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The History Center blog shares research and findings about local history, excerpts from the History Center Archives, information about upcoming exhibits and other opportunities on how to get involved with The History Center in Tompkins County. To learn more or view the archival materials mentioned, visit us in downtown Ithaca, follow us on social media @TompkinsHistory, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter History Happenings

EXHIBIT OPENING - A Sporting Chance: On and Off the Field - Opens Friday February 2nd

Fri, January 26, 2024 7:38 PM | Anonymous


CONTACT: Zoë Van Nostrand – Marketing &

Community Engagement 

607-273-8284 ext. 229 (W-Sat 10-6pm)

The History Center in Tompkins County ‘A Sporting Chance: On and Off the Field' exhibit opens Friday February 2nd

ITHACA NY- The History Center in Tompkins County announces their next major exhibit ‘A Sporting Chance: On and Off the Field’, to open on February 2nd 2024 at the Tompkins Center for History and Culture located on the Ithaca Commons.The History Center's new exhibit explores the stories of local athletes, teams, and the community that cheered them on. From league tournaments to pick-up games in the park, our community history of sports balls, paddles, and skates traverses water, ice, air, and land.

Sports and athleticism allow us to explore narratives of achievement and empowerment, even as they are complicated by stories of erasure and exclusivity. As we consider what it means to be an athlete in Tompkins County today, or two hundred years ago, we also get to celebrate the crowds that cheered, parents that drove our youngest athletes to early morning practices, and camaraderie and community both on the field and off. Join us for memories familiar and forgotten as we highlight the history of sports across Tompkins County. 

HOURS - Beginning in February 2024 The History Center will now be open Wednesday-Saturday 10am-6pm each week. Selected drop-in hours, without prior appointment, in the Research Library & Archives will begin in mid-February.


  • Exhibit opens at 10am on Friday February 2nd

  • 5-8pm - Gallery Night in Downtown Ithaca

  • 6pm - Vociferous Cruciferous Chorus, and the "Curl Girls" will perform in The History Center atrium, with Miss Rutabaga 1973 available for pictures. 

  • 6:15pm Ithaca Mayor Rob Cantelmo will curl a celebratory rutabaga in the museum.

Visitors are encouraged to wear their favorite Tompkins County sports memorabilia, International Rutabaga Curl inspired costume, or classic jerseys to opening night. 

Food & drink provided by Beautifully Charcuterie and Ports of New York

Exhibit opens Friday February 2nd and is on display through December 2024. Follow @TompkinsHistory and for updates.

This exhibit is possible with thanks to many of our collaborators who shared their personal sports histories, including: Adrian Cooper, Amy Somchanhmavong, Mary Grainger, Charles DeMotte, Ithaca League of Women Rollers, the Ithaca Farmers Market, and Special Olympics New York.

About The History Center: The History Center in Tompkins County is a generation-to-generation education and research center focused on engaging the public with the history of Tompkins County (located in the ancestral and contemporary lands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ Nation) and the Finger Lakes region. The History Center helps people use the tools of history to understand the past, gain perspective on the present, and play an informed role in shaping the future. The History Center is located within the Tompkins Center for History & Culture. Learn more at and follow @TompkinsHistory on any platform. 


Physical Address

Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

110 North Tioga Street

(On the Ithaca Commons) 

Ithaca NY, 14850 USA

Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ Territory


Exhibit HallWednesday-Saturday 10am-6pm - CLOSED Sun-Tues

Cornell Local History Research Library & Archives - By appointment only. Please contact


Email: Refer to Contact page for individual emails, General inquiries to

Phone: 607-273-8284


Find us on social media @tompkinshistory

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