School Tours


Admission is $4 for students. Teachers, chaperones, and bus drivers are free of charge. Teachers can request our Resource Guide at




We’re happy to offer specialized school tours that may be customizable for your grade level and history focus. Please contact our Assistant Director at for more information regarding any of the options below:


19th Century Life Tour

Our main house tour will transport students back to June 1, 1890 when the Wickwire family moved into 37 Tompkins Street.  Learn about Victorian daily life from the perspective of an industrialist, an upper class woman, children, and servants.  Tour guides will challenge students to consider what innovations they can create in their own community.


Twitter Tour

What if the Victorians used Twitter?  On this tour, students will learn the house’s history through the “tweets” written by the Wickwire family, the house’s servants, and even their pet parrot, Jac.


Architecture Tour

From stained glass to cupolas, hand stenciling to parquet flooring, students will investigate how architect Samuel Reed designed the Wickwire mansion.  Students will discover how Victorians made architectural choices for social reasons, from “dressing up” their home to impress guests, to keeping the servants unseen and unheard.


Feared Weird Tour

Students will investigate Victorian life by playing parlor games, and learn the meaning behind many “unusual” Victorian customs, such as weaving hair into jewelry, painting dead children, and using fans to communicate.  Students will leave our house with a better understanding of why Victorians acted in ways that may seem strange to us today.

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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