The 1890 House Museum and Center for the Victorian Arts was the home of Chester F. and Lucy Ardell Rouse Wickwire. The limestone home was designed by Samuel Reed for the Wickwires and their two sons, Charles and Frederick. Mr. Wickwire's fortune was made in manufacturing woven mesh screening from his factory on South Main Street in Cortland, New York. The Wickwire residence features beautiful hand-carved oak and cherry woodwork, parquet floors, and stained glass windows. A woven wire design is embossed on the doorknobs, latches, and hinges throughout the house as a reminder of the industrial success that made this lavish home possible. The home was occupied by the Wickwire descendents until 1973. In 1975, the 1890 House Museum was opened to the public. The museum retains many original Wickwire furnishings.
Our mission is to preserve and restore the 1890 House Museum together with the museum's carriage house and landscaped grounds. In addition to the structures and surrounding environs, the museum also collects, preserves, and displays personal objects for the purpose of recreating interior and exterior historical settings. We strive to interpret the historical and cultural significance of Cortland’s most treasured architectural and historical masterpiece. As a site recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, The 1890 House provides a unique connection to our shared heritage.
The Wickwire story is just one among hundreds of nifty, engaging, and surprising things you'll discover at the 1890 House Museum. From our lavishly decorated, artifact-filled, period rooms to our ornate, gilded-era interior and exterior architecture, to our exhibits covering everything from Victorian-era recreation to 19th-Century construction techniques, there is literally something at the 1890 House Museum and Center for the Victorian Arts for everyone.
So, stop in and find out why the 1890 House Museum is "where history lives!"
Your donations help:
Your donations will help us raise funds for: day to day operating expenses, programs such as our popular children's week activities, exhibits like Laying the Cloth: Dining in 19th Century Style, preservation and maintenance projects, and other educational programs and events.
There are many ways you can get involved.
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