On the Road- Cortland County, NY

By WBNG News

June 5, 2014 Updated Jun 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) A great way to experience history is first hand now you can experience the splendor of the late 19th century at the 1890 House Museum in downtown Cortland. The grand limestone mansion is a symbol of the grandeur of the Victorian and Gilded ages. It features 30 rooms with lavish interiors, jewel-like stained glass windows, ornate decorative stenciling and oak and cherry woodwork. It was built by successful industrialist Chester Wickwire.
"Chester Wickwire was the original owner of the house he started off here in Cortland with a hardware store and through a payment he ended up aquiring a carpet loom which he adapted to weave wire," said Monica Falls, Assistant Coordinator of the 1890 House Museum. "So he started producing weaved wire cloth or window screening essentially and that business boomed. Everyone wanted to use this. He also produced things like chicken wire, barbed wire for farming purposes."
The 1890 House Museum operates as an historic house museum featuring restored period room settings, changing exhibitions and special programs. Admission to the museum is $8 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students and children under 10 are free. Now the 1890's House is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 4. Whether you have kids or are just a kid at heart there's an area attraction in Cortland County that's fun rain or shine. The Shipwreck Amusement Center is fun for the entire family.
"We have an outdoor 18 hole resort level pirate course with two full size pirate ships and w e have the largest indoor miniature golf course that's glow golf in the nation, said Patricia Jordan, Owner Shipwreck Amusement Center.
There is over a quarter of a mile of black light painted murals inside and it's definitely worth a trip to come out and see, and since it's indoors it's open rain or shine. Another fun thing to do at the Shipwreck amusement center is to try out their paintball target course.
"It's a paintball attraction that you don't get hurt you don't get covered with paint. It can be enjoyed by the entire family you don't have to get 16 kids and friends together to do it and you just go ahead and shoot at all of the different targets," Jordan said. There is also a bounce house, food, ice cream and other activities to keep the kids entertained. Another great thing to do in Cortland County is to do some antiquing. Papa Bear Stoves and Antiques is a great place to shop for unique treasures. Whether it's vintage jewelry, artwork or furniture there are so many things to see that you could be shopping for hours.
Cortland County has a rich and varied history... Some of the most famous trucks were built in Cortland by Brockway from 1912 to 1977. At the CNY Living History Center the heritage of Brockway trucks lives on. The CNY Living History Center is a three museum complex, featuring the Homeville Museum, The Brockway Museum and Tractors of Yesteryear.
Doreen Bates, Chief Operations Officer of the CNY Living History Center said "We like to say it's like taking a walk through history. Instead of just reading about it in a history book you can actually see things that make it easier to learn for the students that come here. For the adults that come it's a lot of memories for them. And people learn from history so it's our way of just preserving that and letting people actually see the history and not just reading about it.
The museum routinely changes up their displays and adds exhibits.
"Last year our theme was the weird and unusual," said Jim Price, tour guide. "So the theme this year is old prior to WWII and the theme for the next year will be from the end of WWII until 1960."
And you don't need a tractor or truck if you want to hit the road and explore... Hartley's RV in Cortland features a new kind of camper that can be towed with just about any size car.
"You don't need a big vehicle for these, uh most of them you can pull with a four cylinder car, they make ones you can pull with a motorcycle or smart car or a K and M Spider all the way up to the biggest one you can pull with any 6 cylinder vehicle, " said Evan Lewis, Sales Manager at Hartley's RVs.
The larger campers even come equipt with bathrooms and showers and all of them are solar ready.
"Everyone of them comes solar ready right from the factory,"Steve Hartley, Owner of Hartley's RVs said. "It's a plug and play, there's no, no fuss one wire you plug it in and you you got power anywhere you're at as long as you have daylight.
Whether it's tailgating, a weekend on the road or a longer trip cross country, these tear drop campers are a great way to travel without breaking the bank.

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