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Guide to historic homes adds three Queens sites

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Three Queens sites have been included in a new guidebook to historic homes in the city.

“The Children’s Guide to Historic Houses in New York City Parks” by Sara Beth Hobel profiles 19 historic houses located on park property throughout the city. Included in the book are the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park, King Manor Museum in Jamaica, and Kingsland Homestead in Flushing.

The 87-page guide, to be distributed free by the city Department of Parks and Recreation to school libraries and fourth-grade teachers, will also be sold at each historic house profiled. The book tells stories about the founding occupants of each house. Throughout are hand-drawn illustrations and vivid color photographs of the landmark homes and their interiors.

“You are on land that has been a farm since the Dutch first settled here over 300 years ago,” begins the chapter on the Queens County Farm Museum.

It goes on to describe how Jacob Adriance and Catherine Hooglandt Adriance, Dutch settlers, built the house in 1772.

King Manor is described as having belonged to one of the most distinguished Americans in the nation’s early history. Rufus King, who served as a major in the Patriot army in the Revolutionary War, later helped forge the U.S. Constitution. The home’s spacious dining room and staircase are described as well as the large front lawn.

Kingsland Homestead, Hobel writes, was the home of Quakers Charles and Susan Doughty. It became the center of Quaker worship in the 1600s, when the religion was barely tolerated in America.

In the “Look Outside” section of the chapter, one assignment is to look for a weeping beech tree. Sadly, only a large stump remains of the first and oldest weeping beech planted at the homestead in Flushing But the once-massive tree, originally from Belgium, spawned several saplings, which can be found growing nearby.

Each chapter lists people who were likely to have lived in the homes in the 18th or 19th century. For the Queens County Farm Museum, the list includes “Jane, slave, adult,” and “Jimm, slave, child.”

For more information on historic houses or The Children’s Guide, call the Historic House Trust at 212-360-8282.

Reach reporter Daniel Arimborgo by e-mail at timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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