Document Type




Download Full Text (279 KB)


Sue Buggs-Guido has been living in Cortland her whole life. She attended Owego Elementary School and eventually graduated from Cortland High School in June of 1960. She has many experiences, stories and first-hand accounts of the history of the Wickwire factory that employed the brunt of the labor force of Cortland for decades on end. Sue’s father, great Uncle, and her grandmother were all workers for the Wickwires. Her father, one of the youngest foreman to ever work for the Wickwires, worked in the dye room, overseeing the work over multiple laborers. Sue would have the chance to actually enter the factory and spend time with her dad at work after school on many occasions. Sue remembers the not so good conditions the workers had to work in every day. Sue’s great uncle worked in the factory as well. George, Sue’s great uncle, worked as a crane operator in the factory. All day he would pick up pieces of metal with a huge magnetic crane that would be put into extremely heated vaults to melt the metals down. Sue recalls stories of men that worked directly with the heated vaults and on occasions workers would fall into the vaults, leading to a gruesome death. Though these tragedies are horrendous, workers were used to seeing death and injury on the job. Her grandmother worked as a house maid in the Wickwire family house which is now today the 1890 house.

Date of Interview





Jake Daly is a SUNY Cortland undergraduate student studying history. Andrew Devlin is a SUNY Cortland undergraduate student studying history and education. Tori Duger is a SUNY Cortland undergraduate student studying history and education. The oral interview is for a project that all three students are working on for their HIS 280 Fall 2017 class for the 1890 House Museum.


Interview conducted by Jake Daly, Andrew Devlin, Tori Duger on October 10, 2017.


Sue Buggs-Guido, Oral Histories, Cortland Community

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.


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.

Buggs-Guido, Sue, 2017