Dutch Colonial Site
What They Are about
Visitors to Bronck Museum participate in guided tours of National Historic Landmark structures that reflect over three hundred and fifty years of architectural history. Pieter Bronck's single room stone house, built 1663, is believed to be the oldest surviving house north of the metropolitan area. This simple sturdy one room stone structure is an excellent example of the utilitarian dwellings favored by many of the first Northern Europeans to settle the valley. The house built in 1738 by Leendert Bronck possesses the rawboned elegance that distinguishes classic Dutch Colonial houses. This spacious three story home is graced with patterned brickwork, a steeply sloping roof, and parapet gables. Both structures and the diminutive Kitchen Dependency are filled with eighteenth and nineteenth century family furniture, regional art, textiles, and household furnishings.
The barns at Bronck Museum reflect 276 years of changing agricultural practice. In the early years when wheat was the farm's primary cash crop, the family built a New World Dutch barn with a broad thrashing floor and massive grain storage space. By the 1830's a switch to dairy farming combined with interest in new "scientific farming" methods prompted the Bronck family to build an innovative thirteen-sided hay barn. Both of these unique have survived and now provide exhibit space for a varied collection of agricultural equipment and horse drawn vehicles. The farm's refurbished nineteenth century horse barn houses Greene County exhibits, including a large model of the famous Catskill Mountain House.
The 13-sided barn was built in the 1830's is the oldest, documented, multisided barn in New York. The weight of the roof of this unusual structure rests solidly on its thirteen sides. The only interior framing, apart from the side walls, is a single center pole.