The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus affecting the DEC-run Reynolds Game Farm pheasant population. Pheasants are raised there for release in New York State for hunting purposes. [Read more…] about Avian Influenza Outbreak Confirmed at DEC’s Ithaca Game Farm
NYS Nominates 13 Places for State, National Registers of Historic Places
The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 13 properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places and submitting one request to the Columbia Turnpike East Toll House to the National Park Service.
The nominations include a key site associated with Rochester‘s LGBTQ+ history, a historic synagogue in Manhattan‘s Upper West Side, a public park in Ithaca, a church connected to Yonkers’s civil rights history, a re-built Lustron House in Erie County, the Oneida County History Center, and more. [Read more…] about NYS Nominates 13 Places for State, National Registers of Historic Places
Verdelle Louis Payne: Ithaca’s Tuskegee Airman
In the latest episode of A New York Minute In History, Devin Lander and Lauren Roberts tell the story of Verdelle Louis Payne from Ithaca in Tompkins County, who joined the Army Air Forces during the Second World War and became a pilot.
During the war, Payne served in the 99th Fighter Squadron, which became part of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, an all-Black group of pilots serving in the then still-segregated U.S. Army. [Read more…] about Verdelle Louis Payne: Ithaca’s Tuskegee Airman
Simeon DeWitt: America’s Surveyor General
Tjerck Claeszen DeWitt immigrated to New Amsterdam (now New York City) from Grootholt in Zunterlant in 1656. Grootholt means Great Wood and Zunterland was probably located on the southern border of East Friesland, a German territory on the North Sea only ten miles from the most northerly province of the Netherlands.
By 1657, Tjerck DeWitt married Barber (Barbara) Andrieszen (also Andriessen) in the New Amsterdam Dutch Church and moved to Beverwyck (now Albany). While in Beverwyck, he purchased a house. At this time Albany contained 342 houses and about 1,000 residents, about 600 of whom were members of the Dutch Church. [Read more…] about Simeon DeWitt: America’s Surveyor General
Cornell Agricultural Dean Liberty Hyde Bailey: A Man for All Seasons
I joined the faculty of Syracuse University in 1975. I was surprised to learn that my institution once had a farm and hopes for a college of agriculture.
To my chagrin, I learned that my school lost out to Cornell back in 1904 when Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954) bested Syracuse University’s Chancellor James R. Day in getting legislation passed in Albany to provide Cornell with state funding for an agricultural school. [Read more…] about Cornell Agricultural Dean Liberty Hyde Bailey: A Man for All Seasons
Ithaca’s Wharton Brothers and Early Cinema
Barbara Tepe Lupack’s new book Silent Serial Sensations: The Wharton Brothers and the Magic of Early Cinema (Cornell University Press, 2020) is a book-length account of the dynamic early film industry, focusing on the pioneering and prolific filmmakers Ted and Leo Wharton. [Read more…] about Ithaca’s Wharton Brothers and Early Cinema
Shaping A City: New Book on Ithaca
A new book by Mack Travis, Shaping A City: Ithaca, New York, A Developer’s Perspective (Cornell University Press, 2018) is a look at one developer’s involvement, from first buying and renovating small houses, gradually expanding his thinking and projects to include a recognition of the interdependence of the entire city of Ithaca — jobs, infrastructure, retail, housing, industry, taxation, banking and City Planning. It is the story of how he, along with other local developers transformed a quiet, economically challenged upstate New York town into one that is recognized nationally as among the best small cities in the country. [Read more…] about Shaping A City: New Book on Ithaca
Event Commemorating Ithaca African American Families Set
On the Fifth of July, there will be a ceremony in the Ithaca City Cemetery to remember and rededicate the grave sites of two African American families. The Tompkins County Civil War Commission and the Sons of Union Veterans collaborated to clean the grave of Daniel Jackson, who was called “Faithful.”
Jackson was slave in Maryland before fleeing to Ithaca, where he joined others he had known from the South. He was a reliable worker in E. S. Esty’s tannery and at the end of the Civil War he returned to his birthplace to bring his elderly mother North to live with him. The two died in 1889 five days apart: he was 75 and she was thought to be 103. A stone has been placed to mark her resting place and the plot has been landscaped. [Read more…] about Event Commemorating Ithaca African American Families Set
Peter Feinman: What Can You Do?
From time to time I receive notices about the activities various organizations have undertaken, sometimes from New York History itself. Some of these activities stand out as going beyond the routine. The good thing is they can be replicated. [Read more…] about Peter Feinman: What Can You Do?
African American Men in White NY Civil War Units
An obituary from 1865 led me to investigate the life of Ira T. Brum, who enlisted in the 185th New York Volunteers in June 1864. The regiment was full of young men from Onondaga and Cortland, and some few from elsewhere in the state. Company F contained mostly men from Cortland who enlisted together that spring.
The 185th participated in the siege of Petersburg and was part of the Appomattox Campaign, fighting at Quaker Road, Gravelly Run, Five Forks and at Appomattox Court House. There, on April 9th, 1865 members of the 185th saw the “white flag come out and was glad to see it.” First Lieutenant Hiram Clark of Marathon gathered his men and sang “Hail Columbia.” As the men settled against a fence, a shell came over and killed Clark, the “last man killed in the army of the Potomac.” [Read more…] about African American Men in White NY Civil War Units