History Happenings  November 2017
The History Center's Electronic Newsletter 
The Corner

This image is from the Verne Morton Photo Collection at The History Center in Tompkins County.

Celebrating Rural Heritage 

The History Center invites you to attend the November 18, 2:00 PM presentation focusing on Celebrating Tompkins County's rural history, heritage and assets including snapshots of our rural life from numerous lenses. The perspectives will cover people, landscapes, agriculture, social life, rural organizations, the built environment and enterprises. There will be a number of short presentations interspersed with images of rural life. The program will wrap up the 2017 Celebrating Rural Heritage series (supported by a Tompkins County Tourism Program grant).

The facilitated discussion will be around the following questions: What rural history have we lost, what is being preserved, what continues into the present? What are the county's rural heritage legacies? What buildings, customs, folk life, and events connect us to our rural history? Is there a distinct rural culture in Tompkins County? This facilitated discussion will aid in setting the stage for a Celebrating Rural Heritage weekend tentatively set for the fall of 2018.

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

This new title will be available at The History Center's bookstore on the day of the event, November 11, 2:00 PM "Vietnam War Perspectives"

And the Sparrow Fell 
By Robert J. Mrazek

And the Sparrow Fell is a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Former U.S. Congressman Robert J. Mrazek tells the story of a wealthy family on the north shore of Long Island in the spring of 1967. Cornell undergraduate Rick Ledbetter goes through a rocky journey of self-discovery as both his family and his country disintegrate around him. Rick is a young rake in the mold of his father, Travis Ledbetter, a Medal of Honor-winning World War II navy pilot. Rick has been accepted into the swift boat program at Naval Officer Candidate School and will be heading for combat in Vietnam.

Mention our newsletter and get a discounted price for this new title!

Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State
By Susan Goodier, Karen Pastorello

Women Will Vote celebrates the 2017 centenary of women's right to full suffrage in New York State. Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello highlight the activism of rural, urban, African American, Jewish, immigrant, and European American women, as well as male suffragists, both upstate and downstate, that led to the positive outcome of the 1917 referendum. Goodier and Pastorello argue that the popular nature of the women's suffrage movement in New York State and the resounding success of the referendum at the polls relaunched suffrage as a national issue. If women had failed to gain the vote in New York, Goodier and Pastorello claim, there is good reason to believe that the passage and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment would have been delayed.
New & Upcoming Exhibits

Peter Webb & Phyllis Webb of Caroline, n.d. Photo from the Collection of The History Center. 
Our Community 
The Webbs - A Tompkins County Family
October 31, 2017 through March 2018
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.

Frederick, one of the Webb's children, born in 1822, became a farmer in Caroline. In 1870 he and his wife were able to purchase part of the land, and the mansion, that had formerly belonged to the slave merchant who had brought Peter to New York all those years earlier. This land and the homestead still belong to descendants of the Webbs today. 

This photograph exhibit tells the moving and enriching story of one family's triumph over extreme hardship and their prosperous and vibrant descendants. 

The Maps of Tompkins County
From November 14 through mid-2018
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.

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.

Co-sponsored by: 
Tompkins County Bicentennial Commission 
and  Names on the Land

Current Exhibitions
Catt, Tubman and Hay. Drawing. Photo - Courtesy of Christine Nobles Heller.

"Truth is the Only Safe Ground to Stand Upon" Portraits of Suffragists to Celebrate the Centennial of Women's Right to Vote in New York  State
This exhibit will be up through this Saturday, November 4th, 2017.

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 new 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 convey this unique exhibit.
Upcoming Events

Iron Jawed Angels:
Movie Screening & Discussion
Wednesday, November 1, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (at Cinemapolis)
Join The History Center on Wednesday, November 1 at 6:30 PM for a movie screening and discussion of Iron Jawed Angels at Cinemapolis. The discussion will be facilitated by Cyndy Scheibe from the Ithaca College's Project Look Sharp. Free admission, with $5.00 donations gratefully accepted.  Iron Jawed Angels is a 2004 American historical drama directed by Katja Von Garnier. The film stars Hilary Swank as suffragist leader Alice Paul, Frances O'Connor as activist Lucy Burns, Julia Ormond as Inez Milholland, and Anjelica Huston as Carrie Chapman Catt. It received critical acclaim after the film premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Find more information about the event here.

Panel Discussion "Women's Suffrage and Political Office: 
A Seat at the Table"
Thursday, November 2, 7:00 PM (at The History Center)
Join The History Center for a Panel Discussion "Women's Suffrage and Political Office: A Seat at the Table" with local elected women officials. Moderated by Leslie Danks Burke, the panel will include Martha Robertson, Pamela Bleiwas, Deb Mohlenhoff, Liz Thomas, and Deborah Cippola-Dennis who will cover such questions as: Are you conscious of being a role model for young women? What message do you have for young women about voting, being an involved citizen, and politics? Is there a key challenge associated with being a woman who is an elected official? As an elected official who is a woman what do you see as a key opportunity? The panel discussion is being held in partnership with the Tompkins County League of Women Voters. Find more information about the event here.

First Friday Gallery Night: 
Ithaca College 125 Years Music Event
Friday, November 3, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM (at The History Center)
Enjoy Ithaca College's Graduate Assistant's Chamber Music Ensemble from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM to celebrate IC's 125th anniversary! This will also be one of the last chances to view the exhibit "Truth Is the Only Safe Ground to Stand Upon" Portraits of New York State Suffragists by Christine Nobles Heller. Light refreshments provided.

Engaging Local History 
Thursday, November 9th, 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.

Panel Discussion: 
"Vietnam War Perspectives"
Saturday, November 11, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (at The History Center)
The History Center in Tompkins County will moderate this panel discussion, which will include Vietnam War perspectives of Harvey Baker, Robert Jan Mrazek, Ducson Nguyen, and Keith Taylor. The discussion will focus on impacts of Vietnam War on personal lives of the panelists and the audience and how the war changed our nation politically, socially and culturally. This panel is timely given the recent Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's documentary series "The Vietnam War."
This will be the first CUP Talk of a new partnership between The History Center and Cornell University Press. This collaboration will primarily take the shape of talks and events from authors published by Cornell University Press held at The History Center on E. State / E. MLK Street. There will also be opportunities to highlight new themes in documenting history. The series of events, "CUP Talks" series, will open to the public and intended to generate interest in local history.
Read about the panelists here: https://www.facebook.com/events/329495464181563

Photo from the Verne Morton Photo Collection at The History Center.
"Celebrating Rural  Heritage"
Saturday, November 18, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (at The History Center)
The presentation will wrap up the 2017 Celebrating Rural Heritage series. We will focus on the county's rural history and heritage assets to answer the questions: What are the county's rural heritage legacies? What buildings, customs, folklife, and events connect us to our rural history? Is there a distinct rural culture in Tompkins County?  This will be a combination of brief presentations, interspersed with rural images and conversation.

Save the Date:

First Friday Gallery Night: 
"The Many Names of Fall Creek" Exhibit Opening
Friday, November 1, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM (At The History Center)
Join the 6:00 PM presentation of a new exhibition "The Many Names of Fall Creek" by Bruce Brittain from the Hamlet of Forest Home.

Names on the Land Program & Celebration 
Saturday, September 2, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (at The History Center)

HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturday, December 2, 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.
From the Collection
Miss Belle Cowdrey's Diary
Cowdrey's House. Photo from the Collection of The History Center.

Some diarists expose remarkably revealing details about themselves, and the era in which they lived. A diary, because it was not intended for public consumption, may provide considerable insight into the author's character. The diary of Belle Cowdrey in The History Center's collection is a notable example.

Belle Cowdrey (1838-1922) the only daughter of coach maker, Adam Cowdrey, had the will and the money to resist societal pressures that dictated marriage and motherhood as the only option.  Still, her desire for an education and an intellectual life somewhere other than "quiet Ithaca" was thwarted.  

In the first half of 1858 Belle's mother was away and Belle was intensely pursuing studies in Latin, Geometry, and Algebra at the Ithaca Academy. Additionally she perused the standard young ladies fare of her day, Tennyson, Longfellow and Bryant, but also works by Fanny Kemble Butler and the very radical Margaret Fuller Ossoli. She wrote of her "cherished hope of going to the Albany Female Academy ....I will not think of the possibility of being disappointed." Read more here.
Women's Suffrage Silent Auction
Portrait of Matilda Joslyn Gage by Christine Nobles Heller

This framed print of Matilda Joslyn Gage could be yours. This was donated by the artist Christine Nobles Heller. This has a value of $425. To enter your "bid," please visit The History Center or email Ksenia Ionova at community@thehistorycemter.net. Bids will be open on Saturday, November 4th. Minimum bid is $300.

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. Gage believed that Church teachings on women's inferiority were the greatest obstacle to women's progress. She was accused of hating God, religion and the whole male species. Gage's intellectual vigor made her one of woman's rights most able philosophers but, fearing repercussions from her anti-church stance, the movement virtually wrote her out of its own history.

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

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