Names on the Land–Tompkins County

Welcome to Names on the Land–Tompkins County!

This collection of place name histories takes its point of departure from Place Names of Tompkins County, the 2008 reference book created by Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen and the county’s municipal historians. This guide to the stories of town, street, and other place names in turn drew on W. Glenn Norris’s The Origin of Place Names in Tompkins County, published by the DeWitt Historical Society of Tompkins County in 1951.

In October 2016, a core group of team members began work updating the Place Names book. Organized by themes, the new book will add to and update the place name entries and include an interactive online component as well.

How we name, define, and use a place changes over time. To capture the dynamic nature of place, residents and visitors are encouraged to share their stories about significant places in Tompkins County. Do you have a story about why a town or road or other place got its name? Do you have an informal name for a place in Tompkins County that’s not found on any map? Have you written about or photographed a place that’s dear to your heart and want to share it with others? We’d love to hear from you.

Contact to participate in the project.

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