The museum hosts several kermis, or Dutch festivals, throughout the year, including a Harvest Festival in October and a celebration of St. Nicholas Day in December. In mid-November, the museum will help celebrate Five Dutch Days in Five Boroughs with tavern nights that feature live Dutch music, and traditional games and entertainment, as well as refreshments from Colonial times.
Originally the farmstead was over 200 acres, and a land grant from Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch colonizer of New Amsterdam, or modern-day New York City. By the mid-1600s, a small house was built on the site and occupied by Hendrick Barents Smidt, a college-educated farmer, and his family. They farmed the land until the early 1700s, when Paulus Vander Ende of Flatbush bought the farm and started construction of the current house.
Vander Ende subsequently sold the home to Moses Bedel and his son, who owned the land at the time of the American Revolution. Both father and son served with George Washington’s armies, but only the son returned from the war. The younger Bedel sold the property to the De Bevoise family after the Revolution. By the 1820s, a small frame addition to the stone house was built by then owner Adrian Onderdonk immediately above the foundation remnants of the 1660 building. The Onderdonks owned the property, which now is reduced to one-and-half acres, through about 1905. “This land was ravaged during the 20th century,” the museum curator notes. Until the 1960s, the block of Flushing Avenue between Cypress and Onderdonk was “almost frozen in time” with three other Colonial period homes still standing and in fair condition, he adds. Through the early 20th century, the historic house served as home to a scrap glass works, a speakeasy, and a manufacturer of precision rocket parts for the Apollo space program. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and to the New York State Register of Historic Places in 1978. In 1996, the house attained New York City landmark status. The house and grounds will celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2009.InfoWhere:
1820 Flushing AvenueWhen:
Saturdays, 1-5 pm How much:
$3 suggested donation
For more info: http://onderdonkhouse.org/default.aspx
; (718) 456-1776