Suggett House Museum

Windows CCHS at court house Museum

Why do we care where Washington slept? What does it mean to us to see in person the blood-soaked coat Lincoln wore those many Aprils ago? Why do so many of us hoard our late grandmother's teacups or our childhood toys? Because the past comes to us in these leavings, the "stuff" left behind, the objects touched, coddled, used, and loved by those gone before us. These things, these artifacts, are what is left to connect us to the past because the past won't come around again. To know the past, we must turn to the things of the past. The Suggett House Museum is both an artifact - the home of James Suggett - and an experience. Its collection tells stories. It helps answer questions. It connects us to our people, places, and events. We think of the museum as an opportunity to pose questions: what was it like to feed a large family in the mid-nineteenth century? How did Cortland families survive the Great Depression? What kind of childhood did kids have a hundred years ago? We want our museum to be a place of discovery and wonder. What do you want to know? Listen! The objects are talking. James Suggett's story is one of many stories. Built in 1882, the family home nurtured his and his wife Jane's three unmarried children. Cora, the last surviving member of the family, died in 1933, leaving the house to James' great-grandson Chester Birdlebough. He gave it to the Cortland County Historical Society thirty years later. A leaving. An object. A story. Our story began in 1925 when the Historical Society was organized, not to collect stuff, but to encourage discussion of historical topics. But the objects came. People gave us stuff to keep because the stuff told stories These artifacts were kept for a time at the Franklin Hatch Library on Church Street until the collection outgrew its space. We moved to the Court House until our story intersected with the Suggett's story. We moved into his house in 1967 and we've been telling stories ever since.

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25 Homer Ave. Cortland, New York 13045 607.756.6071 Site by GNC. Terms.