Plan your visit

Discover Wickwire family life from two generations spanning more than 8 decades as you are guided through America’s Gilded and Progressives Eras and into the Roaring 20s. Learn about the family through original artifacts, photographs, furniture, and more as your House Guide takes you through more than a dozen rooms open to the public.

Framing the Past Photo Project

Founded in 1975 and receiving its NYS Charter as a historic house museum in 1984, the 1890 House Museum boasts an impressive collection of photographs. These photographs document the lives of the Wickwire family and their friends from the late 19th century through the 20th century. When inventor & industrialist Chester F. Wickwire moved into his home on June 1, 1890, he photographed each room as it was. These photographs have now been digitally preserved by Roger Theise from Roger Williams Photography. Some of these interior photos have never been on view to the public before.


Discover our stories from inventor and industrialist Chester F. Wickwire, doting mother Ardell, playful Charles and Frederic, and others like Catherine Liston, maid to the Wickwires in the 1920s.


Built for late 19th century inventor & industrialist Chester F. Wickwire, we invite you to explore the 1890 House Museum. Creating countless patents, distributing mass quantities of woven wire goods throughout the United States and the world, Chester Wickwire also served as a philanthropist to his community and create this remarkable home.

Once lived in by two generations of the Wickwire family, this landmark building obtained its NYS Charter to serve as a historic house museum in 1984. Our staff and dedicated house guides are ready to transport you back in time to Cortland’s Gilded and Progressive Eras of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and into the Roaring 20s. Explore 37 Tompkins Street and its large collection of original house objects, art, furniture, photographs, textiles, and much more.

Opening Hours

WINTER HOURS (October-April)

Thursdays to Saturdays Noon - 4pm

SUMMER HOURS (May - September)

Thursdays to Saturdays 11am - 5pm

Sundays 11am -3pm

Contact us

Feel free to contact us with Questions or Concerns by visiting our contact page located Here.

Give us a call during our hours of operation at 607 756 7551 or email us directly at

37 Tompkins Street

Cortland, NY 13045

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