Flatbush Avenue, at the intersection o fEmpire Blvd. and Ocean Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
95 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Maria Cobo, Director of Lefferts Historic House
Discover the charm and simplicity of yesteryear at Lefferts Historic House. An 18th century Dutch colonial farmhouse, Lefferts offers people of all ages the chance to explore historic artifacts and exhibits that combine interactive tools, toys and games with rooms furnished in the style of the early 19th century. Also participate in seasonal farming and craft activities that bring Brooklyn's rural beginnings to life. Lefferts reveals the history and culture of the area's Dutch, African and Native American children of the area experienced it. The house is a great venue for birthday parties and is wheelchair accessible. Call (718) 789-2822 for reservations or more information.
The Lefferts family was among the earliest European settlers in Brooklyn. They trace their roots to Dutch colonist Pieter Janse Hagewout (1650-1704), a farmer and shoemaker who emigrated from Holland with his family aboard De Bonte Koe (The Spotted Cow) in 1660, and settled in the farming village of Vlacke Bos (meaning "wooded plain"), or Flatbush as it came to be known. In 1687, Hagewout's son Leffert Pietersen bought 58 acres of land in the area now known as Prospect Lefferts Gardens. He built the original Lefferts Homestead.
In 1776, 31,000 British soldiers invaded Brooklyn. Several days before the Battle of Long Island (August 26-31, 1776), the Lefferts Homestead in Flatbush was destroyed, not by the British, but by American troops who burned several houses in an attempt to drive the British away. The Lefferts family left the area before this burning took place.
Peter Lefferts (1753-1791), the great-great-grandson of Pieter Hagewout, rebuilt Lefferts Homestead between 1777 and 1783. Lefferts was one of the richest men in Kings County, with 240 acres of land and a large household that included eight family members and twelve slaves. He also enjoyed a wide sphere of influence, working in various public offices throughout New York. Lefferts served as a lieutenant in the Colonial Army and became a judge on the County Court of Sessions and Common Pleas. In 1788 he became a delegate to the state convention in Poughkeepsie, when New York ratified the United States Constitution. When Lefferts died on November 7, 1791, he was buried in the cemetery of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, where he had been a trustee.
Members of the Lefferts family continued to live in the house until 1918, when they donated it to the City. At that time Lefferts Homestead was moved several blocks from its location near Flatbush Avenue and Maple Street to its present location in Prospect Park. Many of the exhibits and activities developed for the museum were based on the diary of ancestor Gertrude Lefferts, whose records provide fascinating insight into the African and Native heritage of the Museum. It is administered by the Prospect Park Alliance in conjunction with the Historic House Trust of New York City, who together preserve this important piece of New York City's past.
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