|Groton City. Photo by Michael W. Duttweiler.
This beautiful photo is the winner of Rural Heritage Award at the 9th Annual Verne Morton Memorial Photo Show and Contest, August 26, 2017, Groton, NY.
The History Center in Tompkins County welcomes students and newcomers to Ithaca and Tompkins County. One of our tenets is that the more you know about the local history of the community you are in (no matter whether for 1 year or 100 years) your life is enriched and there are enhanced opportunities for making connections. You, as newcomers, bring fresh sets of eyes to provide feedback about how our community highlights, interprets, shares and collects our local history through exhibits, programs and events, brochures, markers and plaques, statues and art. Let us know how we are doing as a community. Any surprises? What questions are raised for you as you look around and gather information about our history? We would like to hear from you.
Executive Director, The History Center in Tompkins County
Bookstore & Gift Shop Highlights
*Items to be purchased in The History Center book store
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365 Things to Do in Ithaca, New York
On Cayuga Lake in the heart of the Finger Lakes, Ithaca, NY, is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. Gorges. Enlightened. Quirky. Ithacans do things differently. For every day of the year, there is something interesting in this guidebook to see or do. Laurel Guy weaves 10,000 details into a portrait of the town, its people, and yes, the weather. Follow the original Yellow Brick Road. Hunt for the stone VW. Go rutabaga curling. Find Carl Sagan s house, and more. Guy serves up Ithaca with irreverent humor, whimsy, and a touch of nostalgia. Natural wonders. Best views. Secret history and little-known stories...
Images of America: Ithaca Radio
by Peter King Steinhaus and Rick Sommers Steinhaus
Introduction by Keith Olbermann
From Long Island to Fiji, college students flocked to the sleepy little town of Ithaca to learn the how-tos and how-not-tos of broadcasting. From that influx came some of the future leaders and celebrities of the broadcasting industry. Television stars were born here, and some of radio's future stars were nurtured to succeed in an industry that impacts the daily lives of Americans. Ithaca's rich broadcasting history includes two college radio stations and several locally owned and operated stations.
Postwar Cornell: How The Greatest Generation Transformed A University, 1944-1952
by Brad Edmondson
Brad Edmondson's new book brings to life the crisis that re-made American higher education in the years after World War II. Enrollment at Cornell University increased 40 percent between May and October 1946, and most of the new students were war veterans. Postwar Cornell takes readers on "a marvelous journey back in time," according to foreword author Isaac Kramnick, "to the era when present-day Cornell was born."
New York State Suffragists: Drawings and Lithographs Celebrating the
2017 Centennial of Women's Right to Vote in NY State
September 23rd - November 4th
Ithaca native Christine Nobles Heller draws suffragists to honor those who fought so hard for women's rights. In addition, she responds to this time of renewed threats to the fundamental human rights of women. The suffragists achieved the vote for women after 70 years of determination, courage, and perseverance. In her drawings for this show, Heller pays homage to the efforts of NY State suffragists to mark the 2017 centennial of Women's Right to Vote in New York State. On
Tuesday, September 19th, the artist Christine Nobles Heller invites the public to come to The History Center and witness Christine draw a mural, the center piece of the exhibition.
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.
||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
Through October, 2017
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.
|Photo from www.abstracttools.com/smc
First Friday Gallery Night: "Six Mile Creek" Presentation by Kim Haines-Eitzen, Susan C. Larkin, and Timothy Larkin
Friday, September 1st, 6:00 PM (at The History Center)
In conjunction with First Friday Gallery Night and the current exhibit "The Altered and Preserved Landscape," The History Center will be featuring a 6:00 PM talk on the historical perspective of sights and sound of Six Mile Creek. The talk will be presented by Kim Haines-Eitzen, Susan C. Larkin, and Timothy Larkin, the creators of the "Six Mile Creek" interactive display.
Long serving as the water supply to the City of Ithaca, Six Mile Creek is a vital resource for Tompkins County residents. Less widely known is the rich and varied history along the banks of the creek. For over 200 years, the creek has been enjoyed for pleasure and recreation and harnessed for industry and profit. The "Six Mile Creek" interactive display provides an entry to this history through the sights and sounds of the creek in the past and the present.
HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturdays, September 2nd, 16th & 30th, 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.
"Contested Terrain: Nature, Culture, and Policy in the Adirondack Park"
Talk by Philip Terrie
Thursday, September 7th, 6:30 PM (at The History Center)
Adirondack Park is a New York treasure, but its history is often contentious. It contains the homes and businesses of 130,000 year-round residents and the the largest, best protected wilderness in the East. Philip Terrie looks at the cultural, environmental, and political forces that created Adirondack Park, with an emphasis on over a century of hard-fought policy decisions.
Philip Terrie is professor emeritus of American Culture and Environmental Studies at Bowling Green State University. Former researcher for the Adirondack Museum and author of four books and many articles and reviews on Adirondack history and culture, he lives in Ithaca and Long Lake.
Eight Square Schoolhouse Clean Up Day
LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS!
Saturday, September 16th, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (at The Eight Square Schoolhouse, 1748 Hanshaw Road, Dryden, NY)
The Eight Square Schoolhouse and grounds are in need of a little 'TLC'! We will be painting, cleaning, repairing, pruning and doing yardwork in preparation for our Open House on Saturday, September 23rd. Coffee and Snacks provided! Please RSVP to sign up:
EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.net (Carole West) or Community@TheHistorytCenter.net (Ksenia Ionova).
|Photo from the Verne Morton Collection at The History Center.
Creative Writing Workshop with Irene Zahava
Saturday, September 16th, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (at The History Center)
"PRECIOUS POSSESSIONS" is designed to offer a safe, supportive, and stimulating environment for writing and sharing. The workshop is provided by Irene Zahava, the 2017 Tompkins County Poet Laureate.
Bring a Precious Possession from home - a photo or object. Suggestion: Choose something that connects you to previous generations; it might be something that holds personal or historic significance for you or your family.
We will use the objects we bring as the "spark" for our writing. Then we will share what we have written with one another. Registration list is now almost full. If you wish to be on the waiting list, please contact Community@TheHistoryCenter.net.
New York State Suffragists: Public
Tuesday, September 19th, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (at The History Center)
As a part of the upcoming exhibition "New York State Suffragists: Drawings and Lithographs Celebrating the 2017 Centennial of Women's right to Vote in NY State," artist Christine Nobles Heller, formerly of Ithaca, is inviting the public to visit The History Center on Tuesday, September 19th to see her draw a mural, a highlight of the exhibition.
Christine Nobles Heller has created both portraits and large murals that reflect her concern about human suffering and social inequality from her perspective as a feminist and an artist committed to social activism. Her work is a result of personal experiences and societal themes of loss, suffering and vulnerability.
Open House at the Eight Square Schoolhouse to Celebrate its 190th Birthday!
Saturday, September 23rd, 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM (1748 Hanshaw Rd, off Route 13, North Dryden, New York)
FREE for All Ages!
Learn about the history of 8-sided buildings from a local expert, try your hand at flintknapping (making stone tools) and flotation (an archaeological activity), and see archaeologists at work
up close and personal! Old fashioned games, activities, music, and more. Ice Cream generously donated by Purity!
Book Talk "The Very Greatest Victory"
with Karen Pastorello and Susan Goodier
Saturday, September 30, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (at The History Center)
Drawing on their recently released book Women Will Vote, Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello plan to discuss how women in New York State struggled for over six decades to win the right to vote. They will highlight the grassroots activism of rural, urban, African American, Jewish, immigrant, and native-born women who formed a loose coalition aimed at attaining full suffrage for women. Goodier and Pastorello argue that this unique coalition expended relentless energy and employed a variety of tactics to persuade male voters to actively support suffrage. This compelling narrative illuminates how the 1917 win in New York that Carrie Chapman Catt considered "the very greatest victory" relaunched suffrage as a national issue and changed the course of American history.
Before and after the talk, participants can explore the current exhibit "New York State Suffragists: Drawings and Lithographs Celebrating the 2017 Centennial of Women's Right to Vote in NY State" by the artist Christine Nobles Heller.
Connecting the Generations
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Fall Creek, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Henry St. John, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Southside, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Three houses in these three neighborhoods will be chosen to share information about who lived there in 1910. Docents will have a series of questions to engage participants about the lives of those who lived in the homes.Where did the children attend school, where did the adults work, where did they go to church? If they settled here from another place where did they come from? You will also learn about the buildings in which they lived. From the 1910 census we will have information about relationships, age, race, country of emigration, occupation, literacy, employment and other attributes. You will also learn about the neighborhoods and what was happening in the 1910-1920 decade. Registration information will be available in the next newsletter and via our website.
This program is sponsored by M&T Bank.
First Friday Gallery Night:
Artist Talk with Christine Nobles Heller
Friday, October 6, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM (The History Center)
In conjunction with First Friday Gallery Night,
the artist Christine Nobles Heller will give a 6:00 PM presentation about her exhibit at
The History Center "New York State Suffragists: Drawings and Lithographs of Women's Right to Vote in New York State."
Saturday, October 14, 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM (at Snyder Hill Farm Living History Center)
The Living History Center at Snyder Hill Farm is a nascent hands-on center featuring a 200 year old pioneer family farm homestead, barns and outbuildings located one mile east of Ithaca in Dryden NY. As the center develops, guests will experience farming, domestic life and science through buildings, artifacts and active, engaging activities. Jacob and Mary Snyder, the first residents on Snyder Hill, established the Snyder Hill Farm in 1802 with their four sons and daughter. Registration information will be available in the next newsletter and via our website.
Local History in Media
State of New York State History
Teaching Local History by Walking Around: 3 Case Studies
Three case studies involving teaching local history by walking around were presented at the annual Teaching Hudson Valley Conference (THV), July 25-27, at the Henry Wallace Visitor and Education Center at the FDR Home and Presidential Library.
From the Collection
Sugar and Salt Boxes
||Photo from the Collection of The History Center.
Sugar and salt played important roles in the lives of colonial and revolutionary-period Americans. Neither was cheap or easily obtained, so proper storage was essential. Salt was prized for its preservative abilities, and for its tendency to mask tastes - both of which were useful indeed during long winters. Salt from evaporated ocean water was available near the coast.
White sugar was a sparingly-used staple in American households. Molasses, which was cheaper, and honey, which was locally available, would be used for everyday occasions; while sugar was saved for holidays and other special circumstances. These lidded boxes were not used like modern sugar-bowls or salt-cellers, always at the table for frequent use; instead they were meant to be airtight and easily carried to and from a cool, dry, storage space.
A Great United Audio Turn Table and 130 Vinyl Albums
This turn table and some 130 vinyl albums were donated to the History Center in Tompkins County by a generous donor in the hopes of raising needed funds for us. 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.