Skip to main content


Welcome to HistoryForge! HistoryForge provides a new, powerful and exciting set of tools for exploring the history of Ithaca, New York.

HistoryForge allows you to see the population of Ithaca in 1910 by providing extensive records for each individual inhabitant. HistoryForge locates them in buildings and neighborhoods on a mosaic of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from 1910.


HistoryForge encourages you to create history through informed historical narrative. Here's how:


Look at the people who lived in Ithaca in 1910. You can just jump in and or tiptoe in by looking at the results for these searches:

The African-American community in 1910

Once you’re there you can sort by any of the attributes (try “Profession” or “Place of Birth”). You can limit the results by adding another filter (look at “Relation to Head of Household” by limiting to “Head”).

Widows in Ithaca

Women outlived men to a significant degree in 1910. Examine this list of Widows. You can add another filter to look at just women. Then try sorting by various attributes, e.g. “Age” or “Home Ownership.” ”).

Where did people work?  The Salt WorksThe Railroads, Cornell University

And don’t forget to “Map It” –map the results on the 1910 Sanborn Map layer. Here’s an example for Salt Works.

The results are still limited by the amount of data we’ve finished inputting. Our  volunteer transcribers are hard at work entering records of people from the census into HistoryForge. To date they’ve entered about 3500 records out of 14000).


Buildings, Neighborhoods and the Map Layer

Look at the built environment in 1910. You can just jump in and explore. Results are limited by the amount of data we’ve been able to enter, but Or try these searches to get you started:

Buildings built of brick.

Click the marker at 125 W. Green St. to see the extensive annotation that will be available for many of the buildings.

Map It! Navigating the Map Layer

After you’ve clicked on “Map it!” for any of your searches the results will be displayed as red markers on the Sanborn Map. You can click on the markers for more information about the buildings and who lived there.

You can zoom in and out, and pan. The historical map layer is “pinned” to Google Maps so you can use the transparency slider to see the modern city underneath the Sanborn Map. Try switching between the map and satellite view for a dramatic understanding of the distribution of people and building types.








Back to Top