“1890 House Seeks Locals to Interview about the Wickwire Factory”

If you grew up in Cortland, New York, you probably know about the Wickwire family. The 1890 House on Tompkins Street—the historic Wickwire family home—still stands and operates as a museum serving the community. The Wickwires were industrialists and philanthropists, providing countless financial and social benefits to the region. We know the family lore, the opportunities they brought to Cortland, and the jobs they provided to hundreds of residents.

But the history should not stop there. While we know much about the Wickwires, we know far less about the employees who worked in the Wickwire factory. Through a partnership between the 1890 House and my public history class at SUNY Cortland, we hope to interview community members who have memories about the factory. During the 2017-2018 academic year, undergraduates at SUNY Cortland will interview area residents about their memories of the Wickwire factories.

We want people who volunteer to share whatever personal memories and stories they know. We will ask broad, open-ended questions, and interviewees should feel free to answer any way they want. We will want to know about what life was like growing up, family and community bonds, and how the Wickwire factory helped shape lives in Cortland.

Through oral history—listening, recording, archiving, and presenting interviews of community members—we hope to document an important part of Cortland’s history. Interviewees will receive a personal copy of their oral history interview, and their stories will contribute to the wider project. Interviews will be archived through SUNY Cortland, and with permission from the interviewee, will be made available to the general public. The 1890 House plans to create new exhibits featuring the stories collected through the oral history project.

If you or someone you know may be interested in sitting for an interview and sharing their story, we invite you to come to an information meeting on Saturday, August 26 at 1pm at the 1890 House to discuss oral history, the Wickwire factory, and how the local community can participate and benefit from the oral history project.

If you have questions, feel free to message or email me at evan.faulkenbury@cortland.edu or call my office telephone at 607-753-2035.

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 info@the1890house.org

37 Tompkins Street

Cortland, NY 13045

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