Local History SpotlightNew images

What do you get when you combine elephants, UFO's and giants? Just another day in the history of Tompkins County!

Explore fascinating and unique history of our county.

Table of Contents

Volume 7: Cornell Off Campus
To honor Cornell University's sesquecentennial in 2015, Tompkins County Public Library mounted an exhibit that opened on Charter Day exploring the significant role the University has played in Tompkins County. It highlighted individual Cornellians across its 150-year history —one for each decade.

Volume 6: Richard Feynman : Ithaca Physicist
Emerson said, “People only see what they are prepared to see.” This was especially true of a grief-stricken Cornell physicist, who closed his eyes to destiny until one fateful day in a Cornell University cafeteria.

Volume 5: UFO Mania
UFO mania hit Tompkins County in the 60’s when over a thousand people reported having  experienced  close encounters of the alien kind. Paranormal experts and governmental agencies took notice, labeling our area a “hot spot” for extraterrestrial  fly-bys. Read on to find out what may have drawn aliens to our region and the continuing evidence that we are not alone.

Volume 4: Resettlement
The 1930's Depression had a strong impact on the American lifestyle, transforming city dwellers into suburbanites and country folk into large-scale agriculturists. In February's local history spotlight, discover how President Roosevelt's New Deal program for economic recovery put Ithaca in the headlines nationwide.

Volume 3: The Ithaca Gun Company
Sharp shooter Annie Oakley was a frequent patron of this Ithaca business, as was the U.S. Military and the New York Police Department. Discover the colorful history of one Ithaca business that began in 1880 and is still making headlines today.

Volume 2: Grace Miller White
Renowned mystery author Grace Miller White grew up in Tompkins County and named its landmarks and villages in many of her books. Her suspenseful novels featuring the downtrodden and poor garnered rave reviews from critics in Europe and the U.S. throughout her career. Read how her works captured the world in print and on the silver screen.

Volume 1: Elephants Come to Ithaca
Each year the quiet streets of Tompkins County were transformed into a bustling hub of exotic sights, sounds and celebration. Click on the link above to read all about the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus of 19th century Ithaca.

Page last modified Jan 20, 2016