Wyckoff House Museum: The Rural Past in Modern New York

Priyanka Chaterjee, Mena Hasaballa, Vivien Lin, Ziyad Razeq (Section 03)

The Wyckoff Museum was first established in 1937 as a reminder to people of Pieter Claesen Wyckoff, his descendants, and the former house which is located in Brooklyn, New York

The Wyckoff House Museum is located in Brooklyn, New York (5816 Clarendon Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11203). It was originally established by Pieter Claesen who arrived from the Netherlands on March 4, 1637 as an indentured servant. After six years of labor at Rensselaerswyck (modern-day Albany, NY), Claesen acquired this farmland and established himself as the wealthiest citizen of Nieuw Amersfoort. The name Wyckoff is derived from “Wyck” and “hof” which translates to ‘town’ and ‘magistrate,’ respectively. Claesen’s family continued to own and farm the land for generations from 1737 until 1901.

This site is a long-enduring landmark of early Dutch settlement during periods of immigration. It symbolizes the rise of social status through meritocratic efforts and the early establishment of American idealism. The house also functions as a reminder of the changing landscapes and altering social configurations of the Brooklyn area over the years, demonstrating the transient transition from rural Dutch colonial farming settlements to wealthy Nineteenth century industrialism that cultivated the prominence of urban infrastructure. The Wyckoff House Museum serves as a living reminder of the struggle and impetus that was invested in establishing Dutch prominence in early America. It plunges visitors into the life of these early settlers, with its one-and-a-half acres of surrounding farmland and limited access to electricity. The original culture of colonials is preserved.

Today, the house is open to visitors as a museum. Its mission is to educate visitors about the diverse peoples of Brooklyn’s colonial farms.” (Wyckoff Farmhouse & Education Center) It is very community-oriented, hosting family day events and school trips. It is a marvelous spot for photo shoots and the backdrop for films which portrays the historical elegance of a rural lifestyle. The house and its surrounding farmlands are also open for wedding rentals.

The Wyckoff House Museum

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The Wyckoff House Museum 40.644350, -73.920777

Dutch Cheese in America

Shelleylyn via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
Shelleylyn via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Gouda is a Dutch cheese that is one of the most popular cheeses in the world. It is a semi-hard cheese that is known for its smooth, creamy, and rich flavor. It has a pungent aroma and is most often yellow with a waxed rind. Gouda is categorized into seven types, separated by how long it has been aged. In the United States, a smoother and less flavorful Gouda is preferred, while the Dutch favor fuller flavors. Younger Goudas are often paired with beers, while aged Goudas go well with wine.

The object’s origin is the Netherlands, and it was named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands. It is located in food stores all across the world, representing up to fifty to sixty percent of global cheese consumption. The creation of this particular type of cheese dates back to 1184, so it is possible that those who originally came to America brought the cheese, or the method of making the cheese, with them. The Dutch people are the primary creators of Gouda, which is traditionally made from the milk of cows, but can be made with the milk of goats or sheep (such practice is especially popular among Dutch artisans in the Netherlands). The potential way in which Gouda cheese arrived in America shows how the Dutch people brought many foods, inventions, and ideas with them when they settled in the American Northeast, all of which influence what is currently manufactured and practiced.


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Gouda 52.011520, 4.710463 The city of Gouda in the Netherlands.


We picked Gouda cheese as our Dutch artifact because today it is a very popular cheese in America and worldwide. Gouda cheese, though somewhat ubiquitous in food culture of many countries, demonstrates that as a nation, we participate in the global influence that the Dutch have, and relish in consuming and utilizing the goods and ideas that this influence has produced.

Due to this popularity, people today have developed several varieties of the cheese, such as Graskaas, a cheese eaten within weeks, and Overjarig, a cheese aged to change its flavor and texture. Today in America, a commercial form of Gouda that is smoother and less flavorful than traditional Dutch Gouda is what is most popular. According to Sylvie Tremblay on Livestrong.com, a popular health and fitness blog, “Each serving of Gouda — 1.5 ounces — contains 151 calories, or approximately 8 percent of the daily calorie intake in a standard 2,000-calorie diet…Gouda also contains a moderate amount of protein — 10.6 grams, which is 23 percent of the daily protein needs for women and 19 percent for men.”

By: Raymond Cabrera, Nicolo Florendo, Anthony Miranda, Samuel Wu


“Gouda – Cheese.com.” Gouda – Cheese.com. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Admin. “FACT OF THE WEEK – GOUDA CHEESE.” Top Food Facts. 15 Feb. 2015. Web.

Tremblay, Sylvie. “Is Gouda Cheese Healthy?” Livestrong.com. 03 Jun. 2015. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.

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Pictured here is Pannekoeken Huis located in Minneapolis, MN. This eatery serves authentic Dutch dishes including the delicious pannekoeken. Image source: Pannekoken Huis

Pancakes can be found almost anywhere where breakfast food can be served. The Dutch Pannekoeken is slightly different than the modified American pancakes, and the Pannekoeken Huis in St. Louis Park, Minnesota is continuing the Dutch tradition by serving traditional Pannekoeken for breakfast and dinner in flavors anywhere from Caramel Apple and Upside Down Cake, to Shepherd’s Pie and Meat and Vegetable.

They are found very frequently around the United States because people like pannekoeken and pancakes. As people migrated into the Americas, they brought their foods and recipes with them. This led to the insertion of the pancake into American culture, and the different ingredients available led to the creation of the American pancake, as opposed to the original pannekoek.


Institutions like the Pannekoeken Huis in Minnesota are helping to preserve the traditional Dutch idea of the original pancake. Throughout the United States and different parts of the world, varying cultures and people have their own personal representation of the pancake. Its versatility allows for it to adapt to different cooking styles and personal tastes while still keeping the general idea of the “pancake”.


Image source: Meaningful Mama

Pancakes have transcended over time to incorporate themselves in American cuisine. This dish shows the integration of different cultures into the society we know today. There are many subtle ways in which Dutch influences are part of our lives and this is one. Fortunately, the great history of the pannekoeken is continued through Rutgers in the serving of the pancake in the dining halls of Rutgers.


We picked pancakes, or as the Dutch say, pannekoeken, because they are a main staple of American breakfast food and can be found in diners and homes across the country. When eating pancakes there’s usually little thought as to where they come from, and it’s interesting that one of our most beloved breakfast foods originated from the Dutch.

This is the original pannekoeken found in a restaurant in the Netherlands. You can see the syrup used for the dish, along with powdered sugar. Image source: Walking on Travels

Pancakes, both as a food and an artifact, have survived the test of time due to their deliciousness and versatility in eating, as they can be eaten as a breakfast food, or even for lunch and dinner as is traditionally done in the Netherlands.



Pannekoeken Recipe:


  • 250 g flour (sieved)
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 egg
  • 10 g yeast
  • 4,5 dl milk
  • about 40 g butter (for in the pan)
  • Any additional ingredients

Rest of recipe can be found here

Map of IHOP


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IHOP 40.510539, -74.485143


“History of the Pancake.” My Old Dutch Pancake House, n.d. Web. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myolddutch.com%2FHistory%2FHistory-of-the-pancake.aspx>.
“Pannekoeken Huis.” Pannekoeken Huis. Pannekoeken Huis, n.d. Web. <http://www.pannekoeken-mn.com/about-us/>.
“Pannenkoeken – Amsterdam, Netherlands | Local Food Guide.” Pannenkoeken – Amsterdam, Netherlands | Local Food Guide. Eat Your World, n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2016. <http://eatyourworld.com/destinations/europe/the_netherlands/amsterdam/what_to_eat/pannenkoeken>.
“Where Did Pancakes Originate From?” Luka Malgaj, 03 Nov. 2009. Web. <http://ezinearticles.com/?Where-Did-Pancakes-Originate-From?&id=3202279>.

Spuyten Duyvil: The Duyvil’s in the Details

The Henry Hudson Bridge overlooking the Harlem River in front of the Spuyten Duyvil Metro-North train station. Photo from tribecacitizen.com

In Dutch, “Spuyten Duyvil,” the most-accepted spelling these days, can be pronounced two ways; one pronunciation can be translated as “devil’s whirlpool” and the other can be translated as “spite the devil.” Spuyten Duyvil is an upper middle class neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City, located in the upper Northwest corner of the the Bronx and New York City as a whole. The neighborhood is located where the Harlem River branches off from the Hudson River, directly across from Manhattan Island and what is today the Inwood neighborhood. Today its area has many other traces of the Dutch including the Harlem River, the Hudson River, and the Henry Hudson Bridge, named after the explorer sent by the Dutch to settle the region. Other Dutch neighborhoods are also close by such as Manhattan and Yonkers to the North.  We picked this neighborhood because one of our group’s members, Trevor, passed by the Spuyten Duyvil train station on his way to Poughkeepsie and instantly recognized the name’s Dutch origins.

When the Dutch settled here in the 1600s, they named the creek flowing around the neighborhood “Spuyten Duyvil.” The reason for this name, roughly translating to “devil’s whirlpool,” is due to legends of events happening in the river. According to some, a Dutch messenger was sent to the Spuyten Duyvil neighborhood by way of the creek, but the waters were so turbulent that he was swept away and the river took his life. They say that it was the “Spite of the Devil” that caused the messenger to pass away on his journey. 

The neighborhood began to develop during the later half of the 18th century along with the construction of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad along the Harlem River. Although the larger development came after the Dutch settlers, the name comes from Spuyten Duyvil Creek, named for a Dutch settler Anthony Van Corlaer, who in 1642 died while attempting to swim across the creek. Later in the 17th century, Frederick Philipse, a Dutch immigrant built a toll bridge over the river in this location, furthering the Dutch influence in the area.  

Over 10,000 New Yorkers call this neighborhood home today and millions of riders on Metro-North’s Hudson Line pass through the station on their way to and from jobs in Manhattan and other parts of New York City. Thousands of cars also pass through the neighborhood and over the Harlem River on Route 9A and the Henry Hudson bridge enroute to and from Manhattan.

Spuyten Duyvil

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Spuyten Duyvil 40.881164, -73.915407



“History of the Name Spuyten Duyvil.” The New York Public Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Haller, Vera. “Spuyten Duyvil, the Bronx, Defined by the Views.” The New York Times. N.p., 3 Sept. 2013. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

NYC Gov Parks. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

Group Members: Andrew Hernandez, Trevor Matthews, Angela Feoli, Ryan Divins

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