The neighborhood of Flushing is replete with small museums, historic homes, parks, and gardens. Tucked away off of Parsons Boulevard, a few blocks from Main Street Flushing is the Kingsland Homestead-a restored eighteenth century home that also headquarters the Queens Historical Society. The giant task of researching and preserving the long history of New York's largest borough is undertaken by a small and energetic group of volunteers and researchers. The home itself has been restored to Victorian splendor and hosts occasional special exhibitions and events.
What You Will See
A visit to the historical society is centered around the Kingsland Homestead. Dating to the 1780s, the home survived numerous threats from development and was one of the first structures to receive landmark designation by the city. It now sits in Weeping Beech Park which, until 1998, was home to the first Weeping Beech tree planted in the United States. Direct descendants of the original tree are scattered through the peaceful park. Enjoy both the park and the home, which has been restored decorated to reflect the Victorian lifestyles of its later occupants. Watch the calendar for additional Queens-specific exhibitions.
Why You Should Go
The settlement of Flushing by Europeans occurred only twenty years after Manhattan, making this one of the oldest parts of New York City. Not far from the Kingsland Homestead is the Bowne House, considered the birthplace of religious tolerance and freedom on the continent. Through its long history, together with the surrounding neighborhoods, Queens has hosted both temporary and permanent visitors from across the globe. There is much more history to this borough than can be captured by the small historical society, but this is still the best place to begin your exploration of this vibrant area.