TRADITION says that before any settlement was made by Europeans on Long Island, Dutch fur traders planted gardens on some of the, land that later became Amersfoort. As these traders built fences around their gardens, the Indians called the locality Canarsie, or fenced land. A part of it was a neck of land that jutted out into Jamaica Bay. In time, the Dutch named this neck Vischer's Hoek because the fisherman Hoorn made his home on it. Eventually only Vischer's Hoek was known as Canarsie and it was the last tract of land on the western end of Long Island to be owned by the Indians. They deeded it to the town of Flatlands on April 23, 1665 for 150 fathoms of wampum, one coat, one pair of stockings, one pair of shoes, four adzes, two cans of brandy and one-half barrel of beer. In 1719 Canarsie was divided by lot among the property owners of the town, a share falling to Stephen Jansen ScSCHENCKho was born January 22, 1686 and who died 6 November 1767. He was the son of the Jan MARTENSE SCHENCK who bought Mill Island. He married Antie, daughter of Nicholas WYCKOFF, 16 September 1713. Their son Nicklaes was born 4 September 1732. He married Willemtje WYCKOFF on 11 October 1757 and about the same time built a large pouse on Stephen Jansen SCHENCK's Canarsie property neat where Hoorn's hut had stood over looking Jamaica Bay. Because of its gambrel roof, the house was undoubtedly an innovation in Flatlands. It was well built with a layer ?f clay mixed with meadow grass between its outer and inner walls. It was covered with cedar shingles fully fourteen inches long. Within were heavy oak beams held with oak pins. The floors were made of thick wide planks of white pine. In the parlor and in the dining-room was a huge fireplace flanked by a cupboard on one side and a closet on the other. The woodwork in these rooms was painted a grayish black with the interior of the cupboards and closets a brilliant vermilion. A great corner cupboard was built into the wide central hall and this was painted green to match the hall trim. The walls throughout the house were of rough white plaster. After tl1e death of Nicklaes on 3 April 1810, the house and farm went to his son Nicholas Jr. who had seven sons and one daughter. In his will, Nicholas Jr. ordered that the farm was not to be sold during the lifetime of his youngest child, James SCHENCK. James died in the old house on 28 August 1885 and then the property was sold. Part of it, including the house, was later owned by the City of New York which gave the house to the Brooklyn Museum where it now stands, the lower floor beautifully furnished and opened to the public. ( There are a number of traditions connected with this house, the most romantic being that of the builder's daughter Anne who was born in it on 19 May 1763. During the Revolution Hezekiah Davis, an American prisoner of the British, was billeted in the house. He fell in love with Anne and she with him, but because his home was in Pennsylvania, which was a great distance from Canarsie, her parents forbade their marrymg. . . However, on 19 October 1780, the young couple went to Domine Ulpianus VAN SINDEREN, the patriotic minister. of Flatlands and Flatbush, and were married. Then they fled to Germantown, Pennsylvania, whence Hezekiah wrote to his new father-in-law asking his forgiveness, which was freely given. Anne became a Quaker. She and Hezekiah named their first child Wilhelmina after Anne's mother Willemtje. Years later, they took her to visit her grandparents in the old house. But that was after the war had ended. .. Towards its close, the American Captain Hyler of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and some companions went in a whaleboat to Canarsie and entered the SCHENCK house to capture me sergeant of the British guard who was stationed there. Not suspecting any danger, the guard had left their muskets in the hall when they sat down to supper and were therefore unarmed when HYLER and his companions broke in upon them. For a while the Americans jested with them and then took the sergeant prisoner. They carried him to New Brunswick with them and also some of the SCHENCK silver and other small articles that pleased their fancy. In James SCHENCK's latter days, a Negro known as Uncle Sam and his wife had charge of the house. Uncle Sam prepared clam chowder and freshly caught fish so deliciously that people travelled from far and near to enjoy the food. Harry ROSELAND, a well-known Brooklyn artist, often visited the house. On its farm, he painted "Gossip in the Pea Field", and in its kitchen, "Telling Her Fortune" which now hangs in one of Brooklyn's most modern apartments. Next Chapter..STOOTHOFF - BAXTER House DUTCH Houses..Index Main Return to TOWN Index Main Return to BROOKLYN Index Main