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News, events, and updates from the Wyckoff House Museum
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Wyckoff Seasonal Newsletter

Celebrate the Harvest at Breukelen Country Fair!

Don't miss the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum's day-long extravaganza of crafting, creating and hands-on fun celebrating Breukelen’s agricultural roots! Families & Friends—learn from the past and present how Breukelen grows! And it's free!

Next Saturday Saturday, September 26, 1-5pm

Upcoming Events

4th Annual Breukelen Country Fair

Saturday Sep 26
FREE ADMISSION
1 - 5 p.m
 

Open House NY

Sunday Oct 28
Cellar-to-attic tours
FREE
Tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 1 p.m.


October Family Day

Saturday Oct 24
Free open house for families
11 a.m - 3 p.m.
 

November Family Day

Saturday Nov 21
Free open house for families
11 a.m - 3 p.m.
 

St. Nicholas Day

Saturday Dec 5
$5/ adults, $3 children, members free
12 a.m - 4 p.m.

*Most paid events are free for active member
Inside this issue:

A Message from the Director

Dear Cousins & Friends,

Fall is our favorite time of year at the farmhouse. And also our busiest. We reap the harvest from our summer crops, get together to celebrate our heritage, and prepare for winter. 

This summer was one of our most productive. Quite literally. Popular homesteading craft- making workshops such as soap making, canning, and weaving, explored traditional forms of production. We initiated monthly open house family days which continue to thrive into the fall, and formed a fruitful partnership with a local senior center.

As part of our participation in the innovative ShatterCABINET think tank (with the 1772 Foundation, Chipstone Foundation, and Historic House Trust) we move forward in growing our programs to effectively engage with our community and audience at large.  Activities such as open house days, local community partnerships, and a growing garden apprentice program expand our presence and impact in our Brooklyn community. First up for fall is our Annual Breukelen Country Fair. Learn more about of growing programs and new initiatives below. 
 
Summer also marks the height of our annual Membership drive and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our members who continue to support and sustain our heritage and innovative programming at the Wyckoff House. We are also thrilled to see new members in the fold. If you haven't done so please make sure to renew your own membership, spread the word and help us grow our family network. 

In the spirit of growing our Wyckoff family network, we are gearing up for this year's nearby reunion in New Jersey on October 17. While plans for a New Orleans weekend gathering have been postponed until 2016, we are excited to explore the Wyckoff legacy at the Wyckoff-Garretson House in Somerset New Jersey. This day long family picnic and visit to another ancestral house is free for all cousins. Check out our Reunion page for more information and make 
sure to RSVP
 

Wishing you a festive fall,
           
Melissa Branfman               
Museum Director                  
 

Reunion 2015


This year's family reunion is fast approaching on Saturday, October 17. Join your Wyckoff cousins in nearby Somerset, NJ for a one day reunion, exploring Wyckoff family history and heritage. We will  gather for a potluck-style family picnic in Colonial Park and visit the Wyckoff Garretson House for a a special tour. 
 
Bring the whole family! Activities for kids will include mini-golf, paddle boating and games. Bring a ball or games to play in the grass. We will have lunch at the picnic grove. The reunion is free to attend and in the spirit of a family gathering, please bring drinks or desserts.
 
If you haven't done so already, don't forget to email Melissa to RSVP: rsvp@wyckoffmuseum.org

Education Update

While summer is quiet on the school group front, we have kept busy with our summer educational offerings. Monthly open-house family days have proven a big success and offer families with younger children an interactive way to explore the house, gardens, and history. The workshop series we had done in past years with Lisa Sikorski of the (faux)h expanded with seven unique (and all popular) offerings. We were excited to see neighbors and visitors from as far as the Bronx partake in workshops like gardening, spinning (pictured right), natural dyeing, and fermentation. 

We continue to partner with local schools including Birch Early Childhood's head start who planted their own garden plot. High school students from local schools helped work in the garden this summer and our new Gardener, Ann Marie has started a formal Garden Apprentice program with high school and college students.

A new partner, The New American Academy Charter School, visited to learn about community stewardship (pictured left). We made seed balls to take home and spread flowers in their own communities. They were so impacted by their visit that the 2nd graders help a fundraiser and raised over $250 which they donated to the Wyckoff House to "help us keep the neighborhood beautiful!" 
 
We say goodbye to our Education Manager, Chris who is moving on to begin student teaching. An enormous asset to our education team this past year, we wish him the best, and we are happy that he will continue to consult with us. We are thrilled to welcome Alyx as our new Education Manager. Having gone through the NYC public school system herself, and with experience at the Brooklyn Museum, she is already showing her strengths as she begins booking our school groups for the upcoming year. We look forward to the 300 school children visiting the house and running through the gardens each week. But until school groups begin in October, we are enjoying a few weeks of tranquility and quiet on the homestead.

M
eet Alyx
Alyxandra "Alyx" Maglio is the new Education Manager.
 
I'm so excited to join the Wyckoff House Museum team as the Education Manager after taking time away to continue my own educational pursuits. About me: I'm a deeply invested educator and cultural explorer with a boundless appreciation and respect for museum spaces as tools for student engagement. I studied Art History at Sarah Lawrence College and completed my Master's in Museum Education this past January at NYU.

I grew up in this community, I'm a lifelong New Yorker in a long line of lifelong New Yorkers. I've practically lived in the museums and historic houses of this city my entire life and have worked as a Museum Apprentice at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and with multiple institutions that dot Eastern Parkway as a part of the Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program. I'm looking forward to my time with the Wyckoff House Museum with enthusiasm and excitement for the school year!

Summer Fun

Family Days and Summer Workshops

Teen volunteers pose for a photo in front of the house
A dance performance at the fair
Educators and volunteers led colonial games for children
This summer was busy with both new and old activities. Families brought their kids for Farmhouse Family Days- a new monthly program for families to learn about the farmhouse through hands-on exploration and activities. With hands-on activities, kids have helped collect seeds in the garden, try on dutch clogs, and make herbal sachets. Check out the schedule for upcoming family days. 

Adults and Teens explored the farmhouse at seven creative workshops exploring homesteading skills. This series grew out of past summer workshops with the (faux)h. This summer participants tried out new crafts and skills including gardening, spinning, soap making, herbal medicinals, and fermentation. With such positive feedback and expressed interest, we hope to grow this workshop for 2016. 

Members Corner

Treasure's in the Basement?

By Barbara L. Wyckoff, WH&A Secretary

Forty years ago I bought these chairs from my mother for $250 each, half of what she said they were worth.They were family heirlooms, something my mother, then aging and not in good health, wanted to sell. I felt they should stay in the family. They were part of a set that included an armchair, but the armchair was in bad condition. The story: The cushion embroidery was (supposedly) done by my grandmother, Leslie Hervey Wyckoff. Leslie, who died in 1973 at the age of 93, was the wife of William W. Wyckoff, one of the founders of WH&A. Leslie was well known as the pianist who led the singing of the “Kremser” at annual reunions, often held at that time in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. She was a talented seamstress, and I have many quilts and afghans to attest to her skill. 

No one is still living who could verify whether Leslie did do the embroidery or not. Still, they are lovely chairs, but have been sorely neglected (before and after I bought them). They are, I think, mahogany, with an oak-leaf pattern on the top of the back. I guess they would be called side chairs. 

Does anyone recognize the style of the chairs? Know their value? Know a good antiques’ restorer in the Washington, DC, area? Both woodwork and fabric need cleaning and restoring. I would like to figure out if it is worth doing. Please let me know via reply to the newsletter if you can help. Thanks!

Community Partnerships

The Wyckoff Museum continues to build and grow partnerships within our community. Learn about partnerships with local senior and teen groups.
Seniors on the Scene
On June 24th several members of the Midwood Active Adults Center met at the Wyckoff House to present a program based on their experiences from childhood, primarily in various Caribbean Islands, and how they directly related to their May 1st tour of the Wyckoff House.  The tour had raised surprising memories of familiar things for all of them, and they were fascinated by how much the 17th century Dutch farm life resembled their own early experiences.  


Some spoke at length about the hearth and their grandmother’s cooking in similar ways with similar utensils; one woman spoke about the laundry and housekeeping; still others reminisced about sleeping on straw pallets on the floor and the morning washing up in a bucket of water from the nearby stream. All of them were deeply struck by how precious it was to have our House in their midst as a potent reminder of a culture not as far in the past as we might imagine.




A volunteer from East Flatbush Village plants flowers out front
Teens in the Garden
This summer teen volunteers from local school Kurt Hahn at Tilden joined Ann Marie in the garden each week. They worked rain and shine to help grow the garden. They loved learning how to harvest crops. Here they are installing a cucumber trellis with Ann Marie. We look forward to a continued partnership through the school year.

A Garden Grows Again
by Ann Marie

Meet Ann Marie

Ann Marie Rubin is the new Garden and Community Coordinator. See her at working in the garden, above. 

I am a native Virginian who has been gardening and farming from a young age, including farming for a season at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture and membership in several community gardens around Brooklyn. I count Wendy Johnson of Green Gulch and Tassajara gardens in Northern California among my greatest influences and is thrilled for the opportunity to cultivate the Wyckoff farm and gardens. When I'm not at Wyckoff, I work for Greenhorns, a national young farmer activist collective based in upstate New York.  
The Wyckoff Garden is growing summer vegetables, flowers, and herbs, with the help of 25 teens from Kurt Hahn High School and Millennium Development and local residents and families who volunteer weekly, leaving with fresh produce and flowers. We are also thrilled to launch a new garden apprenticeship program. Three college apprentices join us this fall semester to assist in stewardship of the Wyckoff Farm and park on a part-time basis. By winter, the garden will have a blog with professional landscape and plant photography by one of our apprentices, Yayi, and descriptions of our plants and medicinal herbs by Ann Marie . 

Going Native

Caretaker Dan plants a native plant garden

Dan picking up the seedlings above.

Our  plants are thriving and reach as tall as 6 feet!
Tired of pesky weeds in a often neglected garden patch, caretaker Dan decided to take action. In April Dan reached out to the Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Statan Island (a division of Parks). They generously donated over 500 native plant plugs, which would prove more resilient and push out weeds. Not to mention that they attract beneficial pollinators and improve the soil!

Dan spent days clearing the 600 square foot plots and planted over 500 plugs. While only tiny seedling in April, we are thrilled to see our native plant garen flourish. Only 4 months later many of the plants reach up to 6 feet tall. This low maintenance native plant garden will continue to thrive for years to come.
Monarch butterfly on a pink flower
Sunflowers in bloom. One of the many crops adorning the Wyckoff house this season. Check them out at the harvest fest on September 26.
Wyckoff Store

Back by Popular Demand: Shop Items!

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Wooden Model House

Back in stock!  Stand-up wooden replica of the Wyckoff House stands at 7.25" across and 3.25" high. Fits perfectly on a desk or windowsill. . $22 each

Buy Online
Delft Tile Coaster Set
Image of holiday hearth cards
These beautiful stone coasters are replicas of the 18th century manganese Delft tiles in the Wyckoff House. $18 for a set of four

Buy Online
For mugs, baseball caps,totes, and many more items, visit our online store!
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