Sol Goldberg's Kids and Other Important People.
The History Center has always been so fortunate in its exceptional team of volunteers. This dedicated and talented crew works on many different projects for us, including exhibit research and creation, serving patrons and students in the research library, collections care and processing, assisting at our front desk, entering census and related data, offering programs, assisting with events, offering leadership on committees and on the board and now packing our collection for our move to the new Tompkins Center for History and Culture. April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and we send our warm and enthusiastic thanks to our generous team of volunteers:
Sarah Adams, Wendy Bacon, Donna Barsotti, Sherene Baugher, Elizabeth Bergman, Steven Bissen, Andy Boehm, Anne Buchner, Alaina Caraballo, Kathy Carman, Gail Cashen, Katherine Chiang, Melissa Chipman, Francesca Chu, Thea Clarkberg, Julia Corrice, Sarah DeWitt, George Dillman, Corey Earle, Karen Edelstein, Brad Edmondson, Eugene Endres, Dan Evett, Christine Finnigan, Mukund Gaur, Shailja Gaur, Srisha Gaur, Aurora Golden, Peggy Haine, Barbara Harrison, Erica Herman, Natalie Howlett, Dayna Jorgenson, Jeff Juran, Katie Keegan, Judy Kinney, Sharon Lampman, Jesse Larson, Nancy Leeming, Alison Maceli, Jacky Magagnosc, Hope Mandeville, Jane Marcham, David Marcham, Louise Matosich, Laurel Matsudaira, Janet McCue, Helen McLallen, Phyllis McNeil, Eva Mecham, Sarah Meidl, Claudia Melin, Ashley Miller, Joan Ormondroyd, Nancy Ostman, Lisa Peck, Mason Peck, Rose Pellegrino, Greg Potter, Gina Prentiss, Martha Preston, Sue Romanczuk, Erin Root, Johnny Russo, Nick Sagan, Karen Salino, Anne Serling, Susan Soboroff, Loren Sparling, Pam Silverstein, Lynn Thommen, Mary Tomlan, Maddie Turner, Brant Venables, Janet Wagner, Mason Wilheln, Haven Wong, Kristen Yarnell, Eli Zhang. Also the 2017 and 2018 Tompkins County Heritage Ambassadors, our Community Advisory Council members and the Trustees of The History Center.
Our sincere apologies to anyone that we may have inadvertently omitted. We are grateful to all that volunteer their time, energy and talents to The History Center in Tompkins County.
This painting by John Kensett has been compared to a historical document for its accurate and detailed portrayal of Ithaca in 1870.
Ithaca Our Home, by Johnny Russo
Where Cayuga waters gather
High hills & water falls yes
This special place called Ithaca Our Home
Where the town folk always greet you
The young so pleased to meet you
This special place called Ithaca Our Home
You're always welcome any place you want to roam
Sentimental kind & gentle that's our home
Distant places often beckon
You're gone awhile but still return
To that special place called Ithaca Our Home.
Bookstore & Gift Shop Highlights
Mention our newsletter and get 15% off from this selected title!
Carrie Manning's Diary 1869
Edited by William Heidt, Jr., adapted for Junior Historians by Curtis Pfuff
This 2011 reprinting is a copy of the 1962 edition of the 1869 Diary. "Eighty-seven years ago Carrie L. Manning kept a diary for the year 1869. Although she never heard the word "teenager", she was one and living on the farm in the town of Ithaca. She was 13 years old and a pupil of the district school." By W.H.Jr, March 22, 1956
Farmboy, by John B. Babcock
John Babcock was not just any teenager on any farm in the 1930s. So when he sets out to tell his children and grandchildren what life was like working on a family farm in Upstate New York, he winds up telling three distinct and engaging stories: what it means to be a farmboy in lean times, the evolution of northeast farming, and the role of his father, H.E. Babcock, as a farm leader.
Ithaca Farmers Market Cookbook, by Michael Turback
From enlightened Ithaca in Upstate New York, The Ithaca Farmers Market Cookbook celebrates the food, the people, and the mission of America s most progressive farmers market. Readers will be able re-create many of the stand-in-line offerings and farmstead-inspired dishes that showcase the bounty within a 30-mile radius of Ithaca. In addition, leading local chefs with a reverence for the Market transform seasonal offerings into healthy, economical meals for your table. Vivid photographs bring the Market to life, capturing its personalities, eccentricities, and enduring popularity.
Main Gallery Exhibition
The Maps of Tompkins County
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.
||Peter Webb & Phyllis Webb of Caroline, n.d. Photo from the Collection of The History Center.
Our Community Corner
The Webbs - A Tompkins County Family
In honor of our county's bicentennial in 2017 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.
This photograph exhibit tells the moving and enriching story of one family's triumph over extreme hardship and their prosperous and vibrant descendants.
Former Map Room
The Many Names of Fall Creek
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.
The exhibition is co-sponsored by:
Tompkins County Bicentennial Commission
Names on the Land--Tompkins County
Exploring Tompkins County:
A Municipality Display Case
Town of Ithaca: Early Days
Exploring Tompkins County display is a collaboration between The History Center in Tompkins County and Tompkins County's municipal historians. This exhibit samples artifacts of early Town of Ithaca. We thank David George, Town of Ithaca Historian, for providing his knowledge and time to create this unique exhibit. In
the photo: Town of Ithaca Board Minutes, 1821. Photo Courtesy of David George.
Ladies' Accessories Display
Pictured here is an early 19th century beaded purse that was hand-made and originally had a drawstring along the top. It's part of The History Center's Ladies' Accessories display, highlighting elegant items that 19th and early 20th century ladies used to accompany the fashions of the day. Handkerchiefs, purses, gloves, cosmetic containers and more all showcase the different ways accessories made fashion more beautiful.
"A Female Candide: Inside the U.S. Empire with Ms. Grace Halsell," Lecture Series
April 16, 17, and 18, at 4:30 PM (at Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall)
Historian Robin R. G. Kelley will visit the Cornell campus April 16-18 for three lectures as part of the 2018 Carl Becker Lecture Series. The lectures are based on Kelley's latest project - a biography of the late Grace Halsell, an American journalist who wrote about her experiences going undercover by passing as a black woman, an undocumented worker from Mexico and a right-wing Christian fundamentalist. Kelley is the distinguished professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA. His research focuses on the history of social movements within the United States, the African Diaspora and Africa, and his most recent book, "Africa Speaks, America Answers!: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times" (Harvard University Press, 2012), explores the lives of four artists during the age of African decolonization. Learn more about the events here:
Archaeology of Nineteenth Century Tourism in the Finger Lakes
Wednesday, April 18, 5:30 PM (at TCPL, Borg Worner Room)
Presentation by Sherene Baugher, Archaeologist, Cornell University.
In the image to the left, archaeological excavations by Cornell students have revealed the location of a 19th century resort hotel in Upper Treman State Park.
Southside Neighborhood Evolution: HistoryForge 1900-1930
Saturday, April 21, 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM (at Southside Community Center)
The Southside Community neighborhood will provide the context for looking at families and their relationship to that community in the early 20th century. We will hear from individuals whose families settled in the neighborhood during that period and participants will be invited to share their family connections to the community. After the discussion we will walk to three nearby houses to delve deeper into family-community narratives to learn about families from 100 years ago.
This event is a collaboration of Southside Community Center and The History Center in Tompkins County and is sponsored by M&T bank. This program is the first in a series that will culminate in an African-American community forum in the fall of 2018. The working title of the series is "African-Americans in Ithaca: People, Place and Time."
Saturday, April 21, 2:00 PM (The History Center in Tompkins County)
Civic Ensemble, Cornell's Department of Performing and Media Arts, and The History Center in Tompkins County are proud to present four staged readings of The Loneliness Project.
This new documentary play uses interviews with LGBTQIA+ youth and seniors to chronicle
the rich history of Chicago's LGBTQIA+ activist communities and to make sense of their fracturing over the past 20 years. This is a tale of fierce activism, profound loneliness, and remarkable resilience, The Loneliness Project employs the documentary method as not only a mode of artistic creation and preservation but also as a mode of collaborative problem-solving.
moment when recent legislative advancements may be in peril and urgent community needs continue to be overlooked, how do artists, activists, and organizers maintain focus on and respond to the most immediate needs of our communities?
Six Mile Creek Tour with Dryden Town Historical Society
Thursday, April 26, 7:00 PM (Dryden Village Hall, 16 South Street, Dryden)
From its headwaters in Dryden to its end in the City of Ithaca, Six Mile Creek is one of the most important streams in Tompkins County. Using photos, video, and sound, this presentation will show some of the sites along the creek -- some long gone, like the Fountain House in Slaterville, and some still active, like Brookton's Market in Brooktondale. Old photos will be combined with modern images to show graphically how much has changed. Before the presentation, starting at 6:30 PM, there will be opportunities for conversations about the community's history.
HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturday, April 28, 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
"Historians' Perspectives: Bringing Forward Insights From the Past"
Saturday, April 28, 2:00 PM (at The History Center in Tompkins County)
The discussion will include municipal historians Bea Szekely (Cayuga Heights), John Wertis (Ulysses), and Bruce Brittain (Forest Home). They will share perspectives on
development in their communities. What are some historical drivers of development and who, traditionally, have been the decision makers? Is there "intelligence" from the past to inform the current development dialogue? These are some of the questions that will be addressed about the built environment in our communities.
This is the first program in a year-long series entitled,
Development in Ithaca/Tompkins County: The Past, Present and Future that represents a broad collaboration of entities and organizations.
Exploring Local Environmental History at The History Center
Tuesday, May 1, 7:00 PM (at The History Center)
On Tuesday, May 1, The History Center will present the work of Ithaca College environmental history students. With news of human-induced environmental change increasingly in the news, the latest installment of this history project offers insights into the historical relationship between people and the local environment.
Michael Smith, Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Ithaca College, developed a course in environmental history requiring students to use local historical resources to study an event in the greater Ithaca area. Not only do the students experience the craft of history in a new way, but they come to appreciate the evolution of the Ithaca community.
Six groups will present a synopsis of their findings followed by a questions and answers.
James Baldwin Film Series
Thursday, May 3, 6:30 PM (Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell, Multipurpose room)
"I Am Not Your Negro"
Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions a book about Medgar Evers. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. that James Baldwin started, but never finished. (94 min.)
Free to the public and free popcorn to the first 50 people!
History of the New Military Tract in New York State
Saturday, May 5th 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (Trumansburg American Legion Post 770, 4431 Seneca Road, Trumansburg, NY)
Presented by Map Historian Robert Kibbee and Seneca County Historian Walter Gable, this talk will focus on difficulties in establishing New Military Tract lands to reward men for their Revolution War military service, and the Backbone Ridge in the New Military Tract Townships of Hector, Ovid and Ulysses. Sponsored by the Backbone Ridge History Group. With support from the Nelson B. Delavan Foundation.
Fall Creek Geographic: Natural and Cultural History of the Fall Creek Watershed
Part One: An Overview--Friday, May 4, 6:00 PM (at The History Center)
Part Two: Part Two: A Field Trip Through Time--Saturday, May 5, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (starting at Ithaca Falls)
Part One: An Overview
will include an evening presentation exploring and celebrating the natural and cultural history of the Fall Creek Watershed. Using a combination of maps, diagrams, historic photographs, and aerial imagery, we'll interpret the history of how the landscape of the watershed we see today has unfolded through time - from its geologic origins to the impacts of European settlement and modern-day land-use.
Presenter: Walter Poleman.
Walter Poleman, an ecologist and senior lecturer at University of Vermont and director of the PLACE (Place-based Landscape Analysis & Community Engagement) Program with the
Part Two: A Field Trip Through Time to experience place-based education in action as we visit three sites in the Fall Creek watershed that have been shaped by the interplay of both human and natural history. Time-travel in place as we explore and interpret how the story of a location has been impacted by its bedrock geology, glacial history, surface topography, and the people who have lived and worked there. We'll start at Ithaca Falls, and then travel upstream to see the influences of the creek on land formation in Freeville, and finally visit the glacially-sculpted landscape of the Von Engeln Preserve in Malloryville.
Tour guides: Karen Edelstein and Walter Poleman with invited presenters at each stop. Karen Edelstein is an environmental cartographer, educator, and natural history enthusiast. She's lived in Tompkins County for nearly forty years, and delights in forever increasing her understanding of landscape and cultural history of the Finger Lakes Region.
Registration required for
Part Two: A Field Trip Through Time.
This tour is limited to 25 people.
Schedule details will be shared with registrants.
Register here: https://goo.gl/UwrUwd.
Folks who register for the field trip are strongly encouraged to attend the May 4 presentation. This is a drive-on-your-own tour (car-pooling recommended), but we are making arrangements for a van for those who may not have transportation. Sponsored by TST BOCES.
Newfield Historical Society's Annual Meeting
Tuesday, May 8, 7:00 PM (at the Newfield Fire Hall on Main St. in Newfield)
Join the Newfield's Historical Society's Annual Meeting to learn about the updates on current initiatives and listen to a talk by a guest speaker David Rossiter. Titled
"Getting the Farmers out of the Mud: Railroad Fever in the 1870's in Newfield," David's talk will explore the complicated history of the Pennsylvania & Sodus Bay Railroad.
SAVE THE DATE: Cayuga Language Presentation
Saturday, May 12, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (at The History Center)
Gayogo̱hó:nǫ') Language presentation by Steven Henhawk, a Cayuga faithkeeper who teaches the language. Stay tuned for more information in the next newsletter.
SAVE THE DATE: "The History of YMCA" Presentation
Thursday, May 17, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM (at The History Center)
By Frank Towner, CEO of YMCA in Ithaca.
Stay tuned for more information in the next newsletter.
We are Moving!
Ezra Cornell's Basket
This basket was owned by Ezra Cornell and donated to The History Center (then the DeWitt Historical Society) many years ago by his granddaughter Dorothy Cornell. It was used by his servant Sam Grover to carry mail from the post office to the Cornell family home, which was then on the corner of Tioga and Seneca Streets, where M&T Bank is today.
This was one of the many artifacts that we are packing for our move to the new Tompkins Center for History and Culture.