Dutch houses in NYC: Old Stone House - Vechte-Cortelyou House
Brooklyn Travel Blog› entry 768 of 1090 › view all entries
Presidents' Day! So, I had a day off. And against the earlier forecast it turned out beautiful sunny weather. Too late to head out, but why not stay inside the city?
In November I got a nice gift from Willem, a book about Dutch New York, a book that lists remaining structures from the Dutch period of New York City and State. I have visited several of these sites, like the Lefferts Homestead in Brooklyn, the Dyckman House in Manhattan and recently the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff Farmhouse in Brooklyn.
Stone House was built in 1699 by the Dutch immigrant Claes Arentson Vechte. At that time the area was just fields and the now nearby highly polluted Gowanus Canal was just the oyster-rich Gowanus Creek. The harvests of farming and fishing were shipped via the Gowanus Bay to Manhattan. During the independence war in 1776, the house was a prominent point in the battle between the Americans and the English. The house ended up sold to Jacques Cortelyou, another immigrant from The Netherlands, (like me from the city of Utrecht).
By the end of the 1800s the house was sold again and housed a person (caretaker) for the last time. Then it served as a club house for a professional baseball team, the predecessors of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1897, finally, the glory of the 198-year-old house came to an end when it was burnt, razed, and later buried during grading work of the nearby 4th Avenue.
While I was sitting in front of the house imagining what the house could tell if it could speak. I all of a sudden heard Dutch. A young Dutch couple was playing in the park, with their kid. The house apparently keeps attracting the Dutch...