A DUTCH BARN (Demolished)

Almost as important to the Dutch farmer as his house was his barn. The earliest ones had clay floors and thatched roofs but as time went on the floors were planked with oak or hickory and the roofs were shingled. Like the houses these barns usually faced the south. When they were painted they were invariably painted red. They had an over­hang across the front gable but by the end of the eighteenth century this overhang began to be eliminated and the barn, like the one pictured, began to take the place of the earlier type. At one end of the barn was built a "hovel", a shed with an open front. In the hovel was a compartment for the pigs and also a place for storing farm implements. One of the old barns stood until the late 1920s on the DITMARS property that bordered on the Flatlands Neck Road. This farm lay partly in Flatbush and partly in Flatlands but the farmstead was in Flatlands. It had been purchased from various owners by Jan Stevensen van voor HEES and went to his son Roelof. Roelof VOORHEES had a daughter Femmetje who was married on 30 April 1748 to Jan DITMARS of Flatbush by Domine Ulpianus VAN SINDEREN. Jan DITMARS (baptized 28 March 1749) and Femmetje had a son Johannes who was baptized 28 March 1749. When Jan died on 23 November 1756 he left a large fortune to Johannes, who had also inherited his grandfather Roelofs property. A neighbor was appointed to be the child's guardian. In August, 1776 when the Americans ordered all grain and fodder removed from the barns and stacked in the fields ready to be burned should the British land on Long Island, Johannes' guardian refused to allow his hay to be touched. Members of the local militia were just about to set fire to it, although in the barn, when Johannes jumped upon it shouting, "If you burn the' hay, you burn me!" And the hay was not burned. Such is the story that has passed from father to son in the DITMARS family. In November, 1783 the following advertisement was published in Gaine's Gazette: £20 Reward--Last neight Nov. 5 about 8 o'clock, 4 men, with weapons forced into the house of Johannes DITMARS, Flatlands, and beat him and his mother in a cruel manner. Through his resentment, three of them went off, the fourth was put in Flatbush Jail, but escaped the same night wounded in the head and said his name was Jos. Mosier. Johannes DITMARS married Margrietje RAPALJE (b. 1 October 1759 - d. 10 January 1785) on 12 December 1781. His second wife was Lammetje LOTT, widow of Peter KOUWENHOVEN. His son John, who was born 1 June 1783, married Maragret VAN SICKLEN and died 20 August 1827, inherited his property. The house and barn with the farm next went to John's son John (b. 18 April 1806 - d. 28 August 1844) who married Elizabeth VANDERVEER on 17 May 1838. From him, the property went to his son Cornelius (b. 30 May 1840 - d. 20 September 1911) who married Margaret VAN HOUTEN, widow of Lorenzo M. STARR. Cornelius and Margaret DITMARS had four children: Elizabeth (who married Willard Parker SCHENCK) Lavinia, John Townsend (who died at the age of 18) and Maria Marguerite (who married Dr. Bergen GLOVER). Jan DITMARS, who was the husband of Femmetje VOORHEES, was the son of Johannes and Jannetje (REMSEN) DITMARS. Johannes' parents were Jan JANSEN and Adriana _________. Jan JANSEN, who signed his name Jan JANSEN VAN DITMARSEN, was born about 1643. He settled in Flatbush where he owned land and where in 1676 he kept a tavern. He was a member of its church in 1677 and took the oath of allegiance there in 1687. He was the son of Jan JANSEN, sometimes called PLATNEUS (flat nose). Jan JANSEN PLATNEUS emigrated from Ditmaren in Holstein. He married Aeltje DOUWS. In 1647 he was living on a farm in Queens County where he died, probably before 1650. His children were: Jan Jansen, Douwe and Reynier. Next Chapter..JOHANNES REMSEN HOUSE DUTCH Houses..Index Main Return to TOWN Index Main Return to BROOKLYN Index Main