The History Center in Tompkins County

The History Center in Tompkins County

The History Center in Tompkins County will be hosting its third annual Celebrating History Awards Gala on March 1, 2018. The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca at 306 N Aurora Street.

The gala will commemorate people and organizations in Tompkins County who create, interact with, and decipher local history, or whose work corresponds with the center’s mission statement to help people “use the tools of history to understand the past, gain perspective on the present, and play an informed role in shaping the future.”

Music and food will be provided by the Brian Earle Trio and Serendipity Catering & Bar, respectively.   

To register for the Celebrating History Awards Gala, visit or call Ksenia Ionova at (607) 273-8284 Ext. 227. For more information, contact or (607) 273-8284.

Here’s what the awardees did to deserve that recognition, as per the History Center:

Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation, for their meticulous work to restore the Tommy Plane to flight condition. Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation ("IAHF"), made up of a dedicated group of volunteers, came together for the purpose of bringing a Thomas-Morse Scout back home to Ithaca, where the Scout was originally built during World War I. Following the celebration of Tommy's centennial flight on September 22nd, 2018, Tommy will be installed in its permanent home in the new Tompkins Center for History and Culture in the heart of Ithaca, scheduled to open in January. 2019.

Louise Bement, Historian, Town of Lansing, for being a Local History Expert Guide and Chief Researcher. Retiring from teaching fourth grade at Lansing, she has since kept busy being Lansing Town Historian (1981) and President of the Lansing Historical Association (1989). While teaching fourth grade she helped her students write four books on Lansing History - Portland Point, International Salt, Cayuga Lake, and The Rock Salt Mine.

Diana Riesman, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Wharton Studio Museum, for being a tireless advocate for Ithaca's Silent Film Era. Through exhibits and other events such as Silent Movie Month (every October since 2012) and Silent Movie Under the Stars (which will celebrate its 8th year this year); and leading efforts to develop the historic Wharton Studio building in Stewart Park into the Wharton Studio Museum and Park Visitor Center, Riesman has highlighted preserving and celebrating Ithaca's role in early American film making.

Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, Director of Programs & Outreach at Ithaca College and Tompkins County Heritage Ambassador, for making local History real and impactful. Sean Eversley Bradwell has used The History Center in Tompkins County as a patron, supporter, researcher and collaborator. He states that The History Center has provided him the opportunity to connect local history conversations to real places and locations and that this has always been impactful to students. His relationship with THC began over 20 years ago while bringing groups of students as part of his history courses while teaching at the Lehman Alternative Community School, and has continued through his dissertation research, writing, programming, and active student engagement.

Stuart W. Stein, who will be recognized posthumously as the Founder of Tompkins County Heritage Tourism, for being a Tompkins County Heritage Tourism Visionary. Stuart W. Stein was an innovative leader, an inspiring teacher, an idealistic planner, an engaged and ethical public servant, and a beloved family member and friend who passed away in June 2014. Among the many ways he contributed to the local and regional community, Stuart W. Stein played the leading role in laying the foundation for Tompkins County heritage tourism.

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