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Facts & Trivia About Ithaca
Where did the name “Ithaca” come from?
Ithaca takes its name from the Greek island of Ithaca in Homer’s Odyssey.
Where is Ithaca, NY located?
Ithaca is located in the Finger Lakes Region of central New York State, four hours from New York City, three hours from Niagara Falls, two hours from Rochester and four hours from Philadelphia.
What is the Finger Lakes Region in NY?
The Finger Lakes Region is comprised of 14 counties, which occupy 9,000 square miles, roughly comparable in size to the states of Vermont, New Hampshire or New Jersey.
Is there a lake near Ithaca?
Ithaca, NY sits at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, the longest of the 11 Finger Lakes
Where does Cayuga Lake get its name from?
Cayuga Lake is named after the Cayuga Indian Nation, one of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.
What county is Ithaca in?
Ithaca, NY is the largest city in Tompkins County.
What is the population of Ithaca, NY?
Ithaca has a population of roughly 31,000 residents.
The Ithaca area offers the best of small-town life with the cultural qualities of a larger metropolitan city due to its universities and colleges.
Who are some famous Ithacans?
Famous Ithacans include “Roots” author Alex Haley, astronomer Carl Sagan, television writer Rod Serling, and former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz.
What colleges and universities are in and around Ithaca?
Cornell University and Ithaca College are the two largest schools in Ithaca, and Tompkins-Cortland Community College is the area’s community college.
Who are some famous or notable Cornell University alumni?
Famous Cornell University alumni include Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Associate Justice of the Supreme Court), Bill Nye (the Science Guy), Bill Maher (comedian and television host), and Christopher Reeve (actor, Superman), among many others.
Who are some famous or notable Ithaca College alumni?
Famous Ithaca College alumni include Bob Iger (CEO of The Walt Disney Company).
Gavin DeGraw (musical artist, though he did not graduate).
Ben Feldman (Emmy nominated actor, Superstore), and David Boreanaz (actor, Bones), among many others.
How far is Ithaca from major nearby cities?
- The city’s modern history began in the late 18th Century when Congress awarded Revolutionary War soldiers land grants (in lieu of combat pay) to settle the area. Local deeds are still based on the original “Military Tract,” designated in 1790.
- An intrepid boater can cast off from Ithaca and cruise the storied Erie Canal system all the way to NYC and the Atlantic Ocean. Westbound, the canal leads boaters into the Great Lakes, the Mississippi and ultimately to the Gulf of Mexico.
Famous Ithaca Discoveries & Creations
First Ice Cream Sundae
The first Ice Cream Sundae was invented by a local fountain owner Chester Platt and Unitarian reverend John Scott on April 3, 1892.
First French-bread Pizza
The first French-bread pizza was created at Cornell University by Bob Petrillose as a cheaper pizza option for college students, well before Stouffer’s made their frozen version!
America’s First Electric Street Lamps
America’s first electric street lamps lit the Cornell Campus in the winter of 1875-’76.
The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker was rediscovered (maybe) by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in 2005.