History Happenings July 2016
The History Center's Electronic Newsletter 
  

CONTACT US
 
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 | Gallery Attendant  | Community@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 227

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

Cindy Kjellander-Cantu | Design & Program Coordinator | Design@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 223

Trustee Corner
Dear Friends,

I first got involved with The History Center as a volunteer in 2008, helping with a series of "Living History" tours in which local historic figures were portrayed by actors along the tour route. For our Halloween tours, my portrayal of nineteenth century murderer Edward Rulloff was apparently so convincing that a passerby called the police to report me lurking in an alley while waiting for the tour group to arrive.

Since that ignominious beginning, I've had the pleasure of taking a more active role with The History Center as we bring history to life for the local community. Serving on the board of trustees since 2010 has given me a front row seat to the amazing breadth and depth of programming offered here, in addition to the exhibits, archives, and research services. I'm constantly impressed by and thankful for our talented staff's ability to juggle so much activity year-round.

My service on the board is ending at a particularly exciting time. We are incredibly fortunate to be led by Rod Howe as our executive director, whose energy and enthusiasm has propelled us to a new level of visibility. As we explore relocation possibilities and partnerships with local organizations, I'm so proud of what The History Center is doing to connect generations, to help community members share their stories, and to discuss current issues through the lens of the past.

Thank you to our staff, trustees, and volunteers, who enable The History Center to do such great work. And thank you to all our supporters, sponsors, and patrons, whose support is so critical to our success. I look forward to seeing The History Center continue its upward trajectory as we celebrate and share the unique history of our local community.

Sincerely,
corey ryan earle
Corey Ryan Earle
Board President


Bookstore Highlight
Girls Explore! Dolls - Harriet Tubman & Amelia Earhart


Amelia Earhart landed where the Hangar Theatre is today.

Harriet Tubman may have spoken at the AME Zion Church in Ithaca.

We now have two new dolls for sale in our bookstore! Learn about each through play and accessories, including a book on the lives of both women.

Both have a connection to local history.

$24.00 (includes tax)

Mention this newsletter when purchasing a doll and get 20% off!
Seeking Volunteers
Want to Help Us Make Ithaca Kitties?

The History Center seeks volunteers to sew and stuff Ithaca Kitties. If you would like to participate, please contact Rod Howe at Director@TheHistoryCenter.net or call (607) 273-8284 x 222. 
Exhibitions

Current Exhibition  
Come Play With Us 
Early Toys from the Collection
April 1 - August 20, 2016
Play is as natural to us as breathing. We begin playing with our first sight of a smiling face and wiggling fingers, and keep at it long after we are old enough to become parents and grandparents ourselves. Toys and games enhance our play, making it richer and more complex. This interactive exhibition features some of the many toys and games from The History Center's collections. Modern examples meant for hands-on exploration will accompany the artifacts to be featured. Photographs from the Sol Goldberg Collection will be on display as well, highlighting his whimsical portrayal of local people in their playful moments. This exhibition will examine the way play has changed - and stayed the same - over the years. It is a celebration of play and childhood, for the child in all of us.

On Display
Exploring Tompkins County
A Municipality Display Case 
This display case is a collaborative effort between The History Center and the municipal historians of Tompkins County. Currently on display is a history of the Cargill Rock Salt Mine in Lansing.

Content loaned by Louise Bement, Town of Lansing Historian.



On Display
Our Community 
A Photo Exhibit Space 
The History Center's new photo exhibit space, Our Community, celebrates the diversity of Tompkins County's people, past and present, at work and play, and in service to each other.  

The newest display features a history of the Grange Movement in Tompkins County. Founded in the post-Civil War era, Granges were designed to promote the social and economic needs of farmers in the United States. At the high point of their development there were more than 20,000 granges throughout the country. Several
The Enfield Valley Grange, 1926
Tompkins County communities had granges, including Groton, Ithaca, Ulysses, Enfield, East Lansing, Lansingville, Dryden, and others. Our display features images of the Enfield Valley Grange and the East Lansing Grange.

Special thanks to Enfield Town Historian Sue Thompson for photographs and history of the Enfield Valley Grange.  
Upcoming Events   


First Friday Gallery Night
First Friday Gallery Night 
Friday July 1, 2016 - 5:00 to 8:00 PM (at The History Center)
Stop by The History Center to browse artifacts collected on-site at the Eight Square Schoolhouse, ask an archaeologist some questions, have a conversation with an Eight Square teacher and learn about the Eight Square Schoolhouse! At 6:30 PM, join us for presentations on Digging into Carrie's Diary: A Summer Camp for Kids and Come Dig with Us!: An Inter-generational Archaeology Field School, both held at the Eight Square Schoolhouse during the summer.
         
History Forge Transcription and Data Entry Bee (Volunteers Needed)
Saturday July 9, 2016 - 11:00 to 1:00 PM (at The History Center) 
Come volunteer at our next transcription bee! If you want to participate, please contact Rod Howe at Director@TheHistoryCenter.net and plan on coming at 11:00am so training only needs to be done once. Light refreshments will be served with lots of fun and an educational opportunity that will make Ithaca history. Be sure to bring your laptop.
 
Second Saturday Game Day!
Saturday July 9, 2016 - 12:00 to 4:00 PM (at The History Center) 
 
Ithaca Music Pioneers: Patsy Conway & Hollis Dann
Saturday July 16, 2016 - 2:00 PM (at The History Center)
Stop by the Center for this Local Music Series kickoff event. Come learn about the impact Patsy Conway and Hollis Dann had on local and national band and choral music in the early twentieth century.
 
History Forge Transcription and Data Entry Bee (Volunteers Needed)
Saturday July 23, 2016 - 11:00 PM to 1:00 PM (at The History Center) 
Come volunteer at our next transcription bee!  If you want to participate, please contact Rod Howe at Director@TheHistoryCenter.net and plan on coming at 11:00am so training only needs to be done once. Light refreshments will be served with lots of fun and an educational opportunity that will make Ithaca history. Be sure to bring your laptop.
 
Ithaca Artists Market
Friday July 29, 2016 - 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM (Ithaca Farmer's Market, Steamboat Landing)  
The History Center will have a booth at this year's Artists Market! Make sure to stop by and say hello.
 
Important Notice: Closing Hours

Closed Saturday July 2, 2016.  
   
The History Center will be closed on Saturday July 2, 2016 in honor of the Fourth of July. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Have fun and stay safe!

Eight Square Schoolhouse 2016 Summer Programs
From the Collection
Postcards
July HH Postcard

In 1898, legislation was passed that provided for open-faced postal cards to be mailed in the United States for 1 cent postage, half the price of a letter. The address occupied one side and a picture and any message went on the other. Before 1907, postcard messages had to be written on the face with the address occupying the entire back. Some postcards provided a margin at one side of the front image for the necessarily brief message.
 
Also in 1898, Rural Federal Delivery (RFD) began and rural isolation was re-defined. Before 1898 rural families received mail when they went to the nearest village post office, rarely more than once a week. Implementation of RFD was gradual, with services beginning in 1902 in Tompkins County. Mail carriers began traveling most roads and messages and information arrived in farmhouses nearly every day.
 
In 1906, Eastman Kodak began marketing cameras and papers designed for amateur postcard making and many people began making and sending pictures of their homes, families, pets, and businesses using homemade images. Creative uses were found for postcards, including advertising and comic greetings as well as personal messages. Merchants posed in front of their stores with employees and delivery vehicles, and then offered the cards to their customers who distributed them. Across the country professional photographers produced a wide range of postcard images highlighting engaging aspects of their locales. Around 1907, new postal rules allowed for cards with divided backs, a message on the left and the address and stamp on the right side of the card. By that time, economic, social, technological, and artistic currents came together to produce a high point in usage of the postcard.
 
Germany became the center for production of colored postcards. Black and white photos taken in North America were sent abroad where they were overlaid with soft colors, usually applied by hand, mostly by women working on assembly lines. This international enterprise ended with the beginning of World War I.
 
Post cards that were actually mailed may be dated by their postmarks, if legible. An undivided back suggests that a post card was printed before 1907, and a divided back dates any postcard as more recent than 1907. Hand-colored postcards with local images printed in Germany may be presumed to be older than 1914.  
 
At the beginning of the 20 th century the individual communities within Tompkins County had each its own sense of place. Postal cards show the look of each community, in its unique features and also in its similarity to other communities in the region and the nation. The History Center in Tompkins County has many views of local scenes on post cards from this century-ago era and will be soon presenting a small selection on our website. Anyone interested in seeing the entire collection of original cards may visit at 401 East State St. in Ithaca on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from 11:00 to 5:00.


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