The Dyckman farmhouse lays claim to the title of the oldest farmhouse in Manhattan. But there is more than just superlative-caching to justify a trip up to 204th street (for reference, Manhattan ends at 220th street). The house was rebuilt by the Dyckman family after (presumably) Hessian soldiers burned their existing property during the revolution. It is a precious example of 18th-century rural architecture in New York City and a window into the long-forgotten origins of the country's busiest metropolis.
They were the first apartments in the city. Hessian soldiers were moving in and out, going off to fight battles, sharing small spaces.
What You Will See
The farmhouse itself is a draw. But careful collectors, let by Reginald Pelham Bolton, gathered together relics from northern Manhattan's rural past, many of which on also on display in the museum. The farmhouse is the history not just of the farmhouse itself, but also of the history of efforts to preserve pieces of Manhattan's ever-changing landscape. But even if rural history does not interest you, the location is spectacular and the perfect reason to visit this corner of the world's greatest island.
Why You Should Go
Manhattan is full of history. But for an island continuously occupied by Europeans for over 400 years, only a handful of buildings remain which predate the Civil War. Fraunces Tavern and St. Paul's Chapel are both older the Dyckman, but only the Morris-Jumel Mansion predates this charming farmhouse in terms of private residences. Head back to the past with just a long trip up the A-train.