If one picture is worth a thousand words, then The History Center in Tompkins County has millions of things to say. With more than 100,000 historical photographs in our collections we illustrate the stories of local people, scenes, and communities dating back 150 years. We will be sharing an image each week with local newspaper Tompkins Weekly, highlighting a small sampling of the many photographs, postcards, stereoviews, cabinet cards and more that we preserve. We will also share some of our many images here in History Happenings, so check us out in both spots and enjoy beautiful views of Tompkins County's past.
This week's image is:
N1.858 - Howard Wood examining pumpkins, 1904. Photo by Verne Morton
For questions email the archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 607-273-8284, x224
Director of Archives and Research Services
The History Center staff used many different resources to research our new exhibit
Made in Tompkins County: A Timeline of Enterprise including these interesting history books:
The Towns of Tompkins County: From Podunk to the Magnetic Springs
The book draws on historical accounts, public records, newspaper stories, and recollections of residents, especially those who have lived in the county for many years. Illustrated with more then 100 photographs and maps, this volume will make informative, useful, and entertaining reading for residents and friends of the region.
edited by Jane Marsh Dieckmann
Images of America: Groton
by Rosemarie Palmer Tucker
The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs this book presents the distinctive stories from Groton's past that shape the character of the community today
A Short History of Tompkins County
Jane Marsh Dieckmann
Drawing on published histories and newspapers, A Short History traces the development of Tompkins County from early times to the present.
Mention this newsletter when purchasing these books and get
"The New Jim Crow" Community Read
The History Center in Tompkins County is participating in
"The New Jim Crow" Community Read.
You may take a book at The History Center. For more information, visit the
Made in Tompkins County
A Timeline of Local Enterprise
Through February 18th, 2017
Tompkins County is well known for its educational institutions. What is less known is its rich industrial history. From its earliest days it has been the home of inventors and entrepreneurs - people who laid the commercial foundation of a prosperous community. From grist mills to high tech, local enterprise has encompassed world renowned guns, iron bridges, calendar clocks, steam engines, drive chains, and much more. This broad survey takes a look at the long sweep of enterpri
se in Tompkins County, from its earliest days to the 21st century.
Sponsored by Tompkins Trust Company
Our Community Photograph Exhibit
Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month
On display through January 2017
According to the Library of Congress, "Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and
contributions of American citizens whose anc
stors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America." The History Center is celebrating local Hispanic heritage in a new photo exhibit
Our Community, featuring local organizations such as the Latino Civic Association and Cornell's Latin American Studies Program. Images of three notable members of Ithaca's Fuertes family will also be on display: Estevan, originally from Puerto Rico, was the first Dean of Cornell's College of Engineering; Louis Agassiz was the renowned bird artist; and James Hillhouse was a prominent and successful civil engineer.
Showing of the video of "The Angela Davis Lecture: Slavery and the Prison Industrial Complex"
Tuesday, November 1st, 5:30PM - 7:00PM (at the History Center)
Hosted by Eric Acree, Trustee and Director of the John Henrik Clarke Africana Library and Coordinator of the Fine Arts and Music Libraries at Cornell University.
In this film Angela Davis provides a lecture comparing slavery in the Americas with the current prison industrial complex. This lecture was part of the "Eric E. Williams Lecture Series" at Florida International University in 2003. Williams was the first Prime Minister of an independent Trinidad and Tobago. Williams is most noted for writing the groundbreaking book Capitalism and Slavery. Davis does an excellent job of talking about the economics of the prisons in America, and how prisoners are exploited much like those who were enslaved.
First Friday Gallery Night:
Friday, November 4th, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (at The History Center in Tompkins County)
At this First Friday Gallery Night, The History Center starts prepping for Thanksgiving! As a part of our current exhibition #MadeInTompkinsCounty, we will be discussing local food with a 6:30 pm talk "A History of Eating Local in Tompkins County" by Michael Turback, the author of over 20 books on local food and drinks. At the event we will be offering Michael's recent Ithaca Farmers Market Cookbook with a 20% discount price.
"Campus & Community Organizing for Liberation, Then and Now."
Saturday, November 5th, 2:00PM (at the History Center)
The Dorothy Cotton Institute, The History Center in Tompkins County, and the John Henrik Clark African Library are co-sponsoring another event in a series: Sharing Stories of Action for Social Change. The format will include a panel presentation and then an opportunity to share, in small groups, personal actions for social change.
W.E.B. DuBois Professor of Literature, Cornell University, acclaimed poet and essayist.
Ms. Lucy J. Brown:
Ithacan activist, community leader, board member of Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services.
Director, Ithaca Youth Farm Project, Black Lives Matter Ithaca activist; owner, Rocky Acres Farm.
||Civil War Memorial by Rob Licht at Tompkins Cortland Community College
Tompkins County Heritage Tourism Sampler
Saturday, November 12th, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (Ithaca, NY)
This event aims to raise awareness about the range of topics and themes that can be included in heritage tours. This is a small step toward larger events for 2017 to bring visitors to the county.
There are two options - a guided walking tour and a self-guided walking/driving tour. For more details and registration
Participants are encouraged to gather at the Argos Inn after the tours to share reflections about the experience.
Next New Jim Crow Book Read Event:
"Roundup, Locked Up: What's the Point of Knowing Your Rights?"
Monday, November 14th, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (at GIAC)
Hosted by Edwin Santiago, a mentor in the Ultimate Re-Entry Opportunity Mentee Program, and Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick. To find out more, visit the
For the Love of Chocolate: Celebrating Chocolate and Sweets at The History Center in Tompkins County
Saturday, November 19th, 1:00 PM (at The History Center in Tompkins County)
Olympia McFall, the daughter of the Andrews Confectionery's founder, and Darlynne Overbaugh, the owner of the Life's So Sweet Chocolates, will talk about the history of the businesses and their cookery secrets. There will also be some delicious treats, courtesy of Life's So Sweet Chocolates.
Save the Date: Presentation "HistoryForge: Connecting the Generations"
Saturday, December 3rd, 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM (at The History Center)
Save the Date: Showing of "Serving Life" with Eric Acree
Wednesday, December 7th, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM (at The History Center)
Read more about the movie
From the Collection
Waffle irons and wafer irons date back to the 14th century. They had long handles so the user could stand as far away from the heat of the fire as possible. The two heads that held the actual waffles shut together like pincers. The waffle iron had oblong heads of different sizes, while the wafer iron often had a round or elliptical head. Each iron had a waffle pattern on each head, which gave it its name. In the 1700s and 1800s, everyday breads (including cakes, biscuits, pancakes and pastries) were not as light and fluffy as they are today. Because they were imported, sugar and spices were too expensive for many to afford. Bread was eaten at all meals, especially breakfast. A colonial day usually began early with a mug of cider and some sort of cake or bread.
Waffles were a luxury because they called for precious ingredients such as numerous eggs, heavy cream, wines, spices, and fine wheat flour. Wafers were prepared from a thinner batter than waffles, with sugar and nuts added as extra treats.
A recipe from "The Family Dictionary," 1705, includes an early recipe for wafers. It reads: "WAFERS TO MAKE, Take a quart of flour heaped, and put to it the yolks of four eggs, and two or three spoonfuls of rosewater, mingle this well together; then make it better, with cream and a little sugar, and bake it on irons, very thin poured on."
In the past, it was traditional to give a bride a wafer iron with her initials on it, the date of the wedding, and a hex mark for luck. The waffle iron featured here is simply divided into quarters, each having a different design pattern on the base and lid.
Sources: The Housewares Story by Earl Lifshey Hung, Strung, and Potted by Sally Smith Booth