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John Wertis, Town of Ulysses Historian
Hours: by appointment
Phone: 607-387-4331
E-mail: historian@ulysses.ny.us

Michele Mitrani, Deputy Town of Ulysses Historian,
Village of Trumansburg Historian

Hours by Appointment
Phone: 607-387-9466
E-mail: mlmitrani@hotmail.com

The Town Historian is responsible to:

  • Fill out a yearly report detailing inquiries, phone calls received, and meetings attended which is submitted to the Tompkins County Historian. This report is then sent to the New York State Historian.
  • Meet with the Tompkins County Municipal Historians an average of eight times a year and contribute to any local historical projects coordinated by the group
  • Attend a yearly meeting of the New York State District of Municipal Historians to exchange information and ideas relating to New York State history
  • Hold public informational sessions about any history-related activities in which the Town of Ulysses participates
  • Lifetime member of the Ulysses Historical Society
  • Member of the Tompkins County Municipal Historian’s Group

Please note that Town Historians are prohibited from providing genealogical services. Please visit our Genealogy page for helpful tips in your search.

Trumansburg/Ulysses Local History

By John Wertis, Town Historian

Leaving you with a few “chuckles” from the 19th century local weekly newspapers. These items the editor may have written himself, “lifted” from some other newspaper, are jokes from books , or are derived from  news or  talk around the town.    

Pithy Answer to a Short Advertisement:

"A shop keeper on Grand Street, the other day, stuck upon his door the following laconic advertisement:

“A boy wanted”. On going to his shop the next morning, he beheld a smiling little urchin in a basket, with the following pithy label: "Here he is.""

                                                                                    The Free Press, July 30, 1834
                                                                                    From the “New York Transcript”

"An eastern editor says that a man got himself in trouble by marrying two wives.
A western editor replies that a good many have done the same thing by marrying one.

A northern editor says that a number of his acquaintances found trouble enough
in barely promising  to marry and never going any further.
A southern editor says
that a friend of his was bothered enough when he was found in company with another man's wife.

                                                                                    The Free Press, July 8, 1893

A Bad Boy

                         Mother- Why don't you play with that little Peterkin boy anymore?
                        Small Son- 'Cause he swore.
                        Mother- “Horrors!  Did he?”
                        Son- “Yes'm. He swore I stole his knife , and teacher made me give it back and
                        licked me besides.”
                                                                                    The Free Press, October 1, 1892
                                                                         PERRY CITY
                        We have had the most destructive flood ever known in this section. Besides several
                        rainy days, it came down in torrents Tuesday and Wednesday nights, nearly a dozen                          bridges in Hector are partially or totally destroyed...........Chas. Ammack had a large
                        field of potatoes dug and washed ready for market  and a goodly number shipped by                              by way of Taughannock  Falls.
                                                                                                        The Free Press, September 20, 1890

Last updated 2014