History Happenings
The History Center Newsletter

February 2020

Ithaca Loves Teachers Winter Recess -  February 14th-23rd

The History Center LOVES teachers, and we've been hard at work putting together a series of programs to delight, educate, and appreciate all educators during this fabulous annual event. Explore the Events page on our website to learn more about Teachers Week freebies, and registration information for all our programs. Visit ithacalovesteachers.com to register for the county-wide event. The Exhibit Hall will have extended hours the weekends of the 14th-16th and 21st-23rd to accommodate the longer registration hours at the Visit Ithaca desk, also located in the Tompkins Center for History & Culture. 

  • From Seeds to Wisdom - Haudenosaunee Winter - Sunday 2/16 11:30-1:30pm
  • Henry Hinckley's Chocolate Affair - Monday 2/17 - 4-7pm - Pre-registration mandatory
  • Ithaca Heritage Guided Tours for Teachers of the History Center Exhibit Hall 
    Tuesday 2/18 @1pm, Friday 2/21 @11:30am, and Saturday 2/22 @11:30am
  • Ithaca Kitty Loves Teachers - Sew Your Own  -  Wednesday, February 19th - 9:30am-12:30pm - Pre-registration mandatory
  • Sisters of Change - The Voting Vanugards Poster Project - Rejoice the Vote! - Thursday February 20th 4-8pm - Exhibit Opening
  • Artisan Food & Craft Beverage Tasting  Saturday February 22nd 3-6pm
All registered participants are invited to stop by the History Center front desk any time during our open hours from the 14th-23rd to pick out two FREE books on local history to take home or back to their classrooms. You can also enter to win a box of books for your classroom or school library!
Exciting News for HistoryForge!

HistoryForge volunteers have now digitized 50,000 census records!! Explore HistoryForge.Net to see what information you can find about past residents of Ithaca!

HistoryForge is a digital  history  project from The  History  Center in Tompkins County which combines historic maps and photos with census records of the people who lived in Ithaca, creating a way to visualize the  history  of Ithaca in the early 1900s. 
Upcoming Events

February - Black History Month

Volunteer Appreciation Event - Exhibit Hall & Research Library Closed
Saturday, February 1st, 3-5pm 
The History Center in Tompkins County Exhibit Hall

HistoryForge Data Entry Bees
Saturdays, February 1st & 15th, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Tompkins Center for History and Culture, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 - Second Floor Conference Room
Come volunteer with HistoryForge at The  History Center. We are currently entering information recorded in the 1930 Census to build out the power of HistoryForge. Come for light refreshments, but stay for wonderful camaraderie! A laptop is helpful, but not required.  Not available on Saturdays, but interested in joining the team? Contact Eve at  HistoryForge@thehistorycenter.net

Volunteers are also needed to enter building information encoded in historic maps to learn more about the places people lived and worked. We also need help adding images of historic maps and photos to see what Ithaca looked like 1900 - 1930. Learn more about our HistoryForge Internship opportunities here

Second & Third Generation Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Monthly Meeting
Sunday February 2nd
If you are a member of the second or third generation of a family that survived the Holocaust and wish to attend these meetings at The History Center, please call 607-257-5181 or email

Gallery Night
Friday February 7th 5-8pm
Ithaca College Gallery/CAP Artspace (First Floor) & History Center Exhibit Hall.
Stop by the Exhibit Hall as you wander through Gallery Night on the Commons. Explore our new Sisters of Change exhibit and pick up a free book on local history from the docent desk.

Cornell Railroad Historical Society Meeting - Railroads & The Steel Industry
Tuesday February 11th - 7-8pm
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850
Second Floor Conference Room
The Cornell Railroad Historical Society (CRHS) meets the second Tuesday of every month. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings cover a range of related topics about local, national, and international railroads.  The program for February 11 is on "Railroads and the Steel Industry", presented by Timothy Lynch, Vice-President of CRHS.

Engaging History with Carol Kammen
Thursday February 13th - 12-1:15pm
Tompkins County Public Library - Local History Room
Kammen presents documents from the county's past for reading aloud and discussion. Participants are encouraged to think about what the documents meant at the time of their creation, and to discover what they might tell us here and now. The focus is on thinking historically and discovering the pleasure and knowledge of personal encounters with ordinary documents such as letters and diaries. This monthly (second Thursday of each month) program is free and open to the public, and registration is not required. For more information, contact Carol Kammen at  ckk6@cornell.edu .

Ithaca Loves Teachers Week
Friday February 14th-Sunday 23rd
We have lots of great events and deals planned for educators this week. Visit our website at TheHistoryCenter.net/events for details on all History Center events, visit IthacaLovesTeachers.com for all events in the county. 

From Seeds to Wisdom - Haudenosaunee Winter
Tompkins Center for History and Culture, 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca, NY 14850 
Ithaca College Gallery/CAP Artspace (First Floor)
This event is for children (age 6-12) and their families

Henry Hinckley's Chocolate Affair - Wine & Chocolate Pairing
Monday, February 17th 4-7pm
Ports of New York, 815 Taber St, Ithaca NY 14850
Historic Ithaca The History Center in Tompkins County , and  Lifelong  are reviving an Ithaca tradition: The Henry Hinckley Chocolate Affair. From 1969 to 2000, the (now defunct) Henry Hinckley Foundation Museum held an annual chocolate fundraiser to support its mission of bringing public history to the community. We're thrilled to carry on this event and invite you to the  Ports of New York Winery  to enjoy paired tastings of chocolate and wine and to hear about one of Ithaca's most colorful historic personalities!
Proceeds will benefit programs of Historic Ithaca, The History Center, and Lifelong.

Interested in your family's history? Not quite sure where to start? Join the The Tompkins County Genealogy Society. This month we'll go over examples of roadblocks and other issues that one encounters when doing research in genealogy. Steve will talk about solutions and workarounds.  After the presentation, if there is time, we will ask those in attendance of roadblocks they might currently have and work to problem solve them together.The Society brings together a network of researchers, facilitates access to resources and best practices, and provides programming that draws upon research expertise and personal experiences. They meet monthly to share resources, ideas and create time and space to trace their own family histories.

The Voting Vanguards Poster Project - Rejoice the Vote! - Sisters of Change Program
Thursday, February 20th - 5-6:30pm
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850
Atrium & Ithaca College Gallery/CAP Artspace
Come to enjoy the exhibit opening of 12 exciting posters designed by student artists of the Lehman Alternative Community School. This celebration of Black History Month focuses on Voting Rights, and these posters bring to light the names of sheroes and heroes who worked at great personal peril to obtain the right to vote and have their vote count. 
This program is brought to you through the Sisters of Change exhibit (January-May) collaboration between The Dorothy Cotton Institute, The History Center in Tompkins County, and funded in part through Humanities New York

5th - Robert H. Treman's Park Legacy - Public Lecture by Friends of Treman Park- 5:30-6:30pm
6th - First Friday Gallery Night - 5-8pm
6th & 20th - Ithaca Heritage Guided Tours of History Center Exhibit Hall - Open to the public - 11am-12pm
8th - From Seeds to Wisdom - Maple Tapping at Sapsquatch Sugarbush in Enfield - 12:30-2pm
10th - It's Time to Tune-up Tommy - Public maintenance of Tommy Plane engine - Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation & The History Center - 4-5:30pm 
10th - Cornell Railroad Historical Society - 7pm
14th & 28th - Volunteer at History Forge Transcription Bees - 11-1pm
18th - Sisters of Change - Oral history presentation of local women change-makers - Dorothy Cotton Institute & The History Center 6-7:30pm
28th - Youth Comic Book Workshop - Wharton Museum & The History Center - 10-12:30am
Sisters of Change  Exhibit Opening had a packed house!

We had over 120 guests come to the Exhibit Opening for 'Dorothy Cotton and Unsung Sheroes for Racial Justice, Human Rights, and the Vote.' This exhibit will be on display in the Atrium Tower until May and was created in collaboration with the Dorothy Cotton Institute. The exhibit highlights the lives of 25 extraordinary women from civil rights and justice movements throughout the United States in the last 80 years. These women, like Dorothy, are often not household names, and are under-recognized in curriculum's and history books, but their contribution to our society is immeasurable. Thanks to a grant awarded by  Humanities New York we're thrilled to continue this collaboration through monthly programs for the duration of the exhibit honoring the lives of women change makers in our community and the nation. 

Attendants enjoyed wine and appetizers as they explored the new exhibits before moving into the Ithaca College Gallery/CAP Artspace for a sneak peak of the new documentary " Move When the Spirit Says Move - The Life & Legacy of Dorothy Cotton.." Funds raised during the event will go towards production costs of the film, honoring this civil rights shero and her lasting legacy. 
Now located within the Tompkins Center for History & Culture on the Ithaca Commons
110 North Tioga Street,  Ithaca, NY 14850

Ben Sandberg | Executive Director | Director@thehistorycenter.net |Phone ext 222
Donna Eschenbrenner | Director of Archives & Research Services  | Archives@thehistorycenter.net | Phone ext 224
Cindy Kjellander-Cantu  |  Curator and Design & Support Specialist  | Design@thehistorycenter.net | Phone ext 223
Julia Taylor  | Director of Youth Education   |   EightSquare@thehistorycenter.net | Phone ext 229
Dave Dier  |  Bookkeeper and Office Manager  | Admin@thehistorycenter.net | Phone ext 225
Eve Snyder   HistoryForge Coordinator  | HistoryForge@thehistorycenter.net 
ZoĆ« Van Nostrand  |  Marketing & Visitor Experience Coordinator | Community@thehistorycenter.net  | Phone ext 227

Reach the docents anytime the exhibit hall is open at extension 228.
 @TompkinsHistory #tompkinshistory #tompkinscounty