Yolanda    Virginia    Eleanor     Rudy     Charlotte     Matilda    Stewie    Carl   Haley    Saponi    Pearl     Chester     Beatrice     Dale    Beau     Rosa    Bernie    Percy    Peter    Serling    Elizabeth    Ben    Kurt & Kilgore


Yolanda (299) 2010 Scion xB 


King family.


In homage to the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., we wanted to to name this car after one of his family members. The late Yolanda King was the oldest child of Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King, and was an activist for human rights and gay rights, and an actress. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. (the official national memorial to her father) and was founding director of the King Center’s Cultural Affairs Program.

Virginia (379) 2008 Nissan Versa 

Ever wondered what the bumper sticker reading “Yes Virginia, there is a Fall Creek” means? The Fall Creek community, fueled by the economic activity of the industrial area powered by Ithaca Falls, originally evolved as a separate neighborhood from Ithaca, complete with restaurants, offices, and other businesses. As the city of Ithaca grew it 'took in' Fall Creek. However, the area continues to have a strong sense of neighborhood identity. So here's to of all of this car's neighbors who do believe that "Yes Virginia, there is a Fall Creek."

Eleanor (511) 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan


Eleanor Roosevelt


Eleanor is named in honor of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who attended the dedication ceremony of the Southside Community Center as First Lady, in 1938, after the building went up in 1937 as a Works Progress Administration project. She was also instrumental in securing funding for the Cornell's College of Home Economics.

Rudy (535) 2012 Toyota Prius C 


Rutabaga Curl


Rudy is a native Ithacan, born in December 1996 on the final day at Ithaca Farmers Market season. To be exact, Rudy entered the world via the Market’s wooden midway when the vendors’ discussion turned to “unusual winter sports,” among them the Olympic sport of curling. In true Ithaca fashion, the International Rutabaga Curl evolved from a few market vendors hurling their wares along the concourse at season’s end to an annual event. The event now draws hundreds of Ithacans to compete. It even has its own Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/rutabagacurl.


Charlotte (2339) 2011 Toyota Yaris Sedan 


Charlotte's Web book cover


Charlotte is named after the protagonist spider "Charlotte" in Cornell graduate and famous author E.B. White's beloved children's novel, "Charlotte's Web." The book was the Spring 2012 Family Reading Partnership Community Read.



Matilda (2420) 2012 Toyota Prius C 


Matilda Joslyn Gage


In 1826 Matilda Electa Joslyn Gage was “born with a hatred of oppression.” Reared in a house in Cicero, NY that was a station on the Underground Railroad, she would later face prison for assisting escaped slaves after the Fugitive Slave Law was enacted. She was also known for her advocacy on behalf of Native Americans. In 1852, Gage addressed the National Women's Rights Convention in Syracuse, New York. Solidifying her position in the women's suffrage movement, she founded the Women's National Liberal Union. A prolific writer, Gage co-authored History of Woman Suffrage with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Stewie (2564) 2013 Toyota Prius C


Edwin Stewart


Edwin C. Stewart was the son of David B. Stewart, the first Mayor of Ithaca. He attended public schools in Ithaca, then went on to serve in both the NYS Assembly and Senate. He became Mayor of Ithaca in 1920. Mayor Stewart led the renewed interest in the reopening then Renwick Park for use as a lakeside municipal park. One month before the park's formal opening, Mayor Stewart died and the park was renamed Stewart Park in his honor.


Kurt (3836) and Kilgore (3837) 2013 Honda Fits 


Kurt Vonnegut


Kurt Vonnegut, a reluctant chemistry major, was an Assistant Managing Editor and Associate Editor of The Cornell Daily Sun, which allowed him to pursue his more humanistic interests. Vonnegut studied at Cornell for three years before he was drafted by the U.S. Army. He went on to be a well-known novelist.

Kilgore Trout is a character that appears in several of Kurt Vonnegut's novels. He is loosely based on Vonnegut's fellow writer, Theodore Sturgeon, who like Vonnegut's character shares a name with a fish.

Carl (4214) 2012 Toyota Yaris


Carl Sagan


Carl Sagan was a well-know astronomer, astrophysicist, and cosmologist who spent most of his life as a professor at Cornell University where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. Sagan made significant contributions to the field of astronomy. Ithaca's Carl Sagan Planet Walk, a to-scale replica of Earth's solar system, starts on the Ithaca Commons and ends at the ScienceCenter on Third Street.


Haley (4224) 2012 Toyota Prius C 


Alex Haley


Alex Haley was born in Ithaca in 1921. While a member of the Coast Guard, Haley turned his attention to journalism. Ultimately, he would achieve the rank of Chief Journalist in the Coast Guard, a position created in his honor. His post-Coast Guard journalism lead to an editorial position with Reader’s Digest, then at Playboy, where he created the interview feature. Interviewing prominent citizens for this position led to his collaboration with Malcolm X on his autobiography. He is best known for his book: Roots: The Saga of an American Family.

Saponi (5239) 2013 Honda Fit 


Warren Skye, a Seneca Indian from the Tonawanda-Seneca Reservation, leads a prayer before beginning the dedication ceremony for the Tutelo Park, off Bostwick Road
Tutelo dance


Saponi is named in reverence for the Saponi and Tutelo tribes of Native Americans, who had fled north from Virginia and North Carolina around 1700, and were taken in by the Cayuga Iroquois. They established a village, Coreogonel, in the south part of Ithaca near Buttermilk Falls. In 1779, amidst unrest between the British and the French, Iroquois tribes across Central New York were brutally forced from their homes and land. The American Army, led by General Sullivan, was sent to destroy Coreogonel, but found that the inhabitants had already fled to Fort Niagara for safety. The settlement was destroyed. Today, a park in their memory exists on Bostwick Road.

Ben (5284) 2013 Toyota Prius 


Ben Nichols


Ben Nichols served three terms as mayor of Ithaca (1989-1995) after retiring from his 30 year tenure as professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University. While he was mayor, Nichols persuaded Cornell to contribute to local emergency services otherwise funded by property taxes and spearheaded attempts to extend domestic benefits to same-sex couples in Ithaca.


Pearl (5575) 2012 Toyota Prius C


Pearl White


Silent movie starlet Pearl White first took the stage at age six. By age thirteen she was riding horses bareback in a circus. It is no wonder she performed most of her own stunts in the silent films that made her a star. Known as the “Queen of Serials,” she is best known for her portrayal of the title character in The Perils of Pauline. Pearl White lived at the Ithaca Hotel in 1915 while she was working with the Wharton Brothers silent film studio on The Exploits of Elaine.

Chester (5672) 2010 Nissan Versa 


Chester closeup


Chester is named after Chester Platt, Ithaca resident and 'inventor' of the ice cream sundae. As the story goes, one Sunday afternoon in 1892, Mr. Platt was serving vanilla ice cream to his friend and pastor John Scott. Deciding vanilla was too plain, he topped the ice cream with cherry syrup and put a cherry on top. So delighted were they with the new creation, they decided to name it after the day it was created - and the ice cream "Sunday" was born! 

Elizabeth (6093) 2013 Toyota Prius C


Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Elizabeth Cady Stanton is best known for her activism in the women's suffrage movement. She is recognized as the main author of The Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, an 1848 manifesto delivered at the first women's rights convention, which was held in Seneca Falls, New York.


Dale (6185) 2009 Honda Fit 


Dale Corson


Dale is named after Dale Corson, namesake of the Corson-Mudd building located near the car's original location on Tower Road. Dale Corson was the eighth president of Cornell University from 1969-1977. As a physicist, Corson made significant contributions to the design of the Cornell synchrotron, a high energy particle accelerator that runs underneath Cornell's campus.


Beau (6440) 2008 Toyota Tacoma


Grocery shopping


The member who submitted this name had so many good reasons, we just couldn't say no. First of all, it is such a "Beau-tiful" truck! It is parked on a bridge, which would make that bridge "Beau's Bridge" (Beau Bridges, anyone?). And last, but not least, who wouldn't want such a lovely truck as their Beau?

Beatrice (6591) 2011 Toyota Yaris 


Beatrice Fairfax


If you are from Ithaca, perhaps you should try writing "Dear Beatrice" instead of "Dear Abby." The namesake and main character of a 1916 Wharton Brother's silent film series, Beatrice Fairfax was the original advice-to-the-lovelorn newspaper editor. Beatrice Fairfax was the pen name of an actual New York Evening Journal reporter Marie Manning, whose popular column (1898) received so many letters, the post office refused to deliver them.

The Wharton brothers saw potential in this character, and Beatrice Fairfax became a short silent film series starring actress Grace Darling, wherein Fairfax and her friend and not-so-secret admirer Jimmy Barton (played by Harry Fox) investigate calls for help and escape many perils on their adventures. The series was filmed primarily in Ithaca's now Stewart Park (then Renwick Park) where the film studio was based. 

Serling (6797) 2013 Toyota Prius C


Rod Serling


Rod Serling was born in Syracuse with strong family ties to the central New York region. A successful scriptwriter best known for The Twilgiht Zone series, he lectured and taught master classes at Ithaca College from 1968 until his death in 1975.


Rosa (7134) 2009 Toyota Yaris 


DJ Vic


Rosa is named in honor of local latino musician Victor Rosa, perhaps more well known as "DJ Vic." Rosa, a long-time NYC salsa drummer, moved to Ithaca from the city in 1997 to be reunited with his daughter. Rosa has been a DJ for WICB’s Ritmo Latino, or “Latin Rhythm,” program since 1999. Every Saturday night at 10 ’til 6, he strolls into the studio rolling a carry-on suitcase full of CDs, a sampling of the collection that occupies a full wall of shelving in his music room at home. The program is authentic, one of a kind in upstate New York, and has become an iconic part of local latino culture. Vic also DJs "Noche Latino" every other Tuesday night at Oasis dance club, providing Ithacans the opportunity to get out and dance, like the salsa clubs in NYC.

Bernie (7737) 2011 Honda Fit 


Bernie Milton


Bernie Milton (1942-2002) was an Ithaca community member and musician, Ithaca's "King of Soul." Music ran deep in the Milton family and by age 11 Bernie had already performed Elvis Presley's "I Got a Woman" at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Milton signed his first recording contract in 1960 and had a regional hit, 'The Waddle,' in 1962. He led several bands through the 60s,70s and 80s; such as Bernie and the Cavaliers, Bernie Milton and the Soul Patrol, and the Bernie Milton Experience. Beginning in 1982 and until his death in 2002, Bernie was a DJ for the WICB radio show "Looking Back", sharing his love of south, rhythm and blues, and Motown music with Ithaca. The show is carried on today by his nephew, Ricky Milton. 

Peter (7988) 2013 Toyota Prius C 


St. James Church


Peter Webb purchased his freedom from slavery in Virginia in 1818, for a price of $384, before relocating to Caroline, New York, making him the first freed slave to live in Tompkins County. Webb founded Ithaca's St. James A.M.E. Zion Church, a stop on the Underground Railroad, in 1833.  More on the rich history of the Underground Railroad at the church and in our region can be found here.


Percy (8154) 2009 Nissan Versa 

We chose Percy as a shout-out to 1932 Cornell alum Robert Purcell (namesake of our car's original home location), who served from 1955 to 1979 as financial adviser to the Rockefeller family and sat on the Cornell Board of Trustees from 1959 to 1981, including acting as chair during an era of great student unrest from 1968 to 1978.



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