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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

New & Noteworthy Collections - Tompkins County Floods

Fri, July 29, 2022 3:51 PM | Anonymous

We are delighted to announce another welcome addition to our New York Heritage Digital Collections page. This newest collection honors a grim but important topic: flooding.

Tompkins County has suffered several major floods throughout its history. Situated in New York’s Finger Lakes region, its many creeks and streams, as well as Cayuga Lake itself, pose considerable threats during and after heavy rainfalls. In 1857, 1901, 1935, 1956, 1972, and 1981, the area was devastated by floods that destroyed property and threatened (and took) lives and livelihoods. In 1935 the small village of Trumansburg alone suffered five deaths and more than $700,000 in damages, a horrific toll that required state and federal relief assistance and took months to recover from. These black and white images are from The History Center’s General Photo Collection, the largest and most diverse of our many photograph collections. Most are the work of unknown photographers, and they date from ca. 1901- ca. 1956. Most document the ravages of the 1935 flood, but some cover the floods of 1901 and 1956 as well.

You can view these fascinating images on the New York Heritage website:

To see more about New York’s rich visual history and culture, browse the New York Heritage site:

For questions about the Archival collections, or to discuss 1972 flood images, please email

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