History Happenings
The History Center Newsletter

March 2020
Throughout American history the right to vote has been a prized privilege of citizenship. Originally restricted to white, male, property owning individuals, gradually the franchise expanded to include more citizens. People petitioned, marched, and many fought and died for the right to vote. 

Today voters exercise their rights for many reasons; some are motivated by the legacy of their ancestors or their history; some feel compelled by the duties and rights of citizenship. 

The History Center is currently working on an exhibit titled "Why Vote? " which will be unveiled later this year in tandem with an exhibit recognizing the centennial ratification of the 19th amendment which granted white women in America the right to vote. As part of this exhibit we're hoping to include modern perspectives on voting from our community. We want to know:

Why do you vote? or Why don't you vote? 

We will have physical "ballots" available at the docent desk in the History Center Exhibit Hall over the next few months and will be collecting answers to these questions to use in the exhibit display. These ballots will later become a collection in our archives. If you have connections with a community group, classroom, or political association that you think would be interested in sharing their thoughts for this project, please get in touch at community@thehistorycenter.net and we can prepare a set of ballots for you to bring back to your group (and then return to us!). We also invite members of the public to verbally record their perspectives on why they do or don't vote in our oral history Story Vault. 

March - Women's History Month

Second & Third Generation Descendants of Holocaust Survivors  Meeting
Sunday March 1st
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
Robert H. Treman's Park Legacy
Thursday March 5th 5:30-6:30pm
Tompkins Center for History and Culture, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 
Ithaca College Gallery/CAP ArtSpace (First Floor)
The Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park are pleased to present this illustrated lecture by President Tony Ingraham at the History Center as part of their celebration of the park's centennial.
One hundred years ago, Robert and Laura Treman donated land that is now the upper section of Robert H. Treman State Park to the people of the State of New York to become a state park forever. The Tremans continued fostering other local state parks in the years to come. In 1924, they donated land that became Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Mr. Treman became the first chairman of the Finger Lakes State Park Commission. He guided the acquisition and development of state parks throughout the Finger Lakes region until his death in 1937. 
This event is free and open to the public. 

Ithaca Heritage Guided Tours of The History Center Exhibit Hall
Fridays, March 6th & 20th - 11:30am-12:15pm
Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850
History Center Exhibit Hall & Atrium (First Floor)
Join Heritage Ambassador and native Ithacan, Martha Preston, for a FREE guided tour of the new History Center in Tompkins County!  The tour will begin in the atrium of the Tompkins Center for History & Culture and explore the changing landscape of the Ithaca Commons. Tour will include our new exhibit on Dorothy Cotton and other under-recognized sheroes of various US civil rights and justice movements, the role of the Wharton Studio in early American film making, the restoration and history of our beloved 102 year old Tommy Plane, and the Eight Square Schoolhouse replica within the exhibit hall. (All tours will cover the same information).
Pre-registration requested at thehistorycenter.net/events  but walk-ins are also welcome.

Gallery Night
Friday March 6th 5-8pm
Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850
Ithaca College Gallery/CAP ArtSpace & History Center Exhibit Hall (First Floor)
Stop by the Exhibit Hall as you wander through Gallery Night on the Commons to claim your free book from The History Center! 

The Personal is Historical: A Writing Workshop w/ Zee Zahava
Saturday March 7th - 10am-12pm
Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850
Cornell Local History Research Library (First Floor)
Our inspiration will come from some of the maps and other resources that are part of the Research Library's collection.  This FREE workshop provides an opportunity to respond intuitively and spontaneously to what is discovered on that particular day, at that particular time, in that particular environment.  Participants will be encouraged to write in any format: poetry, narrative prose, memoir, stories, diary entries, etc.  
This workshop is fully booked, stay tuned for future workshops in the Research Library with Zee Zahava. 

From Seeds to Wisdom: The Maple - Leader of the Trees. 
Sunday March 8th 12:30-2pm
Sapsquatch Maple - 2247 Mecklenburg Rd Ithaca NY 14850
Kids (ages 6-12) & families are invited to learn about maple syrup production, both the modern methods practiced by Josh Dolan of Sapsquatch and traditional harvest methods of the Haudenosaunee. This event is part of a year long youth program series exploring Haudenosaunee history and culture. 
This event is FREE, however space is limited and everyone must pre-register
Contact Julia Taylor at eightsquare@thehistorycenter.net with any questions.

It's Time to Tune Up Tommy!
Tuesday March 10th 4-5:30pm
Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N. Tioga St., Ithaca NY 
The History Center Exhibit Hall & CAP ArtSpace (First Floor) 
Our 102 year old Tommy plane needs regular engine maintenance to remain flight worthy. Join us for a public demonstration by Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation conservator Don Funke, on how to properly "pickle" a Thomas Morse Scout S4-B engine. 
This event is free and open to the public. 

Cornell Railroad Historical Society Meeting - The Railroad Art of Reginald Marsh
Tuesday March 10th - 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 cover a range of related topics about local, national, and international railroads.  The March meeting of the Cornell Railroad Historical Society will be viewing a video on either contemporary railroading in the Mohawk Valley, or on the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad that ran through Ithaca. There will also be a short presentation on the railroad art of Reginald Marsh. Marsh was a member of the "Ashcan School" of artists, mostly located in and around New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Marsh spent many hours in the railroad yards of Jersey City, just across the Hudson River, and turned his observations into etchings, lithographs and paintings of the gritty life of workers and locomotives.
This event is free and open to the public. 

HistoryForge Data Entry Bees
Saturdays, March 14th & 28th, 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
These volunteer events are free and open to the public, no pre-registration necessary. 

Human Rights
Sunday March 15th 12:30-2pm
Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY
Ithaca College Gallery/CAP ArtSpace (First Floor)
This program is intended for children ages 6-12 and their families.
A workshop for kids exploring basic human rights and what they mean for us all. 
This event is a collaboration between the Dorothy Cotton Institute and The History Center in Tompkins County. 

Local Sisters of Change
Wednesday March 18th 6-8pm
Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850
Ithaca College Gallery/CAP ArtSpace (First Floor)
The Dorothy Cotton Institute and The History Center in Tompkins County will showcase portions of 13 oral histories of local women who were interviewed by Cornell students of Dr. Sofia Villenas, and local high school students. The evening is devoted to the voices of a baker's dozen of amazing local women who have been building and sustaining our community while being full-time advocates, artists, educators, mentors, mothers, grandmas, sisterfriends, activists, and long-distance runners for racial and social justice. 
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 and is part of our Women's History Month programming. 
Free and open to all, with refreshments and good company. 

Interested in your family's history? Not quite sure where to start? Join the The Tompkins County Genealogy Society! This month we'll explore genetic testing as it relates to genealogy research. Genetic testing as a powerful tool for solving paternity mysteries isn't limited to just recent generations.  It can also help solve such puzzles from over a century ago! Jeremy Beutel will present an example of an analytical process using a pattern of distant cousin matches that seem to have finally identified one of his great-great grandfathers. This was a mystery stretching back to northeast Germany in 1876 that was considered likely unsolvable until the development of widespread DNA testing in recent years. Alternative hypotheses will also be discussed. 
This program is free and open to the public. 

HistoryForge at the National Council on Public History
Wednesday March 18th
The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta GA - National Council on Public History Annual Meeting
HistoryForge volunteer and co-founder Bob Kibbee will be facilitating a session on  on the Ithaca HistoryForge project at the National Council on Public History's annual meeting as part of the NCPH's Digital Public History Lab.
Register for the conference here: https://ncph.org/conference/2020-annual-meeting/

Make Your Own Comic with Michael Watson!
Saturday March 28th 10:30am-12pm
Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850
Ithaca College Gallery/CAP ArtSpace (First Floor)
This event is for youth ages 9-16
This hands-on comic book workshop is for youth interested in the art and storytelling of comics. Michael will talk a bit about how comics get made, and then youth will create their own comic page in small groups. No experience necessary. Michael Watson graduated from Ithaca College where he studied cinematography. He is the writer/creator of ITHAQA a new Lovecraftian style horror story told in comic form, set in Ithaca in the 1920's. 
This event is a collaboration between The History Center in Tompkins County, and the Wharton Studio Museum, and is part of the ITHAQA Comic Book Tour in the Finger Lakes. 
Space is limited for this program, and must be registered for in advance. $5 requested donation will go to support programming of The History Center and Wharton Studio Museum. 

April - Save the Date!
2nd - New Discoveries at the Buried Enfield Falls Hotel at Robert H. Treman State Park - Friends of Robert Treman State Park - 5:30-6:30pm 
3rd - First Friday Gallery Night - 5-8pm
3rd & 17th - Ithaca Heritage Guided Tours of History Center Exhibit Hall - Open to the public - 11:30am-12:15pm
4th - Ithaca Heritage Pub Crawl - $45 pre-registration required - 2:30-5pm
5th - Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Monthly Meeting
8th - Film Screening of Lavender Hill - 4-5pm 
11th & 25th - HistoryForge Transcription Bees - 11-1pm
14th - Cornell Historical Railroad Society Monthly Meeting - 7-8pm 
19th - Youth & Family Program 
25th - Tompkins Geographic Fall Creek Walk
27th - Eight Square School House opens for school tours!

Visit www.thehistorycenter.net/events for more details on all our programs
Ithaca Loves Teachers Winter Recess - A Huge Success

The History Center jumped head first into our first  Ithaca Loves Teachers Winter Recess as a member of the  Tompkins Center for History & Culture (TCHC). We hosted and collaborated on a whopping 10 events in just eight days, and had 754 visitors in the Exhibit Hall over the course of the week (to give a little perspective, our total number of visitors in January was 892). The Downtown Visitors Center run by  Visit Ithaca (a TCHC partner we share the first floor with) was one of two locations for the 6000+ Teachers Week participants to register, and through a lot of collaboration and communication between History Center staff and Visit Ithaca all our shared events over the course of the week went smoothly. 

These included an  Ithaca Kitty Loves Teachers - Sew Your Own workshop, Artisan Food & Cider Tasting, the exhibit opening for the Voting Vanguards Poster Project (an exhibit on display in the  CAP ArtSpace, and a collaboration with the  Dorothy Cotton Institute, another TCHC partner), three tours led by  Ithaca Heritage Ambassador Martha Preston, and the Henry Hinckley Chocolate Affair fundraiser hosted in partnership with  Historic Ithaca (also a TCHC partner), Lifelong, and  Ports of New York Winery . 

Moving into the TCHC building over the course of the last year, and settling into the changes and adjustments of a shared building and community space with 12 other organizations has been a learning experience for all of us. It was extremely rewarding for History Center staff to see what collaborative events between so many different partners could look like when executed on a large scale, and to see the ways our different skill sets and organizational missions complement each other. It was also exciting to get to share our new Exhibit Hall and Research Library with hundreds of educators who hadn't visited our new space yet.

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