The Lefferts Homestead, found just inside the Prospect Park entrance at Flatbush and Ocean Avenues, was built by the Lefferts family in an area east of the park along the Old Flatbush Road at about where Flatbush Avenue and Maple Street are now. Peter Lefferts had arrived in New Netherland in 1660 and had purchased a farm in this area in about 1675, and passed the property on to his son John.
On August 23, 1776, British forces engaged American rebels in the area near the farm. Rather than allow the British to occupy the house, the rebels burned it to the ground (the family had already left town to escape the anticipated British invasion). John Lefferts died a couple of months after that, and his family set to the task of rebuilding the farmhouse. By 1777, John’s son Peter had produced this gabled, shingle-roofed building featuring a 6-columned porch and dormer windows; the Lefferts family continued to occupy it until 1918, when the City took it over and moved it to its present location. It’s presently used as a children’s museum, complementing the larger one in Bedford-Stuyvesant. During the year, there are sheep shearing exhibitions a swell as Dutch and African-American festivals.Today, no one would define Lefferts thusly. But I DO recall Bob Marvin saying Hawthorne was the bottom at some point, then Parkside, then extended to Clarkson. Why? Ask Bob Thomason, I dunno. Whole thing seems a bit silly to me. Back in 1968 when Bob T. and folks created the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association (with the ever-bewildering hyphen) who would have dreamed that this NE quadrant of Flatbush would end up referring to itself by the dreadful "PLG?"
The neighborhood just to the east of this Colonial relic is called Lefferts Gardens, or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Part of it has been designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, as the side streets have some distinctive late 19th Century and early 20th Century attached houses along well-shaded streets. The neighborhood is defined by Lincoln Road, Hawthorne Street, Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Avenue. (emphasis mine)
Once again I beg of you to call it Lefferts. Or if you must, like the MTA buses, call it Lefferts Gardens (though there is only ONE Botanic garden, and yes, some "greenest" blocks. But giving garden a whole plural just for that? Ludicrous I say!)
If just one thing comes from this blog, just ONE thing, I hope it's the name change. Lefferts was the dude who bought the farm. Then of course he "bought the farm" and the rest is growing pains. We were all part of the colonializing Lefferts Homestead, and calling the neighborhood "Lefferts Homestead," while suitably quirky, just doesn't hang together. Lefferts. Lefferts. Lefferts. Say it three times quickly, then sloooowly. You're getting sleepy. That's right, into a deep, deep, Lefferts sleeeeeeeeeep....