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The History Center
the history center

Curious About Tompkins County's Local History?

A couple minutes away from The Commons, The History Center offers free admission for adults and children to over 10,000 sq. ft of exhibition space, featuring permanent and temporary exhibitions, wide-ranging programs, a research library and a book shop.


Permanent exhibitions feature local old maps, an 1890's children's play space, photographs, a timeline, and artifacts. Call The History Center at 273 8284 ext 1 for current exhibition information and hours, or log on to our website at thehistorycenter.net


The History Center offers free access to year-round, wide-ranging programs for adults and children - from hands-on workshops for children to evening and Saturday programs featuring local authors, experts, academics and performers, and everything in between.

Research Library

Thousands of historic photographs, documents, diaries, scrapbooks, genealogies, maps, and deeds are available in The History Center's research library during regular hours and by appointment.

The Eight Square Schoolhouse

The History Center owns and recently renovated the Eight Square Schoolhouse located on Upper Hanshaw Road (1/4 mile East from the airport). Built in 1827, it is the earliest school still existing in Tompkins County, and the only brick octagonal schoolhouse left standing in New York State. Over 800 Tompkins County students each year spend a day there as a student in 1892!

Exhibit Hall Hours

  • Sunday 12:00 - 4:00 PM
  • Closed Monday
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday*, Saturday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • *Open until 8:00 PM for First Friday Gallery Nights


  • Free

Contact & Address

The History Center in Tompkins County
110 North Tioga Street,
Ithaca, NY 14850
on the Downtown Ithaca Commons
(607) 273-8284

Event Calendar

Events for The History Center of Tompkins County

the history center