The Old Stone House is a historical structure in Brooklyn, New York. Located in Washington Park, it was the site of the largest battle in the American Revolutionary War. In addition, it is one of the oldest continuously operating County buildings. It is owned and operated by the Cattaraugus County Museum and Research Library, which specializes in the history of the county.
The Stone House is located on Route 16, near Lime Lake. The property is open to the public. It features a green house, a large workshop shed, and award-winning gardens. It is also handicapped-accessible. There is a full program of school visits and events.
Visitors can also explore the property’s history, including the history of the farm, the history of the community, and the historical significance of the Battle of Brooklyn. These exhibits are curated by the First Battle Revival Alliance, a non-profit organization that was created in 1970.
Today, the Old Stone House is a not-for-profit corporation that provides a variety of activities and programs. A major draw is the Piper Theatre, which offers performances, workshops, and seminars. Additionally, the Old Stone House is part of the Historic House Trust of New York City. This nonprofit focuses on increasing awareness of the House as a national icon of American history.
In addition to its historic role, the Stone House was a center for socioeconomic communal enterprise in the nineteenth century. Residents provided farm labor, but they were also a source of dairy products, meat products, and even “idiots.” As a result, the Stone House was a shining example of rural self-reliance. Unlike many historic houses, which raise barriers between visitors and exhibits, the Stone House is fully functional.
When the British invaded Washington in 1814, the Stone House remained intact. At that time, the stone house was 99 years old. Fortunately, the former County Legislatures deemed it worthy of preservation, and it was spared from demolition. Even today, the building is fully functional and maintained by the current Legislature.
During the American Revolutionary War, the Stone House served as a home for Nicholas Vechte, who was still living there when the Battle of Brooklyn took place. Several months after the war ended, Nicholas’s son, Jacques, bought the house. His daughter, Isabella, married Orvis Hotchkiss, a steam mill and tannery owner. Upon his death, Jacques’s wife, Isabella, continued to farm a portion of the land.
When the Old Stone House became threatened for demolition, furrier Stephen Babin offered it to local historian Margaret Manor Butler at no cost. She then negotiated with the city of Lakewood, where the house is now located, to relocate it. After the move was complete, the house was restored.
Located in a scenic part of Brooklyn, the Old Stone House is a kid-friendly historic site. Besides being a historic structure, the house is also a clubhouse for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Throughout the seasons, the house serves as a location for concerts, reenactments, and performances.