Aerial photos can be helpful research tools for historians. Google Earth, which provides access to a vast collection of aerial photography stretching back 20 years, is just a sampling of the many aerial photos that have been made since French balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, known as “Nadar”, took a photo over Paris, France in 1858.
Much of New York Sate was photographed with the camera pointing straight down, an oblique presentation that is less useful to some historians. An effort to capture all of New York in an orthophotographic perspective (corrected to a uniform scale) started in 1936 with a contract to C.S. Robinson of Ithaca, NY. These images are particularly valuable resources for historians of all stripes. Continue reading
The only mausoleum in Green Hills Cemetery in Dryden Village, Tompkins County, the resting place of the first governor of the state of North Dakota John Miller, has been restored and marked.
In 1989, during the centennial of North Dakota’s statehood, the Cemetery applied to the North Dakota Centennial Commission for funds (about $1,000) to restore the mausoleum. The Cemetery received a certificate with a gold seal from the Commission recognizing the project, but no money. The work was not done. Continue reading
In late August, the Sons of Veterans Commemoration of Civil War veteran George Ehle was held at the Trumansburg Cemetery (Tompkins County). It was attended by a number of the Sons of Union Veterans, a Boy Scout Troop, at least a half dozen descendants of Ehle, and a few spectators. Tompkins County Civil War Commissioners in attendance were Danny Wheeler, Ray Wheaton, Ralph Jones. George Boyer, Marcia Lynch and Michael Lane, co-chair of the Commission. Danny Wheeler led the program and Michael Lane spoke briefly for the Commission. Continue reading
An exhibition featuring a Civil War love story, I Shall Think of You Often: The Civil War Story of Doctor and Mary Tarbell, opened Saturday, March 30, 2013 at the New York State Museum.
The exhibit focuses on the life and marriage of Doctor and Mary Tarbell of Tompkins County, New York, during the Civil War. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War, a 7,000-square foot exhibition commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Both exhibitions are open through September 22, 2013. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Though war was “no place for a woman,” many New York state women during the Civil War set off from their homes to nurse the sick and wounded.
One of the projects sponsored by the Tompkins County Civil War Commission is to honor women from the county who went to war. Continue reading
Please join us in welcoming Carol Kammen as our third new contributor here at New York History. Kammen is Tompkins County Historian, a Senior Lecturer at Cornell University, and the author of several books including On Doing Local History: Reflections on What Local Historians Do, Why, and What It Means and The Peopling of Tompkins County: A Social History.
Kammen has worked as a local historian for what she calls “a great number of years,” teaching local history at Tompkins Cortland Community College and now at Cornell. She has researched and written about her area’s history in a weekly newspaper column, in Heritage, the magazine of the New York State Historical Association (NYSHA), and in several books.
She has lectured and written about the problems, joys, ethics, sources, and themes of local history, including a series of articles for NYSHA’s journal New York History (1980-1985) issued as Plain as Pipestem (Heart of the Lakes Press, Interlaken, NY). When the American Association for State and Local History asked her to write a book about the problems and possibilities of local history, the result was the now popular On Doing Local History.
Her first post, about upstate women in the Civil War, will appear later this morning.
Photo courtesy Jason Koski, Cornell University Photography.
Anyone who follows this website, New York History: Historical News and Views From The Empire State, knows the close to astonishing amount of historical activity going on in our state. New York’s history, I believe, has more variety, interest, and potential for us to draw insights today, than the history of any other state. We have hundreds of historical programs and officially designated local historians. But we also know that the state of the historical enterprise is not as strong as it ought to be. Continue reading