Queens Historical Tid-Bits Part I

1. Paynter House (Skillman Avenue, corner Jackson), probably on the site of the house of Burger Jorissen, blacksmith, of New Amsterdam, who had a grant here in 1643. Here he built the Paynter House, burned, Jan. 1, 1913.

2. Site of John Hallett's Farmhouse, southeast corner Grand and Steinway Avenues, The large farm, patented in 1654 to Wm. Hallett, lay northeast of this point. In the Revolution it belonged to Wm. Lawrence, a strong patriot. Here Maj.-Gen, Robertson took up quarters on August 30, 1776, and encamped 10,000 British soldiers north of the house. Two weeks later he withdrew, crossing to Westchester, and Gen, DeHeister's Hessians succeeded them. Many balls from the American battery at Hoorn's Hook fell on the heights back of the house.

3. Moore House, well preserved, one of the oldest buildings in New York, standing on what was once a parcel of 50 acres of woodland reserved by the West India Company, possibly for ship timber. After 1664 it was patented to Wm, Hallett, who had already bought up the Indian title. In 1684 he sold it to Captain Samuel Moore, son of the Rev, John Moore who built this house for himself and his son Joseph in 1690-95. In 1769 it was sold to Jeromus Remsen. Here in 1757 several French prisoners of war were lodged on parole, and it is said that they spent much time hunting near by. About 1776 it was occupied by the militia officer, Colonel Jeromus Remsen, who had to take refuge in New Jersey during the British occupation.

4. Rapalye House (dating before 1750), probably on the site of the original homestead, and standing in front of the old family burying-ground. Here Harck Siboutsen of New Amsterdam settled about 1650, receiving his ground brief in 1654. In 1729 his son Jacobus willed it to Abraham Lent, his nephew. Dr. Riker, a family connection, took refuge here from the British after the battle of Long Island. About 1800 the house came into the possession of Isaac Rapalye, who held it nearly half a century.

5. The Poor Bowery (North Beach), historically one of the most interesting portions of Long Island, was settled by Hendrick Harmensen in 1638. when he brought cattle here from New Amsterdam. Hendrick, the Boor (farmer) in the Doughty patent of 1642. He was killed by Indians in 1643 and his widow succeeded to the Bowery and married Jeuriaen Fradell of New Amsterdam in 1645, who the same year obtained a ground brief for the farm from Kieft. It contained 154 acres, besides the Houwclicken (Dowry Island, later Luysters) of Bowery Bay, separated by a salt water creek. The deacons of the Dutch Church bought the farm before 1654, to establish maintenance for their poor, hence it was called *' Armen " or " Poor Bowery." About 1688, they sold it to Pieter Cornelissen Timmermann (also called Luyster), the first of that family here. It remained until lately in the possession of the (Touwenhovens (descendants of the last named owner).

6. Bowery Bay- Jackson's Mill Pond, now nearly dry, the mill (near the bridge) being operated first by Warner Wessells, and destroyed by the Indians in 1655. It was re-established by Pieter Cornelissen Luyster, before 1670. It was later known as Kip's and Fish's Mill.

7. Bowery Bay- Farmhouse of Abraham and John I. Rapalye (18th century), just across the bridge on the right, on that part of the 13,000-acre tract patented by Rev. Francis Doughty (1642), reserved for his own use. It came to the Stevenson family and (about 1700) to Jesse Kip, their connection by marriage. The present house was probably built by Captain Thos. Hazard, to whom the farm belonged, shortly after 1724.

8. Hallett House (18th century), near northeast corner Main Street and Shore Boulevard, on or near the site of the ancient stone homestead of Wm. Hallett, original patentee of 1500 acres here. The shore portion had been granted before 1638 to Jacques Bentyn of Van Twiller's Council, who is supposed to have built a house here destroyed by the Indians in 1643. In 1654 it was granted by Stuyvesant to Hallett, whose house was also destroyed by Indians in 1655, and rebuilt on the same spot about 1670, where it remained until supplanted by the present house, about a century later.

9. Reformed Dutch Church of Hallett's Cove, near Remsen Street, cornerstone laid in 1836.

10. Maspeth and Laurel Hill: DeWitt Clinton House, (diagonally opposite) built about 1725 by Joseph Sackett, Judge of Common Pleas. Riker claims that it was afterward the residence of Walter Franklin, an opulent New York merchant, till his death in 1780, and after him of Colonel Corsa, of French and Indian War fame. DeWitt Clinton married a daughter of Franklin, a niece of Corsa.

11. Maspeth and Laurel Hill: The Town Dock stood just west, under the L. I. R. R. tracks, on a
salt-water inlet nearly silted up at present. Here farmers brought their produce to be loaded on shallow market boats for New York. It was laid out by the commissioners in September, 1722, and used until the Revolution, when it became a landing place for British supplies, General Warren having headquarters in the Clinton House. In 1792 the Town voted to rebuild the dock at public
expense and to erect a store house here, dock masters being elected annually. After the establishment of steam ferries it gradually fell into disuse and was finally abandoned in 1865, rapidly going to decay.

12. Maspeth: Underbill Covert Farmhouse, with several old barns, dating back to the early 18th Century. John Denman first located here about 1662. One barn is said to be the original homestead.

13. Maspeth: The Newtown and Bushwick Turnpike (Shell Road) was opened about 1840.

14. The Wyckoff Farmhouse, just south, on the site of the house of Hendrick Barentsen Smit, one of the first settlers. After a boundary struggle of over 100 years between the towns of Bushwick and Newtown, his farm was finally adjudged to be in Newtown, and on January 10, 1769, the line was fixed at Arbitration Rock, on the edge of the nearby swamp.

15. Jackson Avenue was laid out about 1860 as a toll road to Flushing.


Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Queens Historical Tid-Bits Part I
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Historical Guide to the City of New York; Anonymous, New York., F.A. Stokes Co, 1913.
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