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

Inside this issue:


The Wyckoff Family heads to the Big Easy

Pack your bags! We're heading to New Orleans for the October 2016 Wyckoff Family Reunion.  We will have an exciting lineup of tours, family gatherings, and activities available shortly. In the meantime,  you can book your hotel reservations at the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel  for October 14-16, 2016. Learn more about the Reunion!
More about the 2016 Reunion


Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, March 26
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Farmhouse Family Day
Saturday April 16
11 a.m - 3 p.m.

Farmhouse Family Day
Saturday May 21
11 a.m - 3 p.m.

Community Town Hall
and Family Day
Saturday, June 18
11 a.m.

Summer Workshops
Select Saturdays
June through October
Schedule soon

Wyckoff Family Reunion
Friday October 14 - Sunday, October 16, 2016
New Orleans, LA

Family Days are scheduled the third Saturday of the month. Check website for any schedule changes. 
Support Us!

A Message from the Director

Dear Cousins & Friends,

The daffodils don't deceive; spring is here!

While the farmhouse is a spectacular sight draped in a blanket of snow (see photo below), we are grateful that the snow has finally melted away. Whether we are ready or not, the tulips and daffodils are beginning to sprout and bloom, marking the beginning of spring. 

So too, it's time for us to emerge from our winter hibernation with renewed enthusiasm for the spring and summer ahead. At the Wyckoff House, we look forward to many exciting activities on the horizon. Our spring and summer are packed with popular programs and new initiatives. Here's a taste of what we are up to the next couple of months: 
  • Launching our annual Wyckoff membership renewal campaign. Get a head start and Renew Today!
  • Growing our community with a community engagement initiative. Join us for our inaugural Town Hall on June 18th!
  • A packed schedule of activities including school groups, summer camp visits, hands-on workshops, an artist-in-residence, and a Naturalization Ceremony
  • A spring break preservation workshop with HHT and the Willimasburg High School of Architecture & Design to maintain and refresh the farmhouse's exterior
  • October's Wyckoff Family Reunion scheduled in New Orleans
I hope you will continue to support the Wyckoff House as we continue to grow our programs, sharing our collective history with an ever increasing community. 
Happy Springtime,
Melissa Branfman               
Museum Director                  

Raising the Roof and Weaving Wool

by Lucie Chin

Educators, Cody, Alyx, and Araya practice spinning on the spinning wheel

HHT's Roof Raisers teach our staff and educators to carefully care for the museum collection
In January, the museum presented two Professional Development programs for the staff. In the days that followed the big storm, our staff trudged through the snow for a day of hands-on spinning practice. Textile artist and educator, Miranda Knutson, led a workshop on felting and spinning wool and flax. Our staff learned how to spin wool with drop spindles and use the spinning wheel. We practiced felting using traditional techniques like needle felting and wet felting, and less traditional techniques using bubble wrap! Felting is now a popular part of our school programs curriculum. 

A few days later we received a visit from Lisa Andersen, who manages the Roof Raisers program for the Historic House Trust. Roof Raisers trains staff and volunteers in the archival maintenance of collection items and in the proper methods of house cleaning in an historic structure. It was a great opportunity to brush up on collections care skills and become reacquainted with best practices and collections standards. Our staff is eager to help preserve our precious old house.

Education Update

by Alyxandra Maglio
We're half way through school year and still going strong. Every day new children join us to churn butter, write with quill pens, and felt with wool! As the weather warms up, more and more schools filter in to enjoy our varied program offerings. We are well on track to see even more students than last year!

This school year we have expanded our offerings, adding content as well as new activities with the help of our wonderful educators. Araya, Bryan, Cody, Danielle, Janise, and Patty are leaving lasting impressions on our students, our community, and our programming.  
This is a season for renewal. We give gifts and thanks to our friends and family as symbols of our deep gratitude. This season, the education department would love to give thanks for the gift of our community, the members who support us, and our students who brighten our days and remind us exactly why history is worth preserving. We'll see everyone in the summer!

Meet Danielle

As a life-long New Yorker, Danielle realized a passion for history and education at an early age. She holds a BA and is working on completing her MA from CUNY Queens College, focusing on how the public interacts with historical sites in everyday life. Danielle has been working with historic house museums for the past seven years and has experience working in every aspect of a small museum; including exhibition development, curatorial management, education, and public programming. She greatly enjoys bringing history to life in meaningful ways through tours and educational programs for both student and adult audiences. 

Winter Fun for Families

Family Days continue to be popular throughout the colder months

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
Monthly Farmhouse Family Days welcome dozens of families each month to learn about the farmhouse and history through play, exploration, hands-on learning and craft projects.
Artist and Educator Cody Rae designs seasonal craft activities such as leaf rubbings, weaving, or planting. In celebration of Women's History Month this March, families will learn about the importance of women's work in a colonial household. Come join us with your own family (of all ages and abilities) on the third Saturday of every month. Learn more here

Member's Corner

Meet M. William Wyckoff

M. William Wykoff, Ph.D., was born in Corry, Pa., raised on a family farm, attended Penn State University on the G.I. Bill, studied at the Free University of Berlin, and was awarded a fellowship to study anthropological linguistics at Cornell University in the 1960s. He taught linguistics, physical and cultural anthropology among several other subjects at Oberlin College in the 1970s and returned to Cornell in the 1980s to become a research associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology until retirement in the 1990s. 

The subjects of his research interests, museum and NSF grants, publications, and lecture topics included Iroquoian prehistory, ethnobotany, biogeography, paleoclimatology, primatology, Peircian semiotics, and the evolution of brain, music, and language. He conducted field research at Six Nations, Ontario and in Yunnan, China.  Now an octogenarian, he is busier than ever attempting to complete several unpublished articles and a few book manuscripts on his research topics.


What's in a Name: History and Meaning of Wyckoff

by M. William Wyckoff

Dr. Wyckoff's research explores the origin of the Wyckoff surname in this very affordable treatise. An indispensable resource for all Wyckoff genealogists, Dr. Wyckoff proves our ancestor Pieter Wyckoff's Frisian heritage. 

Puchase on Amazon
CALLING ALL MEMBERS! Submit you stories, family recipes, news, or old photos to share with cousins and members in our next newsletter. Email Melissa at

Meet Joan

Joan Bakiriddin joined the Wyckoff House & Association board in 2015
Joan is a mother, wife, sister and daughter. She is a Business System Training Manager at the Dutch publishing company Elsevier In. She is the Executive Director at East Flatbush Village, Secretary of the Schenectady Avenue Block Association, on the Steering Committee of Participatory Budgeting of, a vetted member of the Civilian Observation Patrol of East Flatbush, Civilian Police graduate, a mentor with and on the Advisory Board of Meyer Levin Junior High School. 

How did you become involved with the Wyckoff House?
While I have been familiar with the Wyckoff House, I have engaged with the House for many events as a volunteer with Councilman Jumaane D. Williams and East Flatbush Village Inc.

As an East Flatbush neighbor, what makes this community special?
East Flatbush has so much to offer. We have the best of Brooklyn! The best neighbors, restaurants, schools, seniors, volunteers, commerce and community spaces.

How do you hope to see the Wyckoff House connect and engage within the community? 
I hope that the Wyckoff House will use its History to positively inform our present and demonstrate to our youth, and community in general, that we can move beyond a potential negative to become a valuable part of a rich diaspora.

Why are you excited to be a part of the Wyckoff House Board?
I am excited to be a part of the Wyckoff Board because I believe in being a part of the change that I would like to see. The Wyckoff House has evolved into a community space which encourages partnerships between the past, present and future and is having a positive impact on its surrounding area. I am happy to assist with making sure that this goal is fully realized.

Garden Update
by Farmer Ann Marie

This fall and winter, the Wyckoff garden has been growing heirloom garlic and cover crops including winter wheat, winter rye, and dutch clover. Cover crops are miraculous plants, many of which you can eat, all of which offer great benefit to the soil including "mulch-like" protection over the winter. We will let these crops grow through the spring; then cut them down and turn them into the soil in time for summer planting. 

Wheat and rye were also some crops that would have been grown on the Wyckoff farm.  Also growing though the winter: Garlic! We planted 5 varieties that we will harvest in June, then tie into bundles and hang them in the house to cure. We hope to share our harvest at the Country fair this September.

Featured Crops

Austrian Winter Peas: very easy to grow and edible (pea tendrils!), the plant also takes nitrogen out of the air and adds it into the soil (aka nitrogen-fixing). Plants like tomatoes need soil rich in Nitrogen. The winter peas are edible but not very tasty. 

Hairy Vetch is beloved by bees for its purple flowers and is also a nitrogen-fixer. 

Rye and Vetch cover crops withstand the snowy winter.

Wyckoff Store

Shop Items

Wyckoff Mug in Green or Plum
Ceramic stoneware 16 oz. two-toned speckled bistro mug in plum red or green. Features Wyckoff House Museum logo in white. $10 each

Buy Green Mug Online
Buy Red Mug Online
Wyckoff Farmhouse Puzzle

This 100 piece puzzle features color photo of Wyckoff House in spring with tulips. Puzzle measures 8.25" x 11.75" and comes in decorative tin (8" x 6"). $15

Buy Online
Wooden Model House
Wooden House Image
This stand-up wooden replica of the Wyckoff House Museum makes the perfect stocking stuffer and souvenir of New York's Oldest structure and the city's first landmark. At 7.25" across by 3.25" high your handheld Wyckoff House will fit perfectly on a desk, windowsill or mantle. $22

Buy Online
Image of holiday hearth cards
New Apparel

Screen printed Gildan Ultra Cotton T-shirt in a variety of colors. 6.1 oz 100% pre-shrunk cotton.  Adult sizes S-XL, Youth sizes S-XL. $15-20
Buy Online
New! Wyckoff Totes

Natural 100% cotton canvas tote bags with printed Wyckoff Farmhouse logo. Perfect for shopping or carrying personal items. $8
Buy Online
Image of holiday hearth cards
Wyckoff Caps

100% brushed cotton twill low profile baseball cap embroidered with line drawing of Wyckoff House. Adjustable slide buckle closure in back. Available in three attractive color options. $20
Buy Online
For more shop items, visit our online store!
Donate Online
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