• Gail Beattie, oral history transcript, 10/18/2017

    Evan Faulkenbury (see profile)
    Tyler Samborski, Garrett Sweeney, Lyndsey Tapley
    SUNY Cortland Oral History Archive
    Oral history
    Item Type:
    Wickwire, Cortland NY, SUNY Cortland, 1890 House Museum
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    Interviewee: Gail Beattie Interviewers: Tyler Samborski, Lyndsey Tapley, Garrett Sweeney Date: October 18, 2017 Location: 1890 House, Cortland, New York Length: 25:36 Gail Beattie was born on January 19, 1965 and has lived in Cortland, New York ever since. She attended Tompkins Cortland Community College. When she was younger she lived across the street from the Wickwire factory and remembered a handful of memories when her father worked at the factory, towards the end of the factory’s life. Besides her father, her aunt and her husband both worked for the Wickwire family. She remembered seeing fire that took the Wickwire factory. Even though times were financially difficult at times for Mrs. Beattie’s family, her parents were always able to find a way to make a living and support their children. Mrs. Beattie has lived through firsthand how life was after the closing of the Wickwire factory and a handful of other factories around the town of Cortland. She has said after all the industry left Cortland, Main Street followed soon after with a bunch of small mom and pop shops closing down and leaving the job market of Cortland very narrow. Mrs. Beattie did acknowledge the fact that SUNY Cortland has been very good economically to the city of Cortland but it does not come without any controversy. She says that there are people in the town of Cortland who do not like to have a college in the center of their town. Mrs. Beattie attended college and now works for Cortland County and has a son that attends SUNY Cortland. Mrs. Beattie’s connection to the Wickwire factory and her memory of the town prior to the industry leaving Cortland can help shape how we view what Cortland once was and how much it has drastically changed in all those years since the Wickwire factory and many other factories and industry left Cortland. She serves as a great source of information in due part to her whole life being spent in the city of Cortland.
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