Two boys visiting East Lansing Grange Hall, 1907. Photo from the Verne Morton Collection of The History Center.
Celebrating Our Rural Heritage
We have planned a series of events to start branding a new rural heritage initiative and to call attention to the county's rich rural history. The tentative plan calls for a major event in 2018 - a Celebrating Rural Heritage weekend. Each town in Tompkins County has its own unique history interrelated with surrounding towns and with the City of Ithaca. These histories form a mosaic. The first two events in the series are referenced in this newsletter.
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!
Images of Rural Life-Photographs of Verne Morton
The book presents 246 photographs, chosen from the Verne Morton Collection, capturing in fine detail rural and small-town life during the first forty years of the twentieth century.
"These photographs speak to us through time, showing how others have lived on this land. Through the seasons and years, Verne Morton recorded his family and neighbors at work and at ease, in school, and on the farm. Morton helps us see the differences between then and now, and he gives us a way to see continuity over time-of those things that are eternal."-Carol Kammen, Tompkins County Historian
Great Possibilities: 150 Verne Morton Photographs
by Ronald E. Ostman, Harry Littell
Main Gallery Exhibit
||Tioga Street in 1920s and modern times. Photo montage from the Collection of The History Center.
The Altered and Preserved Landscape
On display from May 5th through September 9th, 2017
This exhibit by students from Tompkins Cortland Community College examines the local landscape and is part of the larger celebration of the 200 year anniversary of Tompkins County. The artworks explore the visual and functional conditions of Tompkins County over time by drawing on primary source materials from The History Center.
Italian-American Community Display
The History Center presents images and archival materials related to the Italian-American community in Tompkins County.
Italian immigrants have been settling in Tompkins County for over 100 years and have added immensely to the economic, civic, and cultural life of our area. Often from modest origins, Italian families frequently faced economic hardship and the prejudices of their new neighbors and co-workers as they became part of the life of the community. Through their experiences, good and bad, they retained a love of family, work, friends.
|Looking West down Main Street, Trumansburg, NY. Early 1900s
Our Municipality Display Case
The A, B, C of James McLallen's Ulysses
On display through early June 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.
Sparks from the Forge
Women's Suffrage Related Events
This is a page in the Women's Suffrage section of THC website.
Women's Suffrage Related Events
will features local events related to the Women's Suffrage Centennial.
Timeline of Central New York State Women's Suffrage
The History Center's staff engaged multiple resources to identify the role of Central and Upstate New York in promoting Women's Suffrage between the 1840s and 1920s. The aim of the resource is to highlight local and regional initiatives related to the arc of progress toward women's suffrage. The timeline of Central New York State Women's Suffrage is a part of the digital educational materials
developed for the Women's Suffrage Centennial.
County Bicentennial Highlights
Historic Ithaca's Walks and Talks
Free walk and talks that explore the unique places around our county!
Walk and talks last for approximately 45 minutes and are guided by municipal historians from communities throughout Tompkins County.
Click here to learn more.
Names on the Land - Tompkins County
Read a new article
The "King of Trumansburg" on Camp Street
by S.K. List
. Find more articles
County Bicentennial Municipal Brochures
New town municipal brochures for Caroline, Danby, Dryden, Enfield, Groton, Lansing, Newfield, Ithaca and Ulysses in honor of Tompkins County's bicentennial. Check out the brochures
Tompkins County Bicentennial Tea Towels
Celebrate Tompkins County's Bicentennial with a commemorative - and useful - keepsake tea towel!
Want to see what our county looked like in 1866, then see the county map featured on the tea towel. Towels are available at The History Center.
Friday, June 2nd, 5:30 PM
Come and walk with The History Center in the Ithaca Festival Parade as we re-enact a Women's Suffrage March reminiscent of the early 1900's! We invite women, men and children to walk with us to show
their support for the women in their lives!
Sign up with
Carole West at EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.net.
The History Center Tabling at Ithaca Festival
e 3rd, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Cayuga Street, by DeWitt Mall)
Stop by The History Center's booth while wandering around during the Ithaca Festival. This year, The History Center's booth will feature the year of 1917. We will be offering a quick photographic tour inside the booth, quizzes, talk about county bicentennial updates, and the year of the woman in honor of the New York State Women's Suffrage Centennial.
Gallery Night: Presentation of an Archaeology Program at the Eight Square Schoolhouse
Friday, June 9th, 6:00 PM (at The History Center)
Join us for our June 9th FFGN Archaeology presentation hosted by Brant Venables, Binghamton University Archaeology Doctoral Candidate, and Carole West, Eight Square Schoolhouse Program
Why is archaeology important, and why is it even more significant as we move into the 21st century? How and why did The History Center become involved in this endeavor? Brant will tackle these questions, highlight several of his current archaeology projects , and then introduce the audience to our on-going summer archaeology excavation program at the Eight Square Schoolhouse, in which the public is invited to participate!
An eclectic range of artifacts from our excavations over the past few years will be on display, including several unique items from last summer's dig! Question and answer session immediately following the presentation.
Treasure's of Groton's Past and The Rolling History Parade
Saturday, June 10th, starting at 10:00 AM on Conger Boulevard, Groton, NY
Everyone is encouraged to display their special items related to Groton, such as old photos, memorabilia, diaries, family heirlooms, antiques, signs, odd items that no one knows what they are, and most of all, their stories. Rolling History Parade starts at 4:00 pm - Line up begins at 3:00 pm. If you have any kind of old vehicle - whether gas powered, horse powered, or people powered - we invite you to be in our Rolling History Parade! Also we would like traditional marchers, period dress, history themed
floats. Parade RSVP: Groton Town Clerk's Office at 607-898-5035 or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Women Awheel: The Evolution of Bicycles In The 1800s And How it Affected "The Fairer Sex" Presentation by Donna Scott
Saturday, June 10th, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (at The History Center)
Join a presentation
discussing effects of bic
ycles and bicycling on women,
by Donna Scott, 1800s Bicycle Enthusiast.
Bicycles and bicycling affected various aspects of women's lives from the 19th century, such as dress, exercise, going out and about without a chaperone, and cultural change. Some of these changes emboldened women to seek the vote later on.
Donna Scott is a Sustaining Member of the antique bicycling club of the American Wheelmen Association. Until very recently, the association concerned themselves with bicycles built before and around 1900. To become a voting member of this group, one has to ride an authentic antique bicycle 10 miles or more at a sanctioned meeting of the club. Usually people rode a high wheel bicycle at a meet to gain membership; this is what Donna did.
HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturday, June 10th & June 24th, 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. Sign up to volunteer here.
Thursday, June 15th, 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM (at TTC Study Room, Tompkins County Public Library)
Join Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen to explore local history.
Celebrating Rural Heritage: Verne Morton's Photographs
Saturday, June 17th, 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM (at Dryden Mutual in Dryden)
As a prelude to Historic Ithaca's Old House Tour, Dryden Mutual Insurance Company, 12 Ellis Drive, Dryden, N.Y., will open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 17. Bob Baxter, former CEO, will give a guided tour of the 150 exquisite Verne Morton photographs that line the hallways . For nearly 50 years local photographer Verne Morton (1868-1945) devoted himself to photographing Tompkins County rural and village life. Rod Howe, Executive Director, The History Center in Tompkins County, will provide a brief talk at 11:00 on Verne Morton and what his photographs convey of rural life in the first few decades of the twentieth century. There is no cost but RSVPs are encouraged by e-mailing email@example.com. This is the first event in the Celebrating Our Rural Heritage series made possible by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program.
The History Center in Tompkins County Annual Meeting
Monday, June 19th, 5:00 PM (at The History Center)
Please join us as we take a look at the last 12 months and look ahead to the next year. Outgoing trustees will be recognized and new trustees introduced.
Heritage Ambassadors Inaugural Training Program
Starting Friday, June 21st 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (at the History Center)
The 2017 Heritage Ambassadors Pilot Training Program will run six consecutive weeks through July 26.
We seek to appoint all county residents as heritage ambassadors as we encourage family, friends and colleagues to visit Ithaca and Tompkins County. But being a Heritage Ambassador with capital letters will involve some extra time - studying, reading, exploring and questioning. We promise that it will be fun and interesting. Visit Ithaca Heritage to learn more or contact Rod Howe at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in the training.
Book Talk "Colden's The History of the Five Indian Nations" with John Dixon
Saturday, June 24th, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (at The History Center)
Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776) profoundly shaped the politics and culture of eighteenth-century New York. As a leading colonial statesman, he promoted British imperial expansion and defended the rights and privileges of the British Crown. As a scholar, he advanced American cartography, botany, medicine, natural history, physics, and moral philosophy. Colden's explanation of the cause of gravitation was printed in New York, London, Paris, and Hamburg in the 1740s and 1750s. His influential account of the Iroquois (or Haudenosaunee) confederacy, published in London in 1747, became a standard resource on Native American history.
The History of the Five Indian Nations
is a fascinating but complex book. Far from unbiased, it reflects its author's own political interests, as well as the general imperial concerns of the eighteenth-century British nation. In his talk, John M. Dixon will situate Colden's important work in overlapping social, political, and cultural contexts. He will also explain how Colden and other eighteenth-century New Yorkers played a constitutive role in the Enlightenment.
John M. Dixon
is Assistant Professor of History at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, and the author of
The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York
Ithaca Pioneer Forest Walk
Saturday, July 1st, 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM (at The History Center)
The first landowner was John Welch, who received his land (Ulysses Lot 86) for his military service - one of the few Revolutionary War soldiers in Tompkins County to settle on the lot he received from the federal government. A tour will be led by Eric Gervais, a local history researcher who is also a land steward on John Welch's historical lot.
The original farmhouse itself is privately owned, and the tour will focus more on remnants of pioneer life in the forest today on his land. He wants the history of Ithaca's amazing forests to be better known. He loves to talk about Ithaca with anyone who will listen! To find out more, see his social media project @ithacatours.
This is the second event in the Celebrating Our Rural Heritage series made possible by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program. Please register by e-mailing
Note: The 2 mile walking loop will be wet in areas (the area is known as the South Hill Swamp; driest route will be chosen)
Eight Square Schoolhouse Announcement
Summer Camps for Kids and Adults
Come Dig with Us! Archaeology Day Camp
August 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2017, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (at the Eight Square School House)
The History Center in Tompkins County is offering a field school to the public at the historic Eight Square Schoolhouse, a one-room school built in 1827 and used by generations of students and teachers. Participants will
learn archaeological field techniques and research skills by working side-by-side with several professional archaeologists; contribute to the historical record of the Eight Square School. Sign up for a day camp by emailing Carole West at EightSquare@Thehistorycenter.net. Learn more about the camp here.
Digging into Carrie's Diary: A Kid's Summer Camp
July 10-14 2017,
Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM,
Co-ed Ages 8 - 13
There are spots on the waiting list! 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; i
ntroduction to Archaeology; p
lus guest presenters! For more information visit the website page or contact EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.net.
From the Collection
Remembering a pro of a sunny summer sport
||Photo from the Collection of The History Center.
There's a scrapbook in the collections at the History Center that takes you into a sunny, summer world. It's a large, white book full of photographs, newspaper clippings and memorabilia. It was put together by Mary P. Adesso in 2005 as a tribute to her husband, Lewis Adesso, who, for many years was the very embodiment of golf in Ithaca.
Born in 1913, Lew Adesso started his golf career in his native Watkins Glen as a caddie when he was 11 years old. He became the head golf pro at Ithaca's newly opened Newman Golf Course in 1935, a position he held until his retirement in 1980. In those eventful 45 years, he achieved countless honors and awards as a professional and a teacher. But perhaps Adesso's greatest gift to this community was golf itself.
In 1935, golf here was restricted to the private Country Club of Ithaca. Newman Golf Course was built on the site of the former city dump, and Adesso is credited with improving it and attracting local players to the game. He organized men's leagues, ladies' "auxiliary" leagues, and junior clinics for young people. He started the city's amateur tournament and twilight leagues. He encouraged local participation in National Golf Day, which flourished in Ithaca, and raised much money for charities.
His service to the game of golf was recognized on many occasions at the regional and national level. He was president of the Central New York PGA for five years and a vice president of the national PGA from 1964-1966. In 1967, he served on the prestigious Ryder Cup Committee, overseeing the famous U.S.-European golf match. He was named the PGA Pro of the Year twice, in 1961 and 1969. In 1999, the Central New York PGA honored Adesso with its first Distinguished Service Award, an award then named after him. From that time on, deserving members would receive the Lew Adesso Distinguished Service Award.
In 1990, Adesso won the Central New York PGA's Teacher of the Year award. An enthusiastic teacher, Adesso was a pioneer in teaching young golfers, beginning with a program he started in the 1950s at Newman. He also taught for Cornell's physical education program for 25 years.
After his retirement from Newman in 1980, he continued tutoring young golfers. One of the last clippings in this wonderful scrapbook is from 2000, only a year before he died, and tells about then-87-year-old Adesso teaching inner-city Syracuse kids all about golf. It's a fitting tribute to a beloved sportsman and the game he loved.
United Audio 1229 Dual Turn Table - Refurbished!
This turn table and several vinyl albums were donated to the History Center in Tompkins County by a generous donor in the hopes to raise needed funds for this not-for-profit. We had the turn table worked on by Stellar Stereo and they replaced some worn parts and lubed the appropriate moving parts. It works great and comes with the RCA audio cables and electric plug. The tilting cover is also included along with a hand held phonograph cleaner. For more photographs and pricing click here.
In need of a video camera
Are you wondering what to do with your un-used digital video camera? The History Center in Tompkins County will make sure that your contribution is put to good use. Your donation is greatly appreciated.
Rod Howe |
Executive Director | Director@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 222
Carole West |
Educator, Eight Square Schoolhouse | EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 229
Ksenia Ionova |
Community Outreach & Visitor Services | Community@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 227
Bookkeeper & Administrative Services
| Admin@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 225
Cindy Kjellander-Cantu |
Design & Support Specialist | Design@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 223
STAY CONNECTED @TompkinsHistory