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Ithaca Wedding Resources (more information)

Clinton House
Local Industry
Ithaca was nationally known for the Ithaca Gun Company, makers of highly-valued shotguns, and Ithaca Calendar Clocks. The largest industry was the Morse Chain company, still active in Lansing, New York, as Borg Warner Automotive and on South Hill as Emerson Power Transmission. In the post-World War II decades, National Cash Register and the Langmuir Research Labs of General Electric were also major employers.

Higher education

Cornell University was founded by Ezra Cornell in 1865. It was opened as a coeducational institution, which was extremely unusual at the time; women first enrolled in 1870. Ezra Cornell also established a public library for the city. Ithaca College was founded as the Ithaca Conservatory of Music in 1892

The film industry

During the early 20th century, Ithaca was an important center in the silent film industry. The most common type of film produced was the cliffhanger serial. These films often featured the local natural scenery. Many of these films were the work of Leopold Wharton and his brother Theodore Wharton in their studio on the site of what is now Stewart Park. Eventually the film industry centralized in Hollywood, which offered the possibility of year-round filming, and film production in Ithaca effectively ceased. Few of the silent films made in Ithaca are preserved today.


Ithaca is a major educational center in Central New York. The city is home to Ithaca College, situated on South Hill, and Cornell University which overlooks the town from East Hill. The student population is very high, as almost 20,000 students are enrolled at Cornell, with an additional 6,300 students at Ithaca College. Tompkins Cortland Community College is located in the neighboring town of Dryden, New York, and has an extension center in downtown Ithaca


Ithacans support the Ithaca Farmers Market professional theaters (Kitchen Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Icarus Theatre), a civic orchestra, much parkland, the Sciencenter, a hands-on science museum for people of all ages, and the Museum of the Earth. Ithaca is noted for its annual artistic celebration of community: The Ithaca Festival (and its parade), the Circus Eccentrithaca. The Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts provides grants and Summer Fellowships at the Saltonstall Arts Colony for New York State artists and writers. Ithaca also hosts what is described as the third-largest used-book sale in the United States. Other festivals occur annually, with music and food. These include The Apple Festival in the fall, with many different varieties of apples and apple products; Chili Fest in February, a local contest involving many local restaurants who compete to make the best chili in several different categories.


Ithaca is commonly listed among the most culturally liberal of American small cities. The Utne Reader named Ithaca "America's most enlightened town" in 1997. According to ePodunk's Gay Index, Ithaca has a score of 231, versus a national average score of 100.

Like many small college towns, Ithaca has also received accolades for having a high overall quality of life. In 2004, Cities Ranked and Rated named Ithaca the best "emerging city" to live in the United States. In 2006, the Internet realty website "Relocate America" named Ithaca the fourth best city in the country to relocate to. In July 2006, Ithaca was listed as one of the "12 Hippest Hometowns for Vegetarians" by VegNews Magazine and chosen by Mother Earth News as one of the "12 Great Places You've Never Heard Of."

Notable residents and natives

Alex Haley, native, author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family and the Autobiography of Malcolm X

Rod Serling, resident (of nearby Interlaken, NY), Ithaca College Professor, screenwriter, creator and host of The Twilight Zone

E.B. White, resident, novelisr, author of Charlotte's Web and co-author of The Elements of Style

Points of interest

Cornell University
Ithaca College
Ithaca Commons


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