Museum History & Mission

Museum History

Marian Wickwire O’Connor, the last Wickwire to live at 37 Tompkins Street, died here in 1973. The Wickwire Residence and its contents were sold at auction. A group of Cortland County leaders, including members of the Wickwire family, successfully campaigned to preserve the house, and it became a museum in 1975.

The 1890 House Museum was the anchor of the Historic Tompkins Street District’s entry on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In 1984, the 1890 House Museum received its official NYS Charter to operate as a 501(c)(3) historic house museum.


The 1890 House Museum aims to promote and interpret the historical and cultural significance of this property to the public. The 1890 House seeks to collect, preserve, research, display, and interpret objects that promote local and national history of America’s cultural heritage during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Support Cortland's Landmark Building

The impressive collection found throughout the 1890 House Museum offer visitors the opportunity to step back in time to 19th century Cortland.  The unique history within our walls tells the stories of the Wickwire family, their servants, and the factory workers who toiled in Wickwire Wire Mills Factory.


We strive to educate and inspire every visitor through diverse programming and exhibitions.  With your help, we will preserve this Cortland County landmark for present and future generations.


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Thursdays - Saturdays

11 am – 4 pm


12 pm - 4  pm




37 Tompkins St. Cortland, NY 13045

Telephone: (607) 756 7551



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