Yolanda    Estevan    Eleanor    Rudy    Charlotte    Matilda    Sophronia     Stewie                       Kurt & Kilgore    Carl     Haley    Rover   Saponi    Ben     Pearl    Chester    Elizabeth                 Dale     Beau     Beatrice    Serling     Frances    Bernie    Peter

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.

Estevan (440) 2015 Honda Fit

Estevan Fuertes

Estevan is named after Estevan Fuertes. Born in Puerto Rico in 1838, Fuertes was a successful civil engineer who worked on public infrastructure in Puerto Rico, on the Croton aqueduct for New York City, and on early Panama canal surveys for the US Government. From 1873-1902 he served as the Dean of Cornell School of Civil Engineering, where he re-structured and built up the size of the school significantly. He was an advocate of laboratory-based learning, and played a key role in the planning and construction of both a large hydraulics research laboratory on Fall Creek and the Fuertes Astronomical Observatory. His son was Louis Agassiz Fuertes, a famous ornithologist and bird illustrator.

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

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.

Sophronia (2491) 2012 Honda Fit Sport

Sophronia Bucklin

Sophronia is named after Sophronia Bucklin. Born in 1828, this Ithacan served in the Hospital Service as a nurse during the Civil War. After the battle of Gettysburg, Bucklin served in a tent hospital ministering to the most wounded soldiers. She was an efficient and dedicated nurse, and a compassionate friend to her patients, many of whom she corresponded with after the war. She published an account of her experiences entitled In Hospital and Camp: A Woman's Record of Thrilling Incidents Among the Wounded in the Late War. 


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.

Rover (4625) 2014 Toyota Prius C

Picture taken by Spirit

Rover was named after the Mars Rover project. Cornell University professor Steven Squyres is the principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission involving the rovers launched in 2003, Spirit and Opportunity. Cornell now has a Mars Rover student-run project team that annually designs an innovative Mars rover to compete in the University Rover Challenge.

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 

Sundae ad

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

Loaded truck

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 Twilight Zone series, he lectured and taught master classes at Ithaca College from 1968 until his death in 1975.


Frances (7529) 2014 Toyota Prius C

Frances Perkins

Frances Perkins was the U.S. Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945), as such becoming the first female member of the U.S. Cabinet. Perkins championed the labor movement, and played a key role in the establishing minimum wage and overtime laws, the Social Security Act, unemployment insurance, and federal laws regulating child labor. After her career in public service, Perkins was a lecturer at Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations until her death in 1985. We named this Prius C "Frances" in honor of her contributions to safer working conditions.

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.




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