The Dyckman farmhouse is Manhattan's last surviving colonial farmhouse, though the second built on this site. In 1661 Jan Dyckman arrived from Westphalia, Germany, and purchased several acres in remote northern Manhattan. He and his descendants expanded their landholdings until the estate, at some 450 acres, became one of the largest in the borough's history.
During the American Revolution the original house became the northernmost redoubt (in what is today New York City) for the British troops, who ultimately burned it to the ground. Dyckman's grandson, William, constructed the present house in 1784 in Dutch-American style with a gambrel roof and double doors. It contains English and early American furnishings, a Bible and cradle that are Dyckman family heirlooms, relics from the American Revolution (pottery fragments, flintlocks and kitchen utensils) and a replica of a British military hut near its original site in the now half-acre garden.
The garden includes a small reproduction smokehouse built as part of the 1916 restoration as well as the military hut. In the early 1900s, Reginald Pelham Bolton, a historian and amateur archaeologist, uncovered the remains of more than sixty huts used as shelter by British and Hessian soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Bolton documented his discovery and then in 1916 he excavated a chimney, walls and floor and reconstructed them as a full hut within the park of the Dyckman Farmhouse. The hut has become affectionately known as the Hessian Hut.
The house remained in the family until the late 1800s. In 1916 it was reclaimed by several Dyckman descendants and donated to the city. Annual events include the spring chamber music concert, the Inwood Arts Festival and the Folk Arts Festival.
Programs for Seniors
Upon request, the farmhouse museum occasionally offers senior centers presentations on the history of the site.
Families are invited to visit the Dyckman Farmhouse during regular hours, as well as attend annual events such as the Spring Chamber Music Concert, the Inwood Arts Festival and the Folk Arts Festival.
The Dyckman Farmhouse offers age-appropriate tours of the house and grounds focusing on early American history and life on a 18th-century farm. Tour options include Life on the Farm (grades K-12), Slavery and Servitude (grades 6-12) and the Washington Heights/Inwood Neighborhood Tour (grades 4-12). Craft activities such as butter churning and apple pressing are also offered (grades 1-8).
The elementary school guided tour program has frequently been adapted to serve learning or developmentally disabled students.