Ithaca a Brief History
by Carol Kammen - Tompkins County Historian
pub. 2008 by The History Press
Calmly nestled among the glacial streams and hills of central New York, residents of Ithaca may find it hard to believe that their city began with a rocky start. Transient teamsters and salt barge workers gave the town a rowdy reputation in its pioneer days, and the fledgling village seemed doomed as the most isolated place on the Eastern Seaboard. Over the course of the nineteenth century, Ithaca s character swung like a pendulum from debauchery to temperance, from boisterous vagrancy to religious fervor and reform. Though the town was hit hard by the Depression of 1837 and periodically ravaged by fire and flood, Ithaca survived to become a lively and bustling community and an important center of education, technological innovation and cultural vibrancy. In this comprehensive history, Carol Kammen shows exactly why Ithaca is known as the Crown of Cayuga. "