History Happenings   May 2017
The History Center's Electronic Newsletter 
The Corner
Italian-American Community Forum Day

Photo - Courtesy Edward Mazza. 

The History Center is starting a new multi-year series with the May 20 Italian-American community forum. We will host one or two forums each year to focus on an ethnic, racial, or otherwise unique community in Ithaca and Tompkins County. This is an exciting endeavor and at times HistoryForge will be a backdrop to the discussions. We are a mosaic of communities, each with its own story and perspectives on sense of place and sense of community. Please join us on May 20 as we start the journey.

Rod Howe, Executive Director

Bookstore & Gift Shop Highlights 
*Items to be purchased in The History Center book store

"Smith Woods: The Environmental History of an Old Growth Forest Remnant in Central New York State"
by Warren D. Allmon, Marvin P. Pritts, Peter L. Marks, Blake P. Epstein, David A. Bullis, Kurt A. Jordan
This book is the story of how this little forest - known as Smith Woods - came to be, and how it persisted through the years when other old-growth forests met their demise by the axe and saw. Combining perspectives from geology, ecology, history, and anthropology, the authors weave a narrative history of the many influences - human and non-human - that have shaped this patch of land over the past 20,000 years.  Mention our newsletter and get 15% off from this selected title!

In conjunction with the May 14th  "Ithaca Street Railway"  bus tour,
the following selected titles are on 15% SALE in May 2017 
(please mention the newsletter)

Lehigh Valley Memories: A Tour of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in New York's Finger Lakes Region, 1941-1959
Photo and text by David Marcham
Ride the trains and meet the men who run a picturesque segment of one mid-size Class I American railroad during two roller-coaster decades - the boom years of World War II, the shift from steam to diesel power, and ultimately the decline and abandonment of passenger service. 

Ups & Downs of a Rural Line: Elmira, Cortland & Northern RR, 1867 to 1967 and on
by David Marcham
In this history of the Elmira, Cortland & Northern Railroad, a Lehigh Valley Branch in Upstate New York, from 1867 to 1967 and since, the author lays out the extreme perils of the early years, the buccaneers who invested & gambled for power & profit. Includes 150 photos, timetables, rosters and track maps, orders & charts.

A History of Railroads in Tompkins County
by Hardy Cambell Lee
This illustrated history records a century and a half of colorful railroading, at the end of which only one line remains in the county, carrying long trains of coal to a Cayuga Lake power plant and of rock salt from an underground mine. 
Upcoming Exhibition

Tioga Street in 1920s and modern times. Photo montage from the Collection of The History Center.
Main Gallery Exhibit
The Altered and Preserved Landscape
On display from May 5th through August 26th, 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.  Faculty:  Harry Littell,  Keith Millman,  Christine Shanks,  Mark Grimm,  Cynthia Kjellander-Cantu.

Current Exhibitions

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.   

Our Community 
League of Women Voters
On display through mid-May 2017
In this centennial year of women earning the right to vote in New York State, The History Center has a photograph exhibit highlighting the history and work of the Tompkins County League of Women Voters. Learn about this vibrant organization that works for good government through education, advocacy and community engagement.

Local History in the Media

AskPearl App

A new app  AskPearl is featuring a "Who is Who in Tompkins County," section  sponsored by The History Center  and  featuring famous residents of Tompkins County both past and present AskPearl  brings everything that's happening in Ithaca & Tompkins County together in one simple free app. Download AskPearl: https://askpearl.com

Cayuga Radio Group: Local History Minutes
On air through December 2017
The History Center in Tompkins County and Cayuga Radio Group are pleased to announce a new series, "Local History Minutes" in honor of this year's Tompkins County Bicentennial. Continuing through the rest of this year you will hear "minutes" that will address a wide variety of local history themes and topics. The series' goals are to be educational and entertaining and to entice listeners to learn more about what makes this a unique place.
County Bicentennial Highlights

Names on the Land - Tompkins County
Read a new article "The Dutch Roots of Ithaca's Dey Street" by Pat Longoria, Deputy Historian in the Village of Cayuga Heights. Find more articles here. 

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 here.

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.

Bicentennial in the Media
Check out new articles related to the County Bicentennial here. 
Celebrate the National Bicycle Month
Bicycles and Women
High Wheel Bicycle, c. 1889. Wood, Metal, Leather, Rubber. Gift of Louise Fenner Oleson, 1943.28. Photo from the Collection of The History Center.

In 1956, the League of American Bicyclists established May as National Bike Month "to showcase the many benefits of bicycling - and encourage more folks to giving biking a try." (Read more here.)

Historically, one of those benefits was a profound social change. 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. 

Visit The History Center, on Saturday, June 10th at 2:00 PM for a presentation "Women Awheel: The Evolution of Bicycles In The 1800s And How it Affected "The Fairer Sex" by Donna Lee Scott, 1800s Bicycle Enthusiast, who also helped restore the high wheel bicycle in the image to your right. 
Eight Square Schoolhouse Announcement 

July 10-14 2017, 
Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM,
Co-ed Ages 8 - 13
There are only two spots left! 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;  Women's Suffrage;  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.
  Upcoming Events

T he New Jim Crow  Community Read 
Monday, May 1st, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM (at BJM gym) 
"Taking action to End the New Jim Crow." Next steps for addressing mass incarceration locally. Find out more information on the  official website.

Tioga Street in 1920s and modern days. Photo montage from the Collection of The History Center.
First Friday Gallery Night: Opening of the New Exhibit
Friday, May 5th, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (at The History Center)
In conjunction with the First Friday Gallery Night, The History Center will present a new exhibition with a 6:30 PM presentation "The Altered and Preserved Landscape" by the faculty and students of Tompkins Cortland Community College. 
This exhibition 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. 

Spring Writes Festival (at The History Center)
Friday, May 5th, 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM 
Presentation & Q&A: Cornell Race and Empathy Project
Saturday, May 6th, 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM 
Cornell Race and Empathy Project listening booth on display 
Sunday, May 7th, Readings & Discussion Panels
11:00 AM to 12:15 PM - Panel: "World Building: If You Build It, They Will Come" 
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Reading: "Chicken Feathers: Stories and Poems," Zee Zahava 
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM - Readings: NY Votes for Women: A Suffrage Centennial Anthology 

Presentation: Timeline of Women's Suffrage in Central New York State
Saturday, May 6th, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (at The History Center)
Join a presentation on the "Timeline of Central New York 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 presentation is to draw attention to key educational resources, including those at The History Center, and to show how the timeline can be used to highlight local and regional initiatives related to the arc of working toward women's suffrage. The timeline is a part of the digital educational materials developed for the Women's Suffrage centennial, and will be available at TheHistoryCenter.net.

Talk on Harriet Tubman National Historical Park with Karen Hill
Saturday, May 6th, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (at The History Center, in partnership with Historic Ithaca)
Karen Hill is the executive director of the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, New York. The site recently received final federal approval to become the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park (NHP) to be operated by the National Park Service and the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. The new park will recognize Tubman's significant role and involvement in the Underground Railroad, Women's Suffrage and other causes. Karen Hill will talk about Harriet Tubman, history of the site and the process it underwent in becoming a National Historical Park.

Stories from the Senior Troupe of Lifelong: Music and Memories
Tuesday, May 9th, 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM (at The History Center)
The Senior Troupe of Lifelong presents Living History Theatre, which centers on the theme of "music" featuring stories from the troupe's lives that are both humorous and serious. For more information about the Senior Citizen Troupe of Lifelong you can contact Lifelong at 607.273.1511 or go to the official website. This project is supported with grant support from the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County. Watch the trailer here.

Giving is Gorges Campaign: "Heritage Ambassadors"
Tuesday, May 9th, 6:00 PM through Wednesday, May 10th, 6:00 PM
Support our fundraising campaign during "Giving is Gorges."
The proceeds will go to support "Heritage Ambassadors," a new collaborative initiative of The History Center and Historic Ithaca.
Heritage Ambassadors is an engaging training program to graduate individuals knowledgeable about the history and rich heritage of Tompkins County. See more information here.
If you are interested in being an ambassador, contact Rod Howe at Director@TheHistoryCenter.net.

Engaging History
Thursday, May 11th, 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM (at TTC Study Room, Tompkins County Public Library)
Join Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen for these free monthly workshops on exploring and 'doing' local history.

HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturday, May 13th, 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

Ithaca Trolley, 1887. Photo from the Collection of The History Center
Ithaca Street Railway Bus Tour

Sunday, May 14th, 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM (to start at The History Center)
The History Center is organizing a bus tour of the Ithaca Trolley System, with commentary by David Rossiter, on Sunday, May 14th at 1:30 PM, leaving from the History Center. The tour will follow the entire trolley route and view all remnants of the system. The tour includes five stops with some walking; we estimate the total time at about 2 1/2 hours, including an introduction in the History Center to view the railroad component of the "Altered and Preserved Landscape" exhibit. Cost is $20 to cover the bus rental.  If interested, visit the registration page to sign up or contact Ksenia Ionova at Community@TheHistoryCenter.net. 
About the commentator:
David is an Ithaca native, and although born 14 years after the last streetcar ran, he has always been fascinated with public transportation. He collaborated with the late John Marcham and his younger brother Winton Rossiter on two revised editions of Hardy Campell Lee's "History of the Railroads in Tompkins County". He is retired from teaching statistics and earth sciences at a university in the Netherlands, and now works three places part-time: as an adjunct professor at Cornell in the Soil & Crop Sciences section (mostly in the winter and spring), as a guest researcher at the World Soil Information Centre at Wageningen University in the Netherlands (mostly in the summer), and as a guest researcher/lecturer at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Nanjing Normal University (mostly in the fall). In the Netherlands he lives in Arnhem, where he can watch trolleybuses pass by his window. When visiting Amsterdam, Rotterdam or the Hague he enjoys the modern streetcar networks, And in Nanjing he rides the ultra-modern metro and the 300 kph high-speed railways.

Some of the artists involved in 4 Plays - 100 Years. Photo provided by the Kitchen Theatre Company.
Women's Suffrage Plays
Tuesday, May 16th and Wednesday, May 17th, 7:30 PM (at the Kitchen Theatre Company)
To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of New York State signing of woman's suffrage into law, three years before the US passed the 19th Amendment, Hangar Theatre, Kitchen Theatre Company, Civic Ensemble and Cherry Arts are collaborating on a two-night theater event: Four Plays - 100 Years. The four theater companies are collaborating with many Ithaca area theater artists plus a few visiting guests. All four plays will be performed each night. There will be a post-show discussion following each performance. The project is supported in part by a grant from Humanities, NY and each of the theaters. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Women's Opportunity Center, Ithaca, NY. Read more here.
Tickets: $10-$20 (sliding scale). To purchase, call (607) 272-0570, visit the Kitchen offices (409 W. State St.) Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM and the theater (417 W. State St.) Saturday-Sunday, 12:00-4:00 PM, or click www.kitchentheatre.org

Photo - Courtesy Edward Mazza.
Italian-American Community Forum
Saturday, May 20th, 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM (at The History Center)
Save the date for an Italian-American Community forum day to be held on May 20, 2017 at The History Center. An Italian-American event held in 1983 resulted in the generous donation of many family stories and photographs. The community forum's goals include understanding the experiences and roles of Italian-Americans using 1910 as a starting point, exploring a sense of place, connecting people across the generations, and adding new archival material. For more information, visit the event page. Please register for the event here

Ithaca Festival Parade
Join the Women's Suffrage March with The History Center!

Friday, June 2,  5:30 PM (tentative), meeting at The History Center.
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! Long black skirts and high collar blouses were the fashion of the day ~ The History Center will provide placards to carry to proclaim our hard won victory at finally securing the vote for women in New York State in 1917. We also invite men and children to walk with us to show  their support for the women in their lives!  More details about the meeting place and time will be in the next History Happenings If interested, please contact: 
Carole West at EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.net, or
Ksenia Ionova at Community@TheHistoryCenrter.net .

From the Collection
Hadley Smith Photographs

Compelling and beautiful photography isn't dependent on the most modern technology. Extraordinary photographs have been produced since the birth of photography in 1839. However, one fascinating photographic form had to wait for the development of modern aviation in the twentieth century - aerial photography. Part map, part picture, an aerial photograph is a delightful and engaging glimpse of our world from an angle previously reserved mostly for birds.  Read more   here.
This aerial view of Ithaca was probably taken in the 1960s. The "tuning fork" where Green Street and Seneca Street converge at the base of the State Street hill was constructed during the late 1950s. Conspicuous Ithaca landmarks, such as the Clinton House and Six Mile Creek are visible as well. Photo from the Collection of The History Center.

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