Jan Dyckman established a farm near the northern tip of Manhattan in the 1660s. After its destruction in the Revolutionary War, William Dyckman, Jan’s grandson, replanted the land and built this Farmhouse around 1784. Constructed mostly of fieldstone and clapboard, it features sloping spring eaves, wide porches, and a simple brick facade facing the street. The small home served three generations of the Dyckman family until 1868. As the character of the neighborhood changed from rural to urban, the old Farmhouse slid into disrepair.
In 1915, Mary Alice Dyckman Dean and Fannie Fredericka Dyckman Welch, daughters of the last Dyckman to grow up in the house, bought the building and worked with their husbands, curator Bashford Dean and architect Alexander McMillan Welch, to restore it. The sisters sought to preserve and exhibit not just a family relic but an entire way of life. They filled the rooms with objects that evoked their vision of New York’s Dutch heritage. In the garden, a fieldstone smokehouse was added and a half-timbered wood hut—originally built in the area by Hessian mercenaries during the Revolutionary War—was reconstructed. When the restoration was completed in 1916, the house and grounds were donated to the City of New York as a museum of early American life. Today, education programs continue the sisters’ goal of preserving the past for future generations.
The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and is a member of the Historic House Trust.