seneca and Tioga Streets, this brick building was built in the Greek Revival style. Throughout the 19th century, the fire department, and its horses, were housed on the ground floor and the main floor above provided space for concerts and plays as well as for public functions. In the 20th century the building served as headquarters for the fire and police departments, the city clerk's office, the mayor's office, and the City Hall.
Over half of the 20th century, various complaints were made about the building: about its faulty roof, its poor ventilation, its inability to comply with state requirements for fire safety for public buildings, and, not least, its unpleasant-smelling lower level. The building was demolished in 1965 and the Seneca Street parking garage occupies the site now. This loss helped to stimulate the formation of Historic Ithaca, a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of Ithaca's architectural heritage.