History Happenings May 2018
The History Center's Electronic Newsletter 
The Corner
Temple Beth-El on the intersection of Tioga and Court Streets in Ithaca, NY, ca. 1930s. Photo from the Collection of The History Center.  

Jewish American Heritage Month
Gathering of Second Generation (2G) Survivors of the Holocaust in Ithaca
Over the past year, a group of Second Generation Holocaust Survivors (2G) have met monthly at The History Center in Tompkins County. Qualifications for membership are that at least one parent survived the Holocaust. Though 2G's share this history, their individual stories vary greatly. Some survivor family members emigrated safely before WWII, some went into hiding or were hidden. Some were part of the resistance movement, some were forced into ghettos and internment camps or jailed, and others were deported to death camps. Many of the surviving parents were the only survivors in their families, and consequently many 2G's grew up without grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. They fled from all over Europe and from Russia and some eventually moved to the Ithaca area. Some 2G's also lived for many years in Israel or other parts of the world before moving to this area. 
The monthly Gathering of Holocaust descendants focuses on their shared bond and the personal and social repercussions that are the result. The themes that reverberate through their discussions are:
  • As our parents, the Holocaust survivors, age and die, what is our responsibility to preserve and transmit their histories so that they are instructive to the next generation in how to prevent the seeds of hatred, prejudice and bias from taking root?
  • What can be learned about intergenerational issues, such as the transmission of trauma, and how might we help one another and others who still suffer?
  • How does our being Second Generation Holocaust Survivors influence how we react to the political issues that threaten freedom, democracy and individual liberties? What can we do about those threats?
This Gathering, which is affiliated with the Ithaca Area United Jewish Community, has identified more than 70 area residents who are Second Generation Holocaust Survivors. Group members are exploring how to collaborate with The History Center to highlight something meaningful related to this issue in the new exhibit space in the Tompkins Center for History and Culture.

If you are a member of the second generation of a family that survived the Holocaust and wish to attend these meetings at The History Center, please contact secondgeneration@iaujc.org or 607-257-5181.

Thank you, 
2G Survivors of the Holocaust in Ithaca

We are now up to $2,138, less then half way from our goal of $3,500. We thank everyone who has supported this campaign by helping to raise funds, spreading the word or expressing their interest in the project. We appreciate any help!

Learn more about the  Johnny Russo's East Hill Classic Jazz Band Fundraiser and the Ithaca Our Home: A Forty Year Musical Odyssey in Tompkins County project by contacting community@thehistorycenter.net with any questions.  
Bookstore & Gift Shop Highlights  

Mention our newsletter and get 15% off from this selected title!    
And the Sparrow Fell 
By Robert J. Mrazek
And the Sparrow Fell is a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Former U.S. Congressman Robert J. Mrazek tells the story of a wealthy family on the north shore of Long Island in the spring of 1967. Cornell undergraduate Rick Ledbetter goes through a rocky journey of self-discovery as both his family and his country disintegrate around him. Rick is a young rake in the mold of his father, Travis Ledbetter, a Medal of Honor-winning World War II navy pilot. Rick has been accepted into the swift boat program at Naval Officer Candidate School and will be heading for combat in Vietnam.

"New York Amish: Life in the Plain Communities of the Empire State,"  by Karen Johnson-Weiner (Signed by the author!)
In a book that highlights the existence and diversity of Amish communities in New York State, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner draws on twenty-five years of observation, participation, interviews, and archival research to emphasize the contribution of the Amish to the state's rich cultural heritage.  Johnson-Weiner welcomes readers into the lives of Amish families in different regions of New York State, including the oldest New York Amish community, the settlement in the Conewango Valley, and the diverse settlements of the Mohawk Valley and the St. Lawrence River Valley. The congregations in these regions range from the most conservative to the most progressive.

Images of America: Ithaca Radio 
by Peter King Steinhaus and Rick Sommers Steinhaus
Introduction by Keith Olbermann 
From Long Island to Fiji, college students flocked to the sleepy little town of Ithaca to learn the how-tos and how-not-tos of broadcasting. From that influx came some of the future leaders and celebrities of the broadcasting industry. Television stars were born here, and some of radio's future stars were nurtured to succeed in an industry that impacts the daily lives of Americans. Ithaca's rich broadcasting history includes two college radio stations and several locally owned and operated stations. 
Upcoming Events

The Ithaca Gun Co. and its impact on the local environment is one of the topics researched by the students.
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 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 Revolutionary 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. 


Ithaca Falls. Photo from the Collection of The History Center. 
Fall Creek Geographic: Natural and Cultural History of the Fall Creek Watershed
Part One: An Overview, Friday, May 4, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (at The History Center)
Part Two: A Field Trip Through Time, Saturday, May 5, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (starts 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. 
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. 
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  Burlington Geographic Initiative.

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. 

Spring Writes Literary Festival: Poetry Reading
Saturday, May 5, 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM (at The History Center)
Recent work by four authors Heather Bartlett, Ellie Rogers, Robert Danberg, and Jack Hopper.
Find more information on the official website. 

 Photo courtesy Alan Chaffee. This is a very recent photo of an abutment on Piper Rd. in Newfield built for the PA & Sodus Bay Railroad. 
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.

Community Voices: 
Digital Storytelling of Immigrants, Refugees and Political Asylees
Friday, May 11, 2018, 5:30 PM (at Center Ithaca, Ithaca Commons)
Free and Open to Community.The event is brought to you by the Ithaca Asian American Association, Multicultural Resource Center and Urban 4H After School, SIFE Program. More information at www.multiculturalresourcecenter.org or by calling 607-279-8157. 

Instructor Steve Henhawk teaches a class at the school on the Cayuga Nation. Photo by Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen.
Cayuga Language Presentation
Saturday, May 12, 2 PM (at The History Center)
Cayuga (Gayogo̱hó:nǫ') Language presentation by Steven Henhawk, a Cayuga faithkeeper who teaches language classes in Seneca Falls. On May 12, Steven Henhawk will talk about the Cayuga language as well as place names and their meanings. Steven Henhawk helps the Cayuga people maintain their cultural heritage through education. 

Collaborative Project between Ithaca Welcomes 
Refugees and Musicians for World Harmony. Spaces Open!
May 15, 16, 23, 29, 30 (must be able to come to at least the first 4),  5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (at Meditation Room of the First Presbyterian Church, 315 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca NY)
A series of storytelling and writing workshops for people who have come to this area as immigrants or refugees.  
These workshops, led by Samite Mulondo of Musicians for World Harmony, are a space for people who moved to the U.S. to share their experiences with other  immigrants and refugees in a relaxed and supportive environment. 
Come talk about beautiful or difficult memories from your home country, from when you first arrived in the U.S., and about how you feel living in this country now.  People with all levels of English are welcome to attend. If you feel more comfortable, you can  bring a friend or family member to translate. For more information or to register: Contact Sasha Endo at sashaendo@gmail.com. 
About the presenter: 
Samite Mulondo is a World-renowned musician, humanitarian and photographer. He was born and raised in Uganda, until having to leave as a refugee in the 1980's. Today, he makes his home in upstate New York and travels the world bringing his message of peace and hope through the healing power of music, and telling his own story. He is the founder and director of Musicians for World Harmony, a local not-for-profit organization.

Ithaca YMCA facility that once existed on the corner of Buffalo and Tioga Streets, built in 1907 across from Ithaca Town Hall and destroyed by fire in 1978.
YMCA History "The Ithaca Y... Then, Now, and Later" Presentation by Frank Towner 
Thursday, May 17, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM (at The History Center)
A historical walk down memory lane focused on the Ithaca "Y," its Tompkins County history and how it has served the community. By Frank Towner, CEO of YMCA in Ithaca.  Turning 150 years old, the local chapter of YMCA dates back to 1868 when it was formally known as the Young Men's Christian Association. With its first meeting held in a reading room of the Cornell Public Library on November 23, 1868, Ithaca's YMCA started its long history of  becoming a vibrant resource to the diverse community it serves.  About the presenter:
Frank Towner, CEO of Ithaca YMCA, began his career in recreation as an intern at Rochester Institute of Technology and has continued with numerous positions, including state leadership roles with Camp Good Days and Special Times, a camp for children with cancer and their families. 

SAVE THE DATE! Ithaca Festival Parade 2018

Friday, June 1, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM (Downtown Ithaca)
Please join us as The History Center walks in the 2018
Ithaca Festival Parade: Celebrating the Artist in Everyone!
Contact Youth Education Director Carole West for details as we get closer to the date eightsquare@thehistorycenter.net or 273-8284 X229

HistoryForge Data Entry Bee Party
Saturdays, May 19 & June 2, 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

History & Science of Craft Beverages: The History of New York State Cider 
Wednesday, June 6, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM (at The History Center)
Guided cider and food pairing reception with Sommelier Laura Winter Falk of Experience! The Finger Lakes. Presentation by Owner and Grower, Melissa Madden of Finger Lakes Cider House at Good Life Farm. 
History, geology, and chemistry all converge to tell the story behind the flavors of craft beverages in the Finger Lakes. Sponsored by the Museum of the Earth, the History Center in Tompkins County, the Sciencenter, and Experience! The Finger Lakes, this four-part series will stimulate your palate and your mind.
Each session begins with a reception led by Sommelier, Laura Winter Falk, of Experience! The Finger Lakes where you will enjoy tasting samples of the featured libation paired with locally-sourced edibles followed by an engaging presentation by a top Finger Lakes craft producer. See full schedule and let us know if you are coming by following this link.
HistoryForge Days: Southside Neighborhood Evolution Highlight

The Southside Community neighborhood provided the context for looking at families and their relationship to that community in the early 20th century. We heard from individuals, including Nydia Blas, Executive Director of the Southside Community Center, and Gibrian Hagood, Energy Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension, whose families settled in the neighborhood during that period.  Participants shared their connections to the community.   Learn more about HistoryForge!

Sponsored by:
We are Moving!
Packing Highlights 

Aerial camera used by Ithaca photographer C. Hadley Smith during World War II. 
Aerial Camera

This aerial camera was used by Ithaca photographer C. Hadley Smith during World War II. Born in 1910, Smith served in the Navy, where he worked as a technical photographer documenting aircraft and missile tests, both in the air and on the ground. Smith's job was to give the Navy a clearer understanding of the workings of its (and the enemy's) equipment with photographs. Smith later applied his skills as a commercial photographer here in Ithaca for many years. Some of his extraordinary photographs are in The History Center's collections and can be seen in our Research Library any Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.

This and many other objects from the collection are being packed 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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