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County History

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125 East Court Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 274-5551
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County History

Tompkins County History

Town of Ithaca Land Mark

Before European settlement, this was home to the Cayuga Indians, one of the five –and then six–tribes that made up the Iroquois Confederation. They used the land lightly, placing semi-permanent settlements near the sources of fresh water, cultivating patches for produce and orchards. In the eighteenth-century, the Cayugas allowed the Sapony and Tutelo tribes migrating north from the Carolinas to settle on portions of land along the Cayuga Inlet where they built a village called Coreorgonel. In 1779, in the dire days of the American Revolutionary War when the outcome was less than certain, George Washington sent Major General John Sullivan into Iroquoia to drive the Indians west in an attempt to push them out of the conflict raging between the colonies and England. Sullivan directed Colonel Henry Dearborn to march down the west side of the lake, and Lieutenant Colonel William Butler, to go along the east side of Cayuga Lake, to destroy Cayuga villages and crops. Butler’s forces burned Coreorgonel, now the site of the Tutelo Park in the Town of Ithaca.