Created By: Ithaca Heritage
Tompkins County has suffered several major floods throughout its history. Situated in New York’s Finger Lakes region, its many creeks and streams, (and 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 1857 every bridge over Six Mile Creek in Ithaca was destroyed. In 1935 the small village of Trumansburg 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 and other devastating flood sites from around Tompkins County are included on this tour.
Traverse Tompkins 2022: Facing Floods is proudly supported by SERVPRO of Tioga and Tompkins Counties. Their investment in local history across Upstate New York lifts up communities after tragedies like major flooods (or fires - our Traverse Tompkins 2021 theme!).
Learn more about our annual Traverse Tompkins fundraiser at thehistorycenter.net/traverse-tompkins.
This tour and the lands it encompasses take place in the traditional and contemporary lands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' Nation (often known by the mispronunciation Cayuga), one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Learn more at thehistorycenter.net/land-acknowledgement