History Happenings | December 2015
top image

Rod Howe's Corner

From the Executive Director


Rogue's Harbor Inn * Lansing, NY * Date Unknown
"Because I researched and wrote with my class the four books on Lansing history I get the same feeling of belonging as if I knew all the people on the roads that I travel. It is also because I continue to do research all the time. I think it is a good way to feel that one belongs in a place. I often get emails from people who want to know place and people.
They want to feel they belong in a new environment. That's why what we do in our historical associations is so important - a sense of place."

- Louise Bement, Town of Lansing Historian
 

The trustees and employees at The History Center are thankful for a great deal including municipal historians and our sister municipal historical associations who help county, town and village residents develop that sense of place through education and research.



As always, feel free to contact me with your thoughts by phone (607.273.8284 x222) or email (Director@TheHistoryCenter.net).

Celebrating the History Awards Ceremony



Pictured (Left to Right): Robert Baxter, Dryden Town Historical Society representatives including Gina Prentiss, Annalyn Smith (Melody Smith's Sister), Mayor Svante Myrick, Jeannie Barnaba (lifelong friend of Barbara Hall), Professor Michael Smith, Rod Howe, and Corey Earle.



The inaugural annual History Awards Ceremony, held on November 11th, 2015, honored five recipients hwo are making history, engaging with local history, interpreting local history, and/or whose work resonates with The History Center's mission statement.

Team Award - Dryden Town Historical Society
Youth Award - Melody Smith
History Maker Award - Mayor Svante Myrick
Community Ambassador Award - Barbara Hall
Educator Award - Professor Michael Smith

We would like to thank our event sponsor, Dryden Mutual Insurance Co.

In Memoriam:
Cemeteries of Tompkins County


The History Center in Tompkins County
401 E. State St., Suite 100, Ithaca, NY
October 2nd, 2015 - February 20th, 2015


If you haven't yet, make sure to stop by to explore the exhibition " In Memoriam : Cemeteries of Tompkins County " with a pamphlet guide, and don't forget to check out the Exhibition Resource Table where you'll find a fiction and non-fiction cemetery book list compiled by the Tompkins County Public Library; four scavenger hunts: an Adult and Youth Cemetery Scavenger Hunt, and an Adult and Youth Exhibition Scavenger Hunt; frequently asked questions with answers from the Department of State, Division of Cemeteries; and a driving tour of Enfield cemeteries.

 

For more information, contact Donna Eschenbrenner at Archives@TheHistoryCenter.net or call 607.273.8284 x224
 
December and January Closing Hours

The History Center in Tompkins County will be
 
CLOSED

Thursday, December 24th 
Saturday,  December 26th
 Tuesday, December 29th
Thursday, December 31st
Saturday, January 2nd

to celebrate the winter holiday season. 
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 
We hope you enjoy the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016!

 
'Tis The Season of Giving!

Want to buy a loved one a unique gift? Not quite sure what to get them?

The History Center in Tompkins County will be discounting a selection of books in their book store from
Tuesday, December 1st until
Tuesday, December 22nd.


The following books will be anywhere from 
25% to 40% off!


The Architectural Heritage of Tompkins County

Images of Rural Life

Cayuga Lake: Past, Present, and Future

Farmboy

The Photographs of Frederick G. Marcham

The Towns of Tompkins County


Beyond the books on sale, there are books to meet the needs of any number of interests related to the county's rich history. And of course, reproductions of local photographs from our archives make great gifts as well! You can also purchase unique Ithaca wrapping paper from our bookstore for your gifts.
 

P.L.A.C.E.
A Lunch Time Series with Rod Howe

The History Center in Tompkins County
401 E. State St., Suite 100, Ithaca, NY
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
12:00 PM

Second Session: Land




This series will be held the first Tuesday of each month at noon (starting in November and ending in March), and will be held at The  History Center. Created and led by The History Center's Executive Director, Rod Howe, the format will build off from P.L.A.C.E. as an acronym: People, Land, Architecture, Culture and Enterprise. Each session will focus on one of these themes and how they have contributed to instilling a strong commitment to this place. The sessions will be interactive as participants share their perspectives on these themes and place. Select local  historical information will be shared to seed discussion.

This session will be focused on "land".  The guest presenter will be David Kay, Senior Extension Associate, with Cornell's Community and Regional Development Institute. David provides leadership for programming in the areas of energy, land use and community development. His work on land use involves research, outreach, and training efforts that attempt to build community-based decision making capacity and to help weave local policy into a regionally coherent fabric.


For more information, contact Kayla Sewell at Community@TheHistoryCenter.net or call 607.273.8284 x 227

An Excerpt from 
The Spirit of Christmas Present: 
A Poetic Carol in Three Movements
December First Friday Gallery Night

The History Center in Tompkins County
401 E. State St., Suite 100, Ithaca, NY
Friday, December 4th, 2015
6:30 PM


 


Stop by The History Center in Tompkins County on Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 6:30 PM for a n excerpt from the Civic Ensemble's Wintermezzo production,  The Spirit of Christmas Present.  Wintermezzo is Civic Ensemble's new annual holiday show that fits between their regularly scheduled productions.  The Spirit of Christmas Present  is influenced by the humanitarian vision of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. At the heart of Dickens' story are his  concerns about poverty and social injustice, and while The Spirit of Christmas Present only deals with such themes indirectly, the Civic Ensemble  believes that the staging of a nostalgic Christmas tale might help to restore a social harmony and well-being lost in the modern world. Generosity at this time of year is almost always equated with the material, but we're here to show you that it is most abundantly enjoyed through simple gestures of kindness.

The production is inspired by the denizens of West End during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the Rhiners. The performance is silent -- a connection to the name Silent City. The archives at The History Center in Tompkins County were utilized for the creation of this piece. Overall, the production really communicates the ethos that none of us may have very much materially, but we can still take care of each other with human kindness. 

The Performers

Freddy Villano MFA in Ensemble-based Physical Theatre (Class of '07), Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre, recent performances include Civic Ensemble's 
Circle Forward and 
Antigone.

Alyssa Duerksen BFA in Acting (Class of '07), Ithaca College, currently performing in the alt-punk-folk group Misses Bitches.

Brianna Ford  Pursing a BFA in Acting, Ithaca College (Class of '16), recently seen in IC's 
As You Like It and the Civic Ensemble/Ithaca Youth Bureau touring production of Owen's Story.  
 

About Civic Ensemble

MISSION Civic Ensemble creates theatre that explores and explodes the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. We bring audiences of different races, classes, and experiences together in a public forum on the American experiment.

HOW THEY DO IT:  Affordable Productions and Workshops of New Plays by or about women and people of color;  Community-Based Plays  developed and performed by community members;  Community Development Programs;  Productions of Classic Plays re-imagined for a contemporary audience.
WHY THEY DO IT:  Theatre is everyone's birthright, onstage and off.  Ithaca-based theater practitioners deserve an artistic home.  Our obligation to emerging American playwrights is to  produce  their plays, not just develop them.
Civic Ensemble was founded in 2012 by three professional actors and theatre educators: Jennifer Herzog, Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., and Sarah K. Chalmers"

           
     

For more information contact Kayla Sewell at Community@TheHistoryCenter.net or call 607.273.8284 x 227

Exploring and Doing Local History
Tompkins County Public Library and History Center
 to Host Local History Lunch Series

Third Session:
Tompkins County Public Library
101 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY
Thursday, December 10th, 2015
12:00 PM



Tompkins County Public Library and The History Center in Tompkins County will partner for "Exploring and Doing Local History," a hands-on monthly history program facilitated by Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen and Rod Howe, executive director of The History Center in Tompkins County.
 
These free 75-minute drop-in sessions will be held at noon on the second Thursday of each month from October 8th through April 14th, with program locations alternating monthly between the Library's large study room and The History Center's map room. The third session will take place at the Tompkins County Public Library.
 
No registration is required, and participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch.  Beverages will be provided.
 
Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen, image courtesy of Ithaca.com


For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at (607) 272-4557 ext. 248 or  cwheeler@tcpl.org   or Kayla Sewell at 607-273-8284, ext. 227 or  community@thehistorycenter.net .

Green Burial:
Living and Dying Sustainably

The History Center in Tompkins County
401 E. State Street, Suite 100, Ithaca, NY
Thursday, December 10th, 2015
6:00 PM




What we do with the bodies of our deceased loved ones has varied over the centuries. We've put our dead in family burial plots, church graveyards, municipal cemeteries, and mausoleums. Cremation, a long-standing tradition in non-Western cultures, has become increasingly popular in the modern West. Our burial practices reflect ecological conditions and technological possibilities as well as shifting societal needs and changing cultural beliefs.

In this program, we will place Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve (in rural Tompkins County, outside Newfield) within this historical framework. In addition to telling the story of the origins of this unique cemetery in the local landscape, we will analyze how green burial both responds to environmental sensibilities and shapes possibilities for both living and dying sustainably.

 
Biographical Statements

While living in Costa Rica in the 1990s,  Jennifer Johnson participated in a one-kilometer walking funeral procession from a small village to the local cemetery. She observed people healing during this procession and her heart was touched deeply. She carried this experience back to the United States and the walking procession remains an important part of the burial process at Greensprings.  Jennifer is a co-founder of Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve in Newfield, NY. She has worked as the burial coordinator there since 2008, guiding families, friends, and funeral directors through approximately 200 burials. She cares deeply about people and nature, working with others to restore natural habitat on the 130 acres of the Preserve.

In her position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Ithaca College,  Nancy Menning teaches a course that introduces world religions through the lens of beliefs and practices surrounding death. Drawing on her background in environmental studies, she has also developed a freshman seminar on "Death of Nature: Mourning Environmental Losses." In early 2016, Nancy will begin a collaboration with environmental historian Michael Smith (also an Ithaca College professor) to produce a religious and environmental history of three cemeteries in Tompkins County.



For more information, contact Kayla Sewell at 607.273.8284, ext. 227 or  community@thehistorycenter.net .

The Spirit of Christmas Present: 
A Poetic Carol in Three Movements
A Full Performance

The History Center in Tompkins County
401 E. State St., Suite 100, Ithaca, NY
Saturday, December 12th, 2015
2:00 PM


 


Stop by The History Center in Tompkins County on Friday, December 4th, 2015 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM for the full performance of the  Civic Ensemble's Wintermezzo production,  The Spirit of Christmas Present.  Wintermezzo is Civic Ensemble's new annual holiday show that fits between their regularly scheduled productions.  The Spirit of Christmas Present  is influenced by the humanitarian vision of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. At the heart of Dickens' story are his  concerns about poverty and social injustice, and while The Spirit of Christmas Present only deals with such themes indirectly, the Civic Ensemble  believes that the staging of a nostalgic Christmas tale might help to restore a social harmony and well-being lost in the modern world. Generosity at this time of year is almost always equated with the material, but we're here to show you that it is most abundantly enjoyed through simple gestures of kindness.

The production is inspired by the denizens of West End during the late 19th and early 20th century, including the Rhiners. The performance is silent -- a connection to the name Silent City. The archives at The History Center in Tompkins County were utilized for the creation of this piece. Overall, the production really communicates the ethos that none of us may have very much materially, but we can still take care of each other with human kindness. 

The Performers

Freddy Villano MFA in Ensemble-based Physical Theatre (Class of '07), Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre, recent performances include Civic Ensemble's 
Circle Forward and 
Antigone.

Alyssa Duerksen BFA in Acting (Class of '07), Ithaca College, currently performing in the alt-punk-folk group Misses Bitches.

Brianna Ford  Pursing a BFA in Acting, Ithaca College (Class of '16), recently seen in IC's 
As You Like It and the Civic Ensemble/Ithaca Youth Bureau touring production of Owen's Story.

Daniel Ghezzi Pursing a BFA in Acting, Ithaca College (Class of '16), currently performing in IC's  Anon(ymous).

About Civic Ensemble

MISSION Civic Ensemble creates theatre that explores and explodes the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. We bring audiences of different races, classes, and experiences together in a public forum on the American experiment.

HOW THEY DO IT:  Affordable Productions and Workshops of New Plays by or about women and people of color;  Community-Based Plays  developed and performed by community members;  Community Development Programs;  Productions of Classic Plays re-imagined for a contemporary audience.
WHY THEY DO IT:  Theatre is everyone's birthright, onstage and off.  Ithaca-based theater practitioners deserve an artistic home.  Our obligation to emerging American playwrights is to  produce  their plays, not just develop them.
Civic Ensemble was founded in 2012 by three professional actors and theatre educators: Jennifer Herzog, Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., and Sarah K. Chalmers"

         
     
There will be a suggested donation.

For more information contact Kayla Sewell at Community@TheHistoryCenter.net or call 607.273.8284 x 227
 
Who We Are
A History Center Film Screening

The History Center in Tompkins County
401 E. State Street, Suite 100, Ithaca, NY
Saturday, December 19th, 2015
2:00 PM

Stop by The History Center on Saturday, December 19th, 2015 at 2:00 PM for the screening of a new film about who we are. Check our next installment of History Happenings for more details!

 
New Website!
Same URL. New look.

We have some exciting news for you all... we just launched our brand new website! With the help of Joseph Glann (Tompkins Cortland Community College and Lockheed Martin), The History Center's new website is now available to the public in new user-friendly ways. We only ask that you bear with us as we make this transition. Work will be ongoing to further develop the site as an informational and useful resource to all.

 
Our Community
Club Essence


The new exhibition installation, Our Community, celebrates the varied people, organizations, and institutions that make up the rich tapestry that is Tompkins County. Every few months we will exhibit a new display highlighting the diversity of local peoples, past and present, at work and play, and in service to each other.

The first installation honors Club Essence, a grassroots organization that promotes unity, fellowship, and support among African American women. Founded in 1973, the organization awards scholarships to students of color through its fundraising efforts, and in the past, the group supported local students at sports camps and also provided functions for senior citizens. Financial support for Club Essence currently comes from its membership, but formerly the club had sponosred fundraising events, such as an Ethnic Food Feast. The one pictured here is from 1997.  



For more information, contact Donna Eschenbrenner at Archives@TheHistoryCenter.net or 607.273.8284 x 224
 
Job Opening
Office Manager/Bookkeeper



for  The History Center in Tompkins County (401 E. State Street)
and Historic Ithaca (212 Center Street)

Please send cover memo and resume to:
Rod Howe
The History Center in Tompkins County
401 E. State Street, Suite 100, Ithaca, NY 14850

or email to:
Director@TheHistoryCenter.net

by December 11th, 2015

Funding is secure for 2016; the two organizations will work to make this an ongoing position.
 
SUPERVISOR:  Executive Directors of The History Center and Historic Ithaca
STATUS:  30 hours/week; 15 hours per organization; non-exempt position
SALARY:  Commensurate with experience
This position will be an employee of The History Center in Tompkins County with half of the time contracted to Historic Ithaca. The office manager will split their time between the two organizations and work closely with both Executive Directors. The office manager will be expected to help build on synergies between the organizations.
                                                                                                               
GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES: 
  • Maintains all agency fiscal records, fulfills bookkeeping responsibilities, submits records to auditor, prepares reports for board members, routes all invoices for approval, coordinates submission of timesheets and submits payroll.
  • Provides administrative support to the Executive Directors.
  • Coordinates agency human resources program and record keeping.
  • Orders supplies and keeps track of office equipment.
  • Records all donations, maintains the fundraising database and all development records.

Find the complete listing  here at the bottom of the page.



For more information, contact Rod Howe at Director@TheHistoryCenter.net or call 607.273.8284 x 222
 
THC is Grateful for Your Support!
Please Consider a Donation to The History Center


We are pleased to report that The History Center is excelling in fulfilling its mission through the dedication of its trustees, employees, volunteers, supporters and collaborators. As we approach the end of the calendar year, we are asking you to make a gift for THC's continuing vitality. Donations have supported the development of our new website and the ability to offer quality programs and services. Ongoing support will enable us to accept new material into our collections which is invaluable to future research. We are also starting to accept more material digitally, which is increasingly important, and will be a feature of celebrating the county's bicentennial and interacting with the public starting in 2016 and extending into 2017.


Thank you for your support!
Gifts to The History Center are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
Questions? Call (607) 273-8284 or e-mail director@thehistorycenter.net.
Mail to: The History Center, 401 E. State St., Suite 100, Ithaca, NY 14850.
Or, make your gift online at www.thehistorycenter.net


Thank you for subscribing to History Happenings, the e-newsletter of The History Center!
 
 

For feedback, comments and suggestions please contact director@thehistorycenter.net. 

 

The History Center in Tompkins County

401 E. State/MLK Jr. St.
Suite 100 

Ithaca, NY  14850

In the Gateway Center, just one block from The Ithaca Commons.
Free parking available in the rear lot.

 

Phone. 607.273.8284  

www.TheHistoryCenter.net


Hours: Tues, Thurs, Sat from 11-5pm and by appointment

The History Center is a proud member of the Discovery Trail 

With support from