Headquartered in the Historic Kingsland Homestead, the Queens Historical Society explores the history of the borough from its aboriginal roots up to the present day. It offers a lively exhibition program, slide presentations, house- and walking-tours and a lecture series. The society maintains a library and archive of primary and secondary source materials such as maps, atlases, manuscripts, photographs, documents, family papers and ephemera covering every aspect of the borough’s history. The archive is accessible by appointment.
Kingsland Homestead (circa 1785), a two-and-a-half-story farmhouse typical of its time but rare today, stands in historic Weeping Beech Park, just two blocks from downtown Flushing. As the home of the Queens Historical Society, it features exhibitions that explore historical aspects of New York City's largest borough as well as tours and displays that reveal the history of the house and the lives of its people.
The society also collaborates with local preservation groups and historical societies. In 1980, for example, the society took temporarily control of the troubled Poppenhusen Institute and put it on the road to recovery. It played a similar role with Latimer House, helping to bring about the relocation and stabilization of that historic house. In 1990 the society assisted the New York City Landmarks Commission in saving the landmarked Cornell Cemetery in Far Rockaway. The society’s Queensmark program honors those structures and sites that deserve special recognition due to outstanding architectural, cultural or historical significance.
The society was established in 1968 at a meeting held at the First Unitarian Church, Ash Avenue, Flushing. That same year Kingsland Homestead (1785) was moved from its original site in Murray Hill, Manhattan, to Weeping Beech Park, Queens, near the Bowne House. After a long restoration, the gambrel-roofed structure, former home of the family for whom Murray Hill was named, was opened to the public in 1973. It has been the permanent home of the society ever since.
The museum offers a permanent Victorian room display of a period parlor circa 1870 and a permanent exhibition on the history and families of Kingsland Homestead. Special programs, such as the Historic Holiday House Tour of local historic houses, and annual exhibits highlighting local history.
Exhibits: $5 adults, $3 seniors and students
The society offers a school program for grades K-12 that focus on the history of Kingsland Homestead and the lives of the people who lived there over the course of the last 215 years. Pre-and post-visit materials, worksheets and a culminating art activitiy are included. Programs meets NYC and NYS learning standards.
Also available are a Queens Community history slide programs for schools, and a supplementary textbook and a classroom teaching kit on the Underground Railroad and the anti-slavery movement in New York State.
Contact the Education Department at (718) 939-0647 ext 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org