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Named after Daniel D. Tompkins, who served as Governor of New York and Vice President
of the United States of America.
County Seat: Ithaca
Year Organized: 1817
Square Miles: 476
320 North Tioga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850-4264
Early Days in Ithaca
Ithaca, New York, world-famed home of Cornell University, was not always
Ithaca. When founded in 1788, it was known merely as the "Flats" and, a
little later, as "Sodom." Then someone of a classical turn of mind
suggested "Ithaca" which became permanent when the town's only hotel
used that name on its sign board. The first railroad to reach Ithaca was
the Ithaca and Owego, chartered in 1828 and opened with horse-drawn
vehicles in 1834. It is the oldest part of the present Lackawanna
system. In early coal days, it was an important link in the
transportation of Pennsylvania anthracite west via Cayuga Like and the
Erie Canal. Present day Ithaca with its great college and its easy
proximity to beautiful Cayuga Lake, is one of the important show places
of the country. The truly remarkable scenery of its immediate vicinity
includes some 96 falls, and over 200 gorges and cascades of Swiss-like
grandeur. Taughannock Falls, 9 miles north of the city and 50 feet
higher than Niagara, sends its water down through the impressive
distance of 215 feet. [New-York Tribune. (New York, N.Y.), 18 June 1922]
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