Ready to Move History Forward?
This parade horn was a presentation piece from one Fire Company to another. We don't know the occasion but it may have had to do with some act of bravery performed by the fire fighters. Silver plate, engraved, "Presented to Tornado Hook & Ladder Co. #3 Ithaca NY by Excelsior Hook & Ladder Co. Binghamton NY July 21, 1869."
This artifact and many more will be part of MOVING HISTORY FORWARD this Sunday, October 21. Celebrate local history as we pass objects through the Human Moving Brigade to our new home in the Tompkins Center for History and Culture.
The event begins with check-in at The History Center in Tompkins County at 401 East State Street. Around 2:00 PM, movers will get into position and stretch one-third of a mile, ending in Bank Alley in the Commons. The conclusion will feature brief presentations, games, music, and food. Local legend Johnny Russo will perform live.
We need 330 people to move history forward!
as an individual, family or group.
Wear vintage attire or dress as your favorite local figure. If coming with a group, wear something that identifies that affiliation (hats, uniforms, etc.).
Special thanks to those who have already agreed to sponsor the event: Rob Ainslie and Judy Singer, Baker's Acres, the Bangs family in memory of Rita and John Bangs, Joy Barr, the Brous family/Collegetown Bagels/Ithaca Bakery, Michelle and Michael Cannon and family in memory of Mark Pedersen, Loren and Tom Colbert, Cornell Orchards, CFCU Community Credit Union, Julie Crowley, Joe Daley, Jeanette Miller, the Legacy Foundation, Margaret Munchmeyer, Martha Preston and Elaine Preston Whited in memory of Katherine and Louis Preston, Sue and Steve Ruoff, Rose and Andy Sciarabba, True Insurance, Tompkins Trust Company, Warren Real Estate, Wegmans, Scott Wiggins, and Amy and Steve Yale-Loehr. To become a sponsor, contact THC board member Shannon David at email@example.com.
Here are some of our Youth Ambassadors in front of the former Tompkins Trust Company building (left), soon to be the Tompkins Center for History and Culture, as depicted in the rendering (right). Youth Ambassadors, Heritage Ambassadors, and many more of the people of Tompkins County will be here to celebrate. We hope to see you too!
Bookstore & Gift Shop Highlights
In conjunction with the recent events related to our local aviation heritage, these items are on SALE 50% OFF.
Bessie Coleman & Amelia Earhart Dolls from Girls Explore Series
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.
From late October to early November, The History Center in partnership with the Tompkins County Public Library will display panels of several important women suffragists.
Photo: Louisa Riley
WE ARE ITHACA.......
a celebration in portraits
Our map room features WE ARE ITHACA.......a celebration in portraits. This multi-faceted portrait project in 2017/2018 used 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.
(Attend our First Friday Gallery Night on November 2 to learn more about the project!)
Exploring Tompkins County: A Municipality
"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 Ithaca. We thank David George, Town of Ithaca Historian, for providing his knowledge and time to create this unique exhibit.
Photo: Town of Ithaca Board Minutes, 1821. (Courtesy of David George)
Also on Display
While in the midst of packing and getting ready for the move to our new home, The History Center still offers ongoing exhibits and displays, including "The Maps of Tompkins County" (Main Gallery), "Our Community: The Story of Reggae in Ithaca," and "Ladies' Accessories Display" (Main Gallery). Please come to take a look at the current exhibits on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
October is Silent Movie Month!
The audiobook launch mentioned below is one of many events from the Wharton Studio Museum. Check them all out
Ithaca Haunted History Walking Tour
Saturday, October 19, 5:00 PM (meet at Trolley Circle on the Commons in front of Center Ithaca)
Today Ithaca is known for its gorges, education, food, vibrant cultural scene and its diverse population... but this was not always the case. Downtown Ithaca holds colorful narratives of past people and events. What spirits and memories linger? You decide, but know that the tales might be chilling as death, murder, jealousy, insanity and accidents are recalled. Come along for this 75-minute guided tour. Be attentive and watchful. This Ithaca Heritage Tour is offered by The History Center in Tompkins County and will be led by Tompkins County Heritage Ambassador Sherri La-Torre.
Tompkins County Genealogy Society Meeting
Wednesday, October 17, 6:00 to 7:30 PM (TCPL, BorgWarner East Room, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850)
The History Center in Tompkins County and the Tompkins County Public Library host this local genealogy society with the goals of building and supporting a network and making resources discoverable.
This meeting is open to anyone interested. The program will begin with a genealogical presentation by Steve Bissen and Bruce Ryan. This will be followed by a discussion about research methods and an update from the conference of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.
Mapping David Vaughan's New York
Saturday October 20, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM (TCPL, BorgWarner East Room, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850)
Historian Craig Williams will discuss Irish immigrant David Vaughan.
Vaughan came to Albany in the late 1840s already skilled in the tools and techniques that were sorely needed by New York State as it resumed its first enlargement of the Erie Canal and started the construction of the Adirondack reservoirs. Vaughan soon became nationally recognized not only for his talent in drafting maps and plans for that work but also for his keen observations of life along the Erie Canal.
Wharton Studio Museum Audiobook Launch Celebration of "Tess of the Storm Country"
Saturday, October 20, 2:00 PM (Buffalo Street Books, 215 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850)
WSM is excited to be celebrating the new audiobook of "Tess of the Storm Country," narrated by actor Holly Adams. Come join us Saturday, October 20 at 2 PM at Buffalo Street Books. The History Center in Tompkins County is co-sponsoring this event.
HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturday, October 27, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (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 voluntee
First Friday Gallery Night
Friday, November 2, 6:00 to 8:00 PM (The History Center)
The History Center's Map Room currently features the exhibit WE ARE ITHACA......a celebration in portraits. Project Director
Robyn Wishna will speak about WE ARE ITHACA at 6:00 PM and show an 8-minute documentary multiple times throughout the evening. Visitors are also encouraged to enjoy the photos and videos of the exhibit and contribute to our pop-up wall art answering the question, "What do you love about Ithaca?" There will also be a surprise interactive portion for willing visitors!
HistoryForge Neighborhood Evolution
Saturday, November 3, 2:00 to 4:00 PM (Tentative start at Fall Creek Elementary School, 202 King Street, Ithaca, NY 14850)
HistoryForge will help provide a historical context with a presentation and short walking tour. The focus will be on the area of Fall Creek around the elementary school to Ithaca Falls to Northstar House. Further details will be available on our website starting October 24. This event, sponsored by M&T Bank, is the final in a three part series.
Saturday, November 3, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (The History Center)
Revisit your favorite summer events at "Our Fairs & Festivals," a celebration of community folklife. From 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, learn about annual highlights of the Ithaca Festival, Groton Old Home Days, and the Trumansburg Fair from local artists, farmers, and showmen at three family-friendly learning stations. From 12:30 to 1:00 PM, join folklorist Hannah Davis to learn about each of these local events' history and traditional culture. Share your own experiences to add documentation to The History Center's archive. This event concludes "Interpreting Community Folklife at Tompkins County's Fairs and Festivals," a 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. Learn more about Davis and this project on the Ithaca Heritage blog.
African Americans in Ithaca: Situating People in Place and Time
Friday, November 9 & Saturday, November 10 (
Southside Community Center, 305 South Plain Street,
Ithaca, NY 14850)
The History Center in Tompkins County and the Southside
Center are hosting a two-day
focused on the
in Ithaca. An historical perspective will serve to provide a foundation for dialogues on current issues and topics.
A key premise is that knowledge and engagement comes from situating people in time and place and integrating social and cultural history with the built environment.
components will include a Southside neighborhood assessment; collection of archival material; an overview of the history of
settlement in Tompkins County; virtual Wheat Street tour; discussion on current topics; art, food, dance and theatre.
The Southside Community Center's legacy dates back to the work and ideals of the Frances Harper Women's Club, a group of Black women in the Ithaca community in the 1920s; learn more
Hometown Music Makers' Revue: Celebrating Tompkins County's Extraordinary Musical History
Saturday, December 8, 7:00 PM (The State Theatre, 107 West State/Martin Luther King Jr. Street, Ithaca, NY 14850)
The History Center in Tompkins County, in cooperation with the State Theatre and DSP Shows, and sponsored by CFCU Community Credit Union, will highlight more than a century's history of music in Tompkins County, from Patsy Conway's world-renowned brass band in the early 1900s to the contemporary musicians w
ho help make Ithaca a draw for art and entertainment today.
groups scheduled to play in the
Makers' Revue are Marie & Annie Burns, the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, Joe Crookston, the Fall Creek Brass Band, Kevin Kinsella, Johnny Russo and the East Hill Classic Jazz Band, Richie and Rosie, the Sim Redmond Band, the Chorale of the Ithaca Children & Youth Chorus, Jean McPheeters as Sebella Wehe, UNITED dance group, and Gayogo̱hó:nǫ drumming.
This concert, in recognition of the many people who made and continue to make
here, and of enthusiastic Ithaca audiences, is part of a three-day celebration of the State Theatre's 90th birthday. The concert is also a kick-off for The History Center's move to the new Tompkins Center for History and Culture in the former Tompkins Trust Building on the Commons' Bank Alley. Tickets are available through the State Theatre's ticket office by phone at 607-277-8283 and online here.
Calling all youth ages 14-24!
Join The History Center in Tompkins County for a special focus group to discuss youth engagement in Ithaca. Share your ideas about what youth need in order to be successful in their communities, and how youth engage and want to engage with the community. Make your voice heard and have an impact on this community!
Friday, October 26 from 5:00-6:30pm
401 East State Street, Suite 100, Ithaca, NY 14850
We are Moving!
In 1903 Ithaca suffered from a devastating typhoid epidemic. In a population of slightly over 13,000, almost 1,400 cases were reported in a period of only three months. Eighty-two died, a disproportionate number of them Cornell University students. The City of Ithaca Board of Health called for a special investigation into the conditions that led to the epidemic. These reports are part of our collection that are getting packed as we prepare for our exciting move to the Tompkins Center for History and Culture.