History Happenings  Late August - Early September 2018
The History Center's Electronic Newsletter 
The Corner

It's all about the Tommy Plane!
The History Center is thrilled to partner with Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation (IAHF) and other organizations for a number of events leading up to the  September 29th Tommy's Centennial Flight. Ithaca and Tompkins County are invited to learn about rich local aviation heritage through the following events (more information for each event is farther below): 
August 29, 7:00 PM, at Cinemapolis, Movie Screening "A Romance of the Air," co-sponsored by the Wharton Studio Museum. (tickets are available online)

September 18, 7:00 PM, at The History Center, Talk "From Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company to Thomas-Morse S-4 Scout, 1910-18:  The Origins of Ithaca's Aircraft Industry"  by James Rundle , IAHF Board member.

September 28, 1:00-4:30 PM, Tommy Plane "Ithaca Heritage" Bus Tour (registration required)

September 29, 2:00 PM, at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, Tommy's Centennial Flight. (FREE tickets available online)

We hope you can join us for this month of local aviation heritage!

Executive Director of The History Center in Tompkins County 
On Saturday, August 25,
The History Center's business hours  are 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Welcome Our New Trustees
The History Center is excited to introduce our new trustees!

Rich John has  lived in Ithaca and Tompkins County for over fifty years and has a  background of twenty years as a general practice partner in a local law firm. In 2016 John was elected to the  Tompkins County Legislature.

Michael Smith has taught history and environmental studies at Ithaca College since 2001, with an emphasis on environmental history. Since 2005 students in his History of American Environmental Thought class have done research into the environmental history of Tompkins County and presented it at the The History Center. 

Laurel Southard is the Director of Undergraduate Research at Cornell. She moved to Ithaca in 1976 and  did her graduate work in molecular virology at Cornell. Laurel now lives  in a Greek Revival farmhouse, and loves organizing her own historical collection of stuff!

Chris Irving has been in Ithaca for over three decades and is enjoying her 33rd year as the owner of Irving & Associates, providing tax preparation, accounting and bookkeeping services. Chris has served as president, vice president, treasurer and board member for Gadabout, the YMCA and the Finger Lakes Runners Club. 

Learn more about our new and current trustees here: https://thehistorycenter.net/trustees.
Bookstore & Gift Shop Highlights  

In conjunctions with the upcoming events related to our local aviation heritage, these items will be on SALE 50% OFF until September 29, 2018:
Bessie Coleman & Amelia Earhart Dolls from Girls Explore Series
Bessie  Coleman was the  first black woman pilot.
Amelia Earhart was the first woman aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. On her visit to Ithaca she landed where the Hangar Theatre is today.
New Exhibits

Our former map room is now featuring the WE ARE ITHACA display. This multi-faceted portrait project was conducted in 2017/2018, and uses the power of photography to engage diverse communities within our city in dialogue and celebration of our complex identity. At the heart of WE ARE ITHACA is the photographic portrait project carried out by Project Director/photographer Robyn Wishna, a small group of college  students and volunteers. This is a project of the Community Arts Partnership made possible by a grant from the Park Foundation. Come and post what you love about Ithaca on the exhibit wall!

Exploring Tompkins County: 
Municipality Display Case 
Danby: Its Rural Side, Its Historic Side, And More 
Exploring Tompkins County display is a collaboration between The History Center in Tompkins County and Tompkins County's municipal historians. This new exhibit samples artifacts of early Town of Danby. We thank Mary Ann Barr, Town of Danby Historian, for providing her knowledge and time to create this unique exhibit. 

YouTube Channel Highlights
Cayuga Language Presentation

For those of you who were not able to attend the May 12th Cayuga Language Presentation by Steven Henhawk, Cayuga Nation faith keeper, you can now access the presentation online on The History Center's YouTube Channel.

Follow this direct link to access the Cayuga Language Presentation video:

Upcoming Events

Tompkins County Genealogy Society Meeting
Wednesday, August 15, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (at TCPL, in the BorgWarner Community Room East)
This will be the second meeting of the Tompkins County Genealogy Society. The History Center in Tompkins County and the Tompkins County Public Library host a local genealogy society with the goals of building and supporting a network and making resources discoverable.  The program will consist of a speaker, brief highlights of local resources and a discussion of organizational issues.

HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturday, August 18, 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:  https://thehistorycenter.net/volunteer-historyforge 

West End Neighborhood Evolution: 
HistoryForge 1900-1930
Saturday, August 18, 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM (at Just Be Cause Center, 1013 W State St, Ithaca, New York 14850)
RSVP for a West End Neighborhood Evolution program and walk on Saturday, August 18, 2018, from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Register:  https://tinyurl.com/yaoadaks
HistoryForge will help provide a historical context. The walk will focus on West Seneca Street and Brindley Street and include going by a few houses, the Sign Works Building, the Aeroplane Factory, and Ports of New York. 
This event is sponsored by M&T bank and is the second in a three part series.

Johnny Russo & East Hill Classic Jazz Band on the Commons
Saturday, August 18, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (at Bank Alley of the Ithaca Commons)
At this special Saturday afternoon show, we celebrate 40 years of the East Hill Classic Jazz Band!  The CFCU Summer Concert Series is free, all-ages, and open to the public. Performances take place on the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the Commons, in downtown Ithaca.
The History Center in Tompkins County has published a book this summer chronicling the band's career titled "Ithaca Our Home: A Forty Year Musical Odyssey in Tompkins County," featuring photos, stories by Johnny Russo and the band, and including a 17-song CD of original songs. 

Unveiling Ithaca's Living Past Tour
Friday, August 24, 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (Meet at the Trolley Circle near Center Ithaca on the Ithaca Commons)
This tour will focus on elements of living, working, playing, and honoring in and around what we now know as The Commons from both historical and current perspectives. The downtown area is the center of the county and holds narratives of individuals, institutions, organizations, business, and civic life. Free. Learn more on the website: http://www.ithacaheritage.com/

"Celebrating Groton Old Home Days"
Friday, August 24, 
5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
(Groton Historical Society Museum
"Celebrating the Trumansburg Fair"
Saturday, August 25, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (Trumansburg Fairgrounds Domestic Building, 2150 Trumansburg Rd., Trumansburg)
Join folklorist Hannah Davis at two upcoming events to reflect on two local summer gatherings: the Trumansburg Fair and Groton Old Home Days. These open-ended conversations will provide community members (including organizers and participants) an opportunity to learn about each event's history, share their own experiences, and contemplate the events' broader significance. Refreshments will be provided.
Davis currently serves as the New York Folklore Society's upstate regional representative and is a research assistant at the Rochester Institute of Technology. 
These programs are part of "Interpreting Community Folklife at Tompkins County's Fairs and Festivals," an ongoing project made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. A related culminating public event will be held at The History Center this fall. More information will be made available at www.thehistorycenter.net.

Silent Movie under the Stars
Saturday, August 25 (at Taughannock Falls State Park)
Wharton Studio Museum is proud to present its 8th Annual  Silent  Movie  under the  Stars.   This year WSM celebrates  silent  serials with episodes of Wharton Studio's Beatrice Fairfax, as well as an episode of The Perils of Pauline on the big screen.
Live musical accompaniment by Cloud Chamber Orchestra.  Bring a picnic, chair and a blanket and enjoy these  silent  films  under  the night sky by Cayuga Lake.  Presenting Sponsor is M&T Bank.  Producing Partner is NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.  Event is free and open to the public, though there is a $5. per vehicle parking fee in the park.  Rain date is  Sunday, August 26, 2018
For more information visit  www.whartonstudiomuseum.org

Three Event Series in August-September 2018:

Tour: "What's Happening Downtown?"
Tuesday, August 28, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM (Press Bay Alley, Ithaca, NY)
Over the last 10+ years, downtown Ithaca has changed remarkably, with new development, restoration and refurbishment of the Ithaca Commons, and implementation of the City of Ithaca's strategic plan and new rezoning regulations in city code. Join Downtown Ithaca Alliance Executive Director Gary Ferguson and Historic Ithaca Executive Director Susan Holland as they offer a downtown guided tour to explore recent developments happening in the urban core. The tour takes place Tuesday, August 28, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Meet at Press Bay Alley, 118 West Green Street. While the tour is free, donations will be gratefully accepted. Registration is required. Spaces are limited, so reserve soon. The tour is part of the ongoing "Development in Ithaca and Tompkins County: Past, Present, and Future" series organized by The History Center in Tompkins County.

Visioning Alternative Futures of the Community
Thursday, September 20, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (at Tompkins County Public Library)
Stay tuned for more information in our next newsletter!

Anatomy of a Project
Thursday, September 27, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (Town of Ithaca Board Room, 215 N. Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850)
Stay tuned for more information in our next newsletter!

Cinemapolis Movie Screening: 
"Romance of the Air
Wednesday, August 29, 7:00 PM (at Cinemapolis)
The Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation invites you to join us Wednesday, August 29 @7pm at Cinemapolis for Tommy's Centennial Flight Fundraiser! We'll watch A Romance of the Air, the 1918 silent film set during World World I starring our beloved Tommy plane. Wharton Studios described the film as, "Brave heroes and heroines! Despicable spies! A war hero falsely accused...and sentenced to death! How will it all end?" Directly following the film, we'll have a Q& A session with one of the original founders of the IAHF organization. We will talk about the history of the Tommy Comes Home Project, future plans for Tommy, and exciting details about the upcoming Centennial Flight! All proceeds from the night goes towards the project and Tommy's Centennial Flight event which is FREE on Saturday, September 29. Don't miss out on history in the making! Stick around after the Q&A session for a Meet and Mingle opportunity in the lobby with Tommy Board and Committee members. Sign up for the Centennial flight today - HERE or directly on our Facebook Event Page .
This event is co-sponsored by Wharton Studio MuseumIthaca Aviation Heritage Foundation thanks Wharton Studio Museum for providing the film footage and background materials for the screening.

Photo of a section of The History Center's mural.
First Friday Gallery Night: Farewell to The History Center's Murals
Friday, September 7, 6:00 PM Talk, Doors Open 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (at The History Center)
In conjunction with First Friday Gallery Night and The History Center's approaching move, we invite you to give a farewell to The History Center's murals, now located on the building's side facing the creek. The murals feature Tompkins County's recognizable people and themes from our past. The 6:00 PM program will include a talk by the artist Marriann Loveland and a screening of Terry Harbin's video of the art process. Light refreshments will be provided.  

SWELL STUFF: What Do YOU Collect? 
Free Writing Workshop by Zee Zahava
Saturday, September 15, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (at The History Center)
Whether it's 4 favorite pencils, 13 pairs of tap shoes, 99 plastic wind-up toys, or 200 matchbooks, this workshop will give you the opportunity to display a small sample of your SWELL STUFF, and to write about it.  What to bring: a FEW items from your collection (be selective!), a notebook and pen. Come on time so you'll have a chance to look at everyone else's Swell Stuff, and they'll get to see what you've brought, before we begin writing.  What not to bring: your entire collection of 40,000 bottle caps (just an example!).  Suggestion: if you collect many different kinds of things, just choose one area to focus on for this workshop.  SWELL STUFF is designed to give you an opportunity to write in the company of others and then share what you've just written with the group.  And in case you don't think you are a collector, consider this quote from the people at the Abita Mystery House ("Louisiana's Most Eccentric Attraction" - a family-owned museum): "If you have 3 or more it's a collection. A museum has over 3 collections." 
Please register  by contacting Zee directly:  zee@twcny.rr.com.  Enrollment is limited to 15 people.

From Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company to Thomas-Morse S-4 Scout, 1910-18: 
The Origins of Ithaca's Aircraft Industry" 
Talk by James Rundle
Tuesday, September 18, 7:00 PM (at The History Center)  
On September 29 an original 'Tommy' S-4B Scout, built in Ithaca in 1918 and recently restored by local volunteers, is scheduled to fly at the Tompkins County Regional Airport.  This talk tells the story of how an aircraft industry arose in Ithaca, just before and during the First World War, and how that new industry came to produce the 'Tommy', an advanced trainer used by the U.S. Army to train U.S. pilots bound for France.

Tommy Plane Bus Tour
Friday, September 28, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (Meeting  at the Hangar Theatre, 801 Taughannock Boulevard, Ithaca, NY)
For a brief time in the early 20th century, Ithaca was a thriving center of the young aviation industry. The Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation produced hundreds of the World War I-era "Tommy" S4 Scout planes right here in Ithaca. Explore several key sites in Ithaca related to the Tommy plane on a guided bus tour on Friday, September 28, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Members of the Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation team who helped restore a 1918 Tommy plane will be on hand to tell the history of these aviation sites and their relation to the Tommy plane.  The number of seats is limited. Please register here: 
The Tommy Plane Tour is an Ithaca Heritage ( www.ithacaheritage.com) tour, in collaboration with the Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation (http://www.tommycomehome.org/).

Tommy's Centennial Flight
Saturday, September 29, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport)
Come see Tommy fly! The Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation (IAHF) cordially invites you to be a part of Tommy's Centennial Flight Celebration on Saturday, September 29th, 2018 from 2pm to 5pm. The event is FREE and open to the public! The celebration will feature local food vendors, community activities, stories about Tommy, and more! 
Sign up on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tommy-comes-home-tickets-47401355731
The Thomas-Morse S-4 Scout was an advanced high-speed trainer designed for the U.S. Army Air Corps and built in Ithaca, NY. The Scout played an enormous role in the early years of aviation and became affectionately known throughout the aviation world as "Tommy." IAHF's Tommy Come Home Project was conceived more than 15 years ago, and has fulfilled the dream of bringing a Tommy home, restoring it to flying condition and flying it on its 100th birthday. We'll be celebrating with a centennial flight at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport - a historic event you won't want to miss!

Authentically Rural Weekend
Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7 (at various times and locations)
A New York State  Path Through History Weekend
Ithaca Heritage would like to welcome you to Tompkins County, where rural areas uphold long-held traditions that contribute to the county's vibrant cultural and economic life. Come explore our rural history, architecture, landscapes, and culinary bounty on a New York State Path Through History weekend October 5-7, 2018. You'll love the small-town vibe of Dryden (our focus area this year) that encourages us all to slow down and appreciate the Finger Lakes landscapes and farm-to-table flavors. 
More information and registration:  http://www.ithacaheritage.com/authentically-rural-weekend/
Ithaca & Tompkins County Visitor Profile Study
Ithaca/ Tompkins  County has begun an effort to better understand our visitors through a Visitor Profile Study. We would like to hear from you about your perceptions and experiences in our destination. By completing the  survey below, you will be entered to win a $10.00 prepaid gift card. We encourage you to click the link below to complete the  survey.
We are Moving!
Packing Highlights 


Business ledgers may seem dry and uninteresting but can offer unexpected insights into how people lived before we were born. How did people shop? What kinds of things did they buy? How did they pay? This ledger page, from an account book of Dr. Marvin Smith of Trumansburg, dates from 1826-1828.  It shows that Jared Treman (sometimes spelled Tremain) paid for Dr. Smith's services (or products, since he seems to have run a kind of general store), with butter instead of money. This kind of barter system was common in the 19th century when money was in short supply.

This ledger was packed with the rest of our ledger collection this week as we prepare for our move to the new Tompkins Center for History and Culture.

Rod Howe | Executive Director | Director@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 222
Donna Eschenbrenner | Archivist | Archives@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 224

Carole West | Educator, Eight Square Schoolhouse | EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 229

Ksenia Ionova |  Community Outreach & Visitor Services | Community@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 227

Nancy Menning | Bookkeeper & Office Manager  | Admin@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 225

Cindy Kjellander-Cantu | Design & Support Specialist | Design@TheHistoryCenter.net | Phone: x 223

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