Created By: Ithaca Heritage
A remarkable publishing and printing business occupied this site for around 100 years, although it underwent a bewildering array of name changes. The firm had its beginnings in 1815, when Jonathan Ingersoll founded Ithaca's first newspaper, a weekly called the Seneca Republican. In 1816 or 1817 he sold the paper to Ebenezer Mack, a young printer from Owego, and a partner. The name was changed to the Ithaca Journal in 1823 and the paper was sold in 1833. Soon after it began publishing the paper, Mack's firm branched out into other areas that were to become its main business. By 1820, the firm had published Ithaca's first book, Ephraim Reed's Musical Monitor, had established a print shop and bindery, and had pur chased a paper mill. A bookstore also was opened. In 1824 Mack took in as partner William Andrus, a traveling bookseller from Con necticut. The firm purchased this site in 1831. Andrus continued the 40 Ithaca and Its Past business after Mack died in 1849 (various partners came and went), and Andrus's son William continued it after his father's death in 1869, forming a partnership with William A. Church. When a fire destroyed the building in 1871, Andrus and Church built the current structure, with a print shop and bindery in the rear. Their partner ship lasted until 1929, after which Church moved his printing busi ness next door to the Sprague Block (since demolished).
Then Home Dairy was founded in 1929 as a butter milk and donut shop; the cafeteria was added later. At some point, the original cast-iron storefront was altered to the present wood and glass front. Note especially the golden-oak signboard with gilt lettering, the decorated stone blocks that flank the front, the arched win dows, and the stone globes at each end of the cornice. An alley between the Andrus Block and Center Ithaca leads to a parking lot and Green Street. South Tioga Street begins again, for a brief stretch, beyond Green.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Ithaca Heritage Sampler