Pieter Claesen Wyckoff
Fidler Wyckoff Park
Clarendon Road & Ralph Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11203
Once a stone's throw from salt marshes and clam beds, the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House Museum is probably the oldest home in New York City. The house, built around 1652, became the City's first landmark in 1965.
The life of Pieter Claesen Wyckoff is an American success story. In 1637, he arrived in America, an illiterate indentured servant. He eventually became a magistrate, successful farmer and the wealthiest citizen of New Amersfoot, which later became the town of Flatlands. The father of 11 children, Wyckoff settled a tract of land once inhabited by the Canarsie Indians. Wyckoff's descendants lived in the house until 1901. The Wyckoff House Foundation bought back the house in 1961 and donated it to the City in 1969. Saved from ruin, it was extensively restored in 1982.
The home's furnishings reflect its Dutch heritage. On display are a large wooden kas, or cupboard, a spinning wheel, old cooking tools and original mauve and white ceramic fireplace titles imported from Holland in the late 1600s.
Artifacts include a document affirming Wyckoff's allegiance to the King of England, a 17th-century pistol and a hand-sewn initialed stocking worn in the 19th century by Cornelius Waldron Wyckoff. In the surrounding one-and-a-half acre park, daffodils and tulips bloom in the spring, and a kitchen garden grows herbs and medicines used in colonial times. Seasonal public events highlight Dutch colonial farm life in early Brooklyn.