The Eight Square Schoolhouse Living History program is designed for fourth grades and home school groups. Step back in time to 1892 and experience a school-day in this one-room school building built in 1827. Use pre- and post-trip supplementary materials to dig deeper. Questions students will explore: What was it like for children to attend a rural one room school in the late 19th century? What is the purpose of education? How does this history impact who I am today?

The History Center partners with Kids Discover the Trail! to offer this program to 4th grade students in Tompkins County public schools. 

The program is also available for homeschool groups, private and charter schools. Contact us to learn more!


Visit The History Center with your class! Explore local history and make connections to your classroom curriculum. Open to grades pre-K through 12. Field trips explore our Exhibit Hall and Research Library and can include topics such as: Haudenosaunee history & culture, the Tommy Plane and local inventions, the People of Tompkins County, Maps throughout Tompkins County history, and more. We can also design a program with you to meet your classroom needs. Field trips offered to public school students support classes in meeting NYS Social Studies Framework.

While there are no in-person field trips at this time, alternate "e-field trips" are available! Teachers/educators/home-school groups looking to participate in online opportunities should contact for more information. 

Interested in bringing your class to The History Center? Fill out the Field Trip Request form to start the process. 

Field Trip Request

*Due to physical distancing guidelines and field trip restrictions from ICSD for 2020, The History Center has created a Eight Square Virtual E-Field Trip option for classrooms, and homeschool groups. 


College/University Professors: Partner with The History Center to bring local history into your course. Options include: bring your students to The History Center for a tour, collaborate with us as a community partner for a community-engaged course, or develop a research project utilizing our archives and collections. Let us know what your ideas are!

Examples of past and current collaborations include:

  • Ithaca College Environmental History students (Professor Michael Smith) research topics in local environmental history and make public presentations. 
  • Cornell University students (Professor Sofia Villenas) conduct oral history interviews with local racial justice “change-makers.”
  • Cornell University students (Professor Jon McKenzie) explore User Experience Design and Transmedia Knowledge in our Exhibit HallArchives, and public events

Oral History Fellows from Cornell Univeristy - Spring Semester 2020

Tompkins County's Attic by Ferme Productions

Filmed by Antonio Ferme for the Spring 2020 Documentary Journalism Workshop at Ithaca College. For more information about this course please contact James Rada:

Interviews with Donna Eschenbrenner, Ben Sandberg , and Gene Endres (long time volunteer at The History Center and former local journalist) in the winter of 2020.

Video has been shared here with Antonio Ferme's permission.

Physical Address

Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

110 North Tioga Street

(On the Ithaca Commons) 

Ithaca NY, 14850 USA


Exhibit Hall -  Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm / Sunday - 10am-3pm - CLOSED M-W

Cornell Local History Research Library & Thaler/Howell 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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