History Happenings  Late December 2017 - Early January 2018
The History Center's Electronic Newsletter 

Bookstore & Gift Shop Highlights 
Holiday Shopping at The History Center in Tompkins County

East Hill Jazz Trio at The History Center's Holiday Music and Shopping event, December 9, 2017

The History Center's Holiday Sale 
Come and shop at The History Center in Tompkins County through Saturday, December 23. We have over 40 titles of local history books, maps, postcards, and other items with discounts in the range of 15% to 60%!

Looking for a unique present? 
Consider this framed portrait 
of Matilda Joslyn Gage.

This framed print of Matilda Joslyn Gage could be yours! The print was donated by the artist Christine Nobles Heller and has a value of $375. The minimum bid is $150.
There are a few ways to enter your "bid:" 
Fill out the Silent Auction Online Form, or
contact Ksenia Ionova at 607-273-8284 Ext. 227 or via email:  Community@TheHistoryCenter.net

Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826-1898)
Raised by an abolitionist family in a home on the Underground Railroad, Matilda Joslyn Gage became an abolitionist, a suffragist, and a writer. She became president of both the National Woman Suffrage Association, and the New York State Woman Suffrage Association and collaborated with fellow suffragists Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with whom she co-authored The History of Woman Suffrage. 
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 Center.
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

Holiday Sale at The History Center 
Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM through December 23, 2017 (at The History Center)
There is a 15% to 60% sale on over 40 titles of local history books, photographs, images, postcards, the Ithaca Kitty and our three dolls (Bessie Coleman, Harriet Tubman and Amelia Earhart). Come and shop! Bring friends to enjoy the current exhibits and our great selection of local history items & books, and compelling discounts. You can also order books by emailing Community@TheHistoryCenter.net.

HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturday, December 16, 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. 

First Day Hike @Taughannock Falls - New Year's Day 
Monday, January 1st, 1:00 PM (Taughannock Falls State Park)
Start a new tradition at the #FirstDayHike2017 on New Year's Day around 1 p.m. @ Taughannock Falls State Park! There will be two different level hikes, one is 1.5 miles, another around 5 miles. This is a slow and educational hike and is part of the National First Day Hike. Put yourself first on January 1st and/or help someone else by doing the same thing.  RSVP here.

HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturdays, January 6th & 20th, 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. 

Engaging Local History  
Thursday, January 11th, 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

The History Center is Moving

Packing Highlights

Besides being engaged in the on-going exhibitions, events, and educational programs, THC Collections and Archives department led by Donna Eschenbrenner is packing for the late 2018 move. Seven boxes down! Packing the object collection items is painstaking work that involves careful handling of the objects, identifying them, digitizing the information about them, and then carefully and methodically packing them. Each box may take up to two hours of work. We are very grateful for the help and time that our current stellar volunteers Judith Kinney, Kristin Yarnell, Craig Williams, and Helen McLallen have been contributing to the project. Without their great teamwork, we would be unable to move along at this swift pace.

Left to right: Kristin Yarnell, Donna Eschenbrenner, and Judith Kinney.
Sewing box from The History Center's Collection.

From the Collection 
Massucci Garden of Eden Lamp

Massucci Garden of Eden Lamp.
Luigi Massucci (1877-1953) is remembered as a good-humored, kindly man, fond of jokes and parties. He was an artisan, a man who could create practical and useful objects and also ones that were simply magically beautiful, or something between the two.
He was born in Italy and served an apprenticeship as a blacksmith. He brought his family to Tompkins County in 1910. At first he worked for the salt company at Portland Point as a maker and mender of tools. From 1928 to 1934, he worked at the E.G. Holmes Machine Shop on West State Street in Ithaca in much the same role, though he also made ornamental iron fences and gates. In 1934, he went into business for himself with a workshop next to his home at 313 N. Meadow St. His steady customers were the several Italian stonemasons who were working in Ithaca at that time.
He and his wife, Filomena, had six children, and he was a multi-talented man; many of the things used in the household from shoes to kitchen tools and musical instruments were made by him. Some of the best examples of his sculptured iron work were made for his children's homes. 
Massucci is said to have believed in snakes as protective guardians and featured them in many of his works including a set of stair railings for his daughter's house. Patiently detailed leaves and fruits adorn intricately wrought stems and trunks in functional pieces such as lamps, coat racks, and candle holders. This Garden of Eden Lamp with a cherry tree and snake is one of his largest and finest pieces and was donated to the DeWitt Historical Society, now The History Center in Tompkins County, by members of the Massucci family. 
On the left: Extended family and descendants at Snyder Hill Farm. (Photo provided) On the right: Snyder Hill Farm Tour, October 14, 2017.

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