History Happenings    Late July 2019
The History Center's Electronic Newsletter 
The Corner
Now Open: Two Months In

Entrance to the exhibit hall

The History Center in Tompk ins County has welcomed more than 3,000 visitors to our new location since opening in May. They have come from all 50 states and 13 countries. Longtime research library volunteers and the newly trained volunteer docents have been integral in this transition.

We have greeted babies, university researchers, summer campers, hoteliers, homeschoolers, and concertgoers.  Barbara Thibault, who along with husband Dr. William Thibault, donated the Thomas- Morse S4-B plane came to see the new home of "Tommy." Tarbell and Morse descendants found their families' stories in the exhibit hall and records in the archives. A past president and the current president of Ithaca College, Peggy Williams and Shirley Collado, each walked through the Passage Through Time. Kids on field trips from the Ithaca Youth Bureau and Cayuga Heights Elementary School dived into the scavenger hunt then recorded their experiences in the Story Vault.

Since March, we have hosted events on the context and legacy of Taughannock Giant, Harriet Tubman in contemporary visual culture, the culture and language of the Haudenosaunee people, the opening of the Tompkins County Public Library's time capsule, reading groups on James Baldwin and Audre Lorde, and more.  We continue to host meetings of the Cornell Historical Railroad Society and Second and Third Generation Descendants of Holocaust Survivors and support the efforts of the Tompkins County Genealogical Society and HistoryForge. HistoryForge received a prestigious grant from the National Archives which will fund extended programming and a full-time project coordinator position.

Our oral history project Generation to Generation focused this year on stories of food and immigration. Ten high school students interviewed ten immigrant food business owners from around the county, which were shared in a public presentation and added to the Story Vault. From Seeds to Wisdom, a new grant-based monthly program, collaborates with local indigenous persons to share different facets of Haudenosaunee culture. The Youth Ambassadors pilot program taught South Hill Elementary School students about Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' history for their final project, on a beautiful day at Buttermilk Falls with Sachem Sam George present.

So much has already happened in this tremendous new space and there is much more to come. We hope to see you soon in the exhibit hall, research library, or an event!
Upcomin g Events

Downtown Ithaca History Walking Tour
Downtown Ithaca History Tours
Fridays through August 16, 4:00 to 5:00 PM
Start at Tompkins Center for History & Culture, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
The popular summer walking tours return! Heritage Ambassadors and Historic Ithaca staff will guide "Downtown Ithaca Architecture" and Rod Howe from The History Center will guide "Unveiling Ithaca's Living Past." There will also be one behind-the-scenes tour of the Tompkins Center for History & Culture. See dates and buy tickets here. Tickets can also be bought at the tours. If you want to learn about the entire county's historical architecture, Historic Ithaca will also hold free Saturday Walk & Talks, including one of the Howe family homestead in Dryden, hosted by Fred and Rod Howe on July 20. Find more information here.

Jemima Wilkinson
The Public Universal Friend: Religion and Gender in the Era of the American Revolution
 Saturday, July 20, 2:00 to 3:30 PM
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, Ithaca College Gallery, 1st Floor, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
The first CUP Talk in our new space will feature Paul Moyer, author of The Public Universal Friend: Jemima Wilkinson and Religious Enthusiasm in Revolutionary America. The book will be available for purchase and Moyer will sign copies after the lecture. Moyer is a Professor of Early American History at the College at Brockport (SUNY). His areas of expertise are colonial and revolutionary America. He previously published Wild Yankees: The Struggle for Independence along Pennsylvania's Revolutionary Frontier (Cornell University Press, 2007) and will soon be releasing a third book, "Detestable and Wicked Arts": New England and Witchcraft in the English Atlantic (Cornell University Press, forthcoming 2020). CUP Talks are an ongoing series of author talks organized with the Cornell University Press, sharing their publications with local residents.

Donna Eschenbrenner and Christine O_Malley
Architectural History Research Support
Tuesday, July 23, 1:00 to 4:00 PM
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, The History Center's Cornell Local History Research Library, 1st Floor, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Interested in researching an architectural topic? Good news! In addition to our own architectural historian Mary Tomlan helping researchers on Thursday afternoons, Historic Ithaca's Preservation Services Coordinator, Christine O'Malley will be available to assist. Access to the research library and archives is free for all county residents.

Painting by Anne Dimock
The Henry Hinckley Museum Foundation and the Historical Society of Early American Decoration
 Wednesday, July 24, 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Lifelong, 119 West Court Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
This presentation by Anne Dimock will explore the history of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration and the various techniques they explore. She will share visuals, actual pieces, and techniques she teaches. Anne became a member of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration in 1975, started teaching the art in 1980, and wrote a book on the subject in 2010. She is an accredited teacher in Reverse Glass and American Painted tinware and is a specialist in reverse glass painting.

Pegasys Presents
The History Center on "Pegasys Presents"
 Friday, August 9 & Sunday, August 11, 6:30 to 7:00 PM & Saturday, August 10, 12:30 to 1:00 PM
On television or online
Lauren Stefanelli's cable access show featured the new location of The History Center in a July segment. You can watch it again in August on channel 13 or online anytime here. Look out soon for our next segment.

Corn husk dolls
From Seeds to Wisdom: Exploring Haudenosaunee Cycles
Corn Husk Dolls
 Sunday, August 11 12:30 to 2:00 PM
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, Ithaca College Gallery, 1st Floor, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
What if a doll were your caretaker? Join Seneca artist Penny Minner for a family event about the Haudenosaunee corn husk doll. The event will include storytelling and making your own corn husk dolls.  For families with children ages 6 to 12. Free and open to all. From Seeds to Wisdom is a new monthly program for kids and families in collaboration with local indigenous persons. (Photo courtesy of Penny Minner)

Henry Hinckley
Henry Hinckley, a Multi-Faceted Man: Presentation and Mini-Tour
Friday, August 23, 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Start at Tompkins Center for History & Culture, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Henry N. Hinckley's life is symbolic of so many American stories and certainly of narratives specific to Ithaca and Tompkins County. Executive Director Rod Howe will share an overview of the arc of his life including his triumphs, tragedies, and passions. Some may still remember the Hinckley Museum and Foundation on East Seneca Street which was open approximately 30 years (1970-2000). There will then be a brief walking tour guided by Historic Ithaca.

A Verne Morton photograph of farmers
11th Annual Verne Morton Memorial Photography Show
 Friday, August 23 & Saturday, August 24
Groton Town Hall, 101 Conger Boulevard, Groton, NY 13073
Verne Morton was born in Groton in 1868 and became a photographer in 1896, taking over 12,000 photos over a span of nearly 50 years. Morton's work primarily focused on the rural life of upstate New York and is now held in the collections of The History Center. The Town of Groton hosts this contest  as part of Groton Old Home Days,  ending with a free show awarding a variety of prizes to the photographers. Find submission guidelines here.

Zee Zahava_s historical inspiration for writing
The Personal is Historical: A Writing Workshop
 Saturday, August 24 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM 
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, The History Center's Cornell Local History Research Library, 1st Floor, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Zee Zahava will lead a creative writing workshop inspired by The History Center's collections. This includes genealogical materials, family histories, city directories, store catalogs, high school and college year books, books about artifacts, census records, periodicals, maps, historical novels, and much more. Participants will be encouraged to write in any format: poetry, narrative prose, memoir, stories, diary entries, etc. The 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. Zee Zahava has been leading writing workshops in Ithaca since 1994. She was the Tompkins County Poet Laureate in 2017 and 2018. To register for this free workshop, contact her directly at  zee@twcny.rr.com. Enrollment is limited to 10 people. (Photo courtesy of the Ithaca Voice.)

From the Ciesla Foundation...

The Spy Behind Home Plate movie poster
The Spy Behind Home Plate
Opening Friday, July 19
Cinemapolis, 120 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Aviva Kempner's documentary tells the real story of Morris "Moe" Berg, the enigmatic and brilliant Jewish baseball player turned spy. Berg caught and fielded in the major leagues during baseball's Golden Age in the 1920s and 1930s. But very few people know that Berg also worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), spying in Europe and playing a prominent role in America's efforts to undermine the German atomic bomb program during WWII. This film reveals the life of this unknown Jewish hero through rare historical footage and photographs as well as revealing contemporary and past interviews with celebrities and other individuals from the worlds of sports, spycraft, and WWII history.
Exhibit Hall Highlights

The exhibit hall is free and open to the public six days a week! 
Find hours, directions, and more here.

Have you seen the original stained-glass window from Cabbagetown Café on display?  It is located between the Story Vault and the "Tommy" plane, so you might have missed this artifact from a crucial chapter in the history of American vegetarian cookery. 

Its journey to The History Center is a true long-winded local history story. Sarah Barden and Seth Wraight, our collaborators at Ithaca is Foodies Culinary Tours, made it happen.

Margaret Neher originally designed the stained glass sign for Julie Jordan's Collegetown eatery dedicated to nutritious, delicious vegetarian cooking. Tony Serviente altered the sign when it moved to the Ithaca Wegmans, where they still serve Wings of Life salads. When Sarah noticed the sign had been taken down, she contacted management and asked them to consider donating it to The History Center. When we couldn't figure out the sign's original creator, Seth found the answer from his family and friends. A few months later, the Wings of Life hang between the research library and exhibit hall. 

After you see the sign, look through the cookbooks of Julie's we hold in our archives. Watch out for an event with Julie Jordan this fall.

Over in the Passage Through Time, look for the story of GrassRoots' origins in the digital narratives. Come by before you head to Trumansburg this weekend or afterwards to reminisce. 

Following a benefit concert at the State Theatre in May 1990, Donna the Buffalo and other local musicians decided to organize a second event to raise money in the fight against AIDS. This time, it would be an four-day outdoor festival, rain or shine.

Read the full story here while you explore the walk-through timeline of Tompkins County history.
Retail Offerings

The History Center sells books and items through the Downtown Visitor Center's gift shop next door in the Tompkins Center for History & Culture.

Recently arrived:
The Syracuse Cultural Workers' product Greetings and Thanks to the Natural World

Inspired by the Thanksgiving Address of the Haudenosaunee, an oral tradition used at gatherings, this beautiful accordion poster can be hung on a wall for display or kept folded up for easy reference. The eleven panels are hand-lettered and watercolor-illustrated.

The 22" version costs $4.99 and the 53" version costs $9.99.
Meanwhile on Social Media 

At Curtiss Museum
Last Saturday, the new tour Fly Through the Finger Lakes took airplane buffs from several states to four local museums: the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport (pictured here), the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center and National Soaring Museum in Elmira, and The History Center to see the "Tommy" plane. Even the Ithaca Kitty came along!

See Tommy @tommycomeshome on Facebook and Instagram. Post your  #tommycomeshome  selfies.

Then c
heck out the Historical Aviation Trail of New York State's website  to find museums and programs in every region and Facebook to learn about upcoming events.


Now located within the Tompkins Center for History & Culture
110 North Tioga Street,  Ithaca, NY 14850

Rod Howe | Executive Director | Director@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 222
Donna Eschenbrenner |   Director of Archives & Research Services | Archives@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 224

Julia Taylor |  Director of Youth Education | EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone  extension 229

Lucy Walker |  Community & Visitor Outreach Coordinator | Community@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone  extension 227

Dave Dier | Bookkeeper and Office Manager  | Admin@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension  225

Cindy Kjellander-Cantu | Curator and Design & Support Specialist | Design@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 223

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