In 1915, after Mary Alice Dyckman Dean and her sister Fannie Fredericka Dyckman Welch purchased the farmhouse, the process of restoring the farmhouse and creating a collection began. Their spouses, Bashford Dean and Alexander McMillan Welch, appear to have reached out to family, friends and knowledgeable colleagues to gather items to furnish the farmhouse. As a result, the collection that is on display is a combination of Dyckman family objects that would have originally been in the farmhouse, items from extended family and objects that the museum founders felt should be in the farmhouse. Images and information on some of our collection objects are gradually being added to our Flickr Collection Album.
Reginald Pelham Bolton Collection
One hundred years ago, a band of amateur archaeologists roamed across Northern Manhattan hoping to salvage history before the modern metropolis expanded northward and obliterated all remnants of a fascinating past. They discovered thousands of objects, many of them dating to the Revolutionary War, a key period in the neighborhood’s history.Many of these intriguing objects, including cannon balls, pottery shards, bayonet points and grapeshot were donated to the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in 1916 by a key figure in the digs, Reginald Pelham Bolton, an engineer by profession but an archaeologist through his passion for history. With Bashford Dean, one of the creators of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, he created an exhibit on the first floor of the farmhouse. The exhibit was known as The Reginald Pelham Bolton Collection, and soon became affectionately known as the Relic Room.Originally estimated to be a collection of up to 2,000 objects, the accessioning work has uncovered over 5,000 objects. In addition to archaeological objects, the collection includes materials relating to the work of the archaeologists, including notes, boxes used to carry artifacts and labels from the original exhibit.
We are hoping to research objects and raise funds to ultimately reinstall an exhibit. Reginald Pelham Bolton also left the farmhouse a wonderful scrapbook of photographs which we have digitized – many of these images are viewable through our Flickr Reginald Pelham Bolton Album.