Beattie, Gail, 2017


Beattie, Gail, 2017

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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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Garrett Sweeney is a junior transfer at SUNY Cortland from the University at Albany. He is a dual major of History and Social Studies Education, which his goal is to become a history teacher. Lyndsey Tapely is a sophomore at Cortland, who is also a History major. She has aspirations of going overseas to teach. Tyler Samborski is a sophomore who majors in History and is also looking to become a history teacher after school. All three students are conducting this interview as part of a class taught by Evan Faulkenbury.


Interview conducted by Garrett Sweeney, Lyndsey Tarpley, and Tyler Samborski on October 18, 2018.


Gail Beattie, Oral Histories, Cortland Community

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
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These oral histories express the personal views, memories, and opinions of the interviewee. They do not represent the policy, views, or official history of SUNY Cortland.

Beattie, Gail, 2017