Two weeks ago, I ended up strolling along Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn and crossed from one neighborhood to another. From Boerum Hill, I walked south and made my way into Park Slope and my tired feet stopped at 9th Street to catch the train home. When I got home that evening to see how far I walked, I saw “Old Stone House” pop up on the map right next to my route. Curious, I returned to the area this past Sunday to learn more.
The Vechte-Cortelyou House really is an old stone house located right in the middle of a park, sandwiched between ball fields, playgrounds and a school. It’s a very unlikely place to situate a museum but apparently, it’s right near the original location of the building. (The original house was demolished in 1897 and rebuilt years later, in 1933.) The house itself is a lovely little building, surrounded by a front garden with other educational gardens nearby. There is a suggested donation of $3 to visit the museum and once inside, there is one exhibit located in the main room on the ground floor (the second floor was off-limits due to some sort of event and the side wing has public restrooms installed for the surrounding park). The sole exhibit is all about the Battle of Brooklyn during the Revolutionary War, with posters along the walls describing the battle and there are glass cases filled with objects that date from that time. Right in the middle of the room is a diorama of the original house during the Battle, which resulted in the British defeating General Washington and his troops.
It’s amazing where one can still find pieces of old New York these days. There aren’t that many of these old buildings left and the few that remain have also been turned into museums and educational centers, which benefits everyone interested in a bit of history.