Jacob and Catherine Adriance (1697 – 1808)

The original landowner of what is now the Queens County Farm Museum was John Harrison. Harrison sold the farm to Elbert Adriance in 1697 beginning the Adriance family era which spanned over one hundred years and five generations. In 1704 Elbert died; his son Rem inherited the farm. Rem had two sons, Elbert and Jacob, upon Rem’s death in 1730 the farm was passed on to his older son, Elbert. In 1771 Elbert sold the portion of the land that is Queens County Farm Museum to his younger brother Jacob. Read More »

John Bennum, Sr. (1808 – 1822) 

John Bennum, Sr., purchased the farm from Albert Brinkerhoff in 1808 and farmed it until his death in 1822. His son ran the farm for a short time. The Bennums suffered various calamities; weather records indicate that severe droughts occurred on Long Island in 1819 and 1822. This was obviously devastating for farmers. Interestingly, weather may very well have altered the farm’s future as a defeated John Bennum, Jr., sold the farm’s mortgage to Daniel Lent in 1822.

Daniel Lent (1822 – 1833)

Daniel Lent acquired the farm in 1822 and held it until 1833. During his ownership, the farm experienced two droughts and the floods of 1826. In June, 1826 Long Island recorded over 9 inches of rain in two days followed by record rainfalls in August of the same year. While Lent was trying to overcome these dramatic weather conditions, he had to contend with the rapid growth of new technology. Read More »

Peter Cox (1833 – 1892)

Peter Cox purchased the farm at the very beginning of what would prove to be the most dynamic years of agricultural growth in our nation’s history. Cox had more than doubled the size of the modest three-room farmhouse by 1855. The farmhouse at the farm’s museum today includes both the original Adriance portion built in 1772 and the 1855 Cox expansion. Cox grew primarily wheat, corn, and, later, potatoes for local sale until his death in 1870. Read More »

Daniel Stattel (1892 – 1926)

As it turns out, Daniel Stattel made a good investment when buying the farm; in 1900, only eight years after its purchase, the farm rated as the second largest in size in Queens County and the highest in dollar value. It was assessed at 32,000 dollars; 3,000 dollars more than the largest farm in Queens County. Stattel was a leader during the golden age of “truck farming,” or market gardening, sending record tonnage of crops to market by the wagon load. Read More »

Pauline Reisman (1926 – 1926)

In 1926 the Stattels sold the farm to Pauline Reisman, a real-estate investor, and in less than six months she sold it to New York State for use by Creedmoor State Hospital. Though Ms. Reisman did not contribute any agricultural history of note, she was in fact the person who sold the farm to the state, probably sparing the site from the tidal wave of development that was taking place in Queens in the 1920s.

Creedmoor State Hospital (1926 – 1975)

New York State purchased the farm in 1926 for Creedmoor State Hospital to use for rehabilitation of patients, growing fruits and vegetables for the kitchen at the hospital, and for growing ornamental plants and shrubs for the Creedmoor campus. With the exception of the farmhouse, Creedmoor demolished all the buildings on the farm, replacing them with buildings that met their needs. Read More »

1975 – Present

Today, Queens County Farm Museum is a New York City Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. Museum founder and president, James A. Trent, and New York State Senator Frank Padavan spared the farm from development in 1975. Senator Padavan wrote the legislation that transferred ownership from the state to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and protected the site from development for future generations. With all the present buildings restored, the master plan for the museum is being steadily pursued. The museum provides a broad spectrum of educational programs, public events, and services. The farm welcomes over 500,000 people each year. It is the second largest cultural institution in Queens based on visitor data.