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Celebrate 400-year birthday of Dutch settler

The Bronck Museum marks 400 years since the birth of Pieter Bronck, the Dutch settler who built the original stone house at the museum, 90 County Route 42,  Coxsackie, off Route 9W. Admission is free.
The event begins with a birthday party from 1 to 4 p.m. May 21 at the  site.
Visitors can spend some time with Pieter himself, his wife, one of his grandchildren and even his famous great-great grandson Judge Leonard Bronck.
A mound of 400 Dutch speculaas cookies will be served, since birthday cakes didn’t exist in “Pieter’s World.” 
There will be live music, food, wagon rides, goats (one of the most commonly owned farm animals of Bronck’s at the time and place), early amusements and games for children, craft demonstrations and the first tasting of Pieter’s Brew, a new and specially crafted beer prepared by Crossroads Brewery in Athens, which is planned to be similar to the beer served back then.

Bronck Museum opens for the season on May 27. Museum Hours are Wednesday through Friday 1noon to 4 p.m.; Saturday,  10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Last tour leaves at 3:30 p.m. daily. Closed Monday and Tuesday except on holiday Mondays which include Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day. Admission: Adults, $6; ages 5–11, $2; Ages 12–15, $3, GCHS members free. For more information, call 518-731-6490 or visit http://www.gchistory.org/bronckmuseum.html/.

The Bronck Museum complex includes the eleven remaining structures that once comprised the Bronck family farm. The land was purchased from the local Mohican tribe in 1662 by Pieter Bronck, a Swede, and his Dutch wife Helletje Jans. Pieter built the first dwelling on the farm in 1663. In 1738, Pieter’s grandson Leendert built his house a few feet to the north of the 1663 dwelling. The two separate houses were then connected by a fully enclosed brick passage providing the family with a unified living space. A New World Dutch Barn and a Kitchen Dependency were erected in the late 18th century. By the early 1800s, the farm had become the single most valuable property in the county. During the 19th century as both the Bronck family and their farm prospered, additional barns and farm structures were built. The family maintained continuous ownership of the farm for 276 years passing it from parent to child, for eight generations. In 1939, the last family owner gave the 11 structures and surrounding acreage to the Greene County Historical Society to serve as the Society’s headquarters museum.

Gloria Mazure

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