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The Dyckman House

History

Sondra E. Ganelli
(Ganelli@murray.fordham.edu)


The Dyckman House was built by William Dyckman, a grandson of the Westphalian immigrant Jan Dyckman, who settled the area in 1661. It remains unclear as to when the Dyckman House was actually built. ccording to The Encyclopedia of New York it was built around 1785, but another book, The Landmarks of New York, claims it was built around 1783. With these oppositions in mind, one can safely assume the Dyckman House was built somewhere between 1783 and 1785.  

The Dyckman Family settled in the northern end of Manhattan Island in 1661. The family helped to build the Free Bridge- sometimes called Dyckman's Bridge- over the Harlem River in 1758. During the Revolution, the Continental army, in its retreat from Harlem Heights, occupied the original Dyckman farmhouse, and subsequently the British used it during their occupation of Manhattan. When the British withdrew in 1783, they burned the building; the house was rebuilt by William Dyckman. The farm eventually grew to four- hundred acres, making it the largest in Manhattan.  

The house was sold in 1868 but reacquired in 1915, and given to the city. In 1915, when the house was threatened by demolition, Dyckman family descendants purchased and restored the house, filling it with heirlooms. They presented it to the City, which now, in conjunction with the Metropolitan History Structures Association, runs the house as a museum. Unfortunately, when I went to see it, the small farmhouse house was closed, therefore I cannot offer any pictures of the inside of the house. 
Now the House is owned by the City
A Side View


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