Plaque Fundraiser for TCFA


Two local artisans and one historian have come up with “The Plaque Project,” an effort that will help honor Trumansburg’s rich architectural history.

Inspired by historical date plaques he had seen in communities near Trumansburg as well as farther away, builder/carpenter Peter Cooke thought it would be fitting to place similar plaques on Trumansburg homes and buildings. Working with village historian S.K. List, he did some research to identify the building date of his Cayuga Street home, while List did the same for her own house. The pair decided to place sample plaques on their own residences (Cooke: 15 Cayuga Street; List: 19 Cayuga Street) so people could see them, and Cooke proceeded to produce them. Additionally, he made a somewhat larger version to be placed on the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts (TCFA). All three are in place now, so interested folks can have a look at them.

Cooke and List approached Christopher Wolff, an artist skilled in visual communication and vintage sign typography, requesting that he bring his talents to bear in lettering the plaques appropriately, and he readily agreed to participate.  See more of Chris’s work at:

The project is devised as a fundraiser for programs and operations at the Trumansburg Conservatory, with both Cooke and Wolff putting in their efforts without compensation. Many Trumansburgers will recall the extensive, innovative study of village architecture provided some years ago to fourth-graders at Trumansburg Elementary School and devised by local teachers. That program blended history, art, math, social studies and more, along with promoting appreciation of one’s hometown. The Plaque Project offers a similar promotion, while offering an opportunity to help support a local arts programs at TCFA.

Village and area residents will be responsible to do their own research in confirming the accurate or closely approximate building dates for their homes. List can help provide some guidance to area resources for pinning down this information. The plaques will be available for a minimum donation of $25 to TCFA, but larger donations will be gratefully accepted. In the interests of a consistent and harmonious presentation, all plaques will be the same: oval in shape, dark green in color with a gilt border and lettering in light paint. Orders will be accepted in first come, first served order, and can be placed by contacting Betsy Douglas via phone (413-801-6522) or e-mail:


1. How do I order a plaque for my house?
Contact Betsy Douglas at 413-801-6522 or via e-mail at When you contact Ms. Douglas, please express your interest and provide your return phone or e-mail contact information.

2. Who is making the plaques?
The idea for the Plaque Project came from Peter Cooke, a well-known carpenter-
builder in Trumansburg. He has volunteered to make the plaques as a fundraiser for the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts (TCFA). Chris Wolff, a local artist skilled in visual communication and vintage sign typography, is painting the year inscriptions, also as a contribution to TCFA.

3. How much does a plaque cost?
The minimum donation for a plaque is $25. You are welcome to donate more if you wish.

4. How do I pay for my order?
You can mail a check. Betsy Douglas will provide mailing details when you place your order.

5. How will I know the age and/or correct date for my house?
This will be the homeowner’s responsibility to determine. If you do not already know, there are several resources available to research the year your house was built. Some of these are nearby, in or around Trumansburg; others are in Ithaca. You can contact the Trumansburg village historian, Sandy List, for information about these resources.

6. Must my house be within the village to order a plaque?
The Project is not designed to be strict and your house does not have to be within the boundaries of the village. The goal is to highlight the rich history of our area, architectural and otherwise, so ideally, locations for plaques should be approximately within the Trumansburg school district or nearby.

7. Is the Plaque Project confined to homes or is a public or commercial building eligible to place a plaque? It is possible to order a plaque for a public building. Please ask Ms. Douglas for details about discussing this.