John Bowne House
37-01 Bowne St., Flushing
Known to be the longest-standing building in the borough, the John Bowne House in Flushing is significant to pre-Revolutionary War American history. Built in 1661, Bowne, a Quaker man, used the home as a safe haven for practitioners of the faith.
However, this ultimately resulted in his arrest just a year later. He won his fight to appeal his prison sentence, and this marked a victory for religious tolerance, a principle that would have a tremendous effect on the world centuries later. It would be an essential part of the American Revolution and one of the foundations of the United States.
Today, John Bowne’s house is recognized as a New York City Landmark and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also a museum that is dedicated to the life and times of Bowne’s family.
According to the Bowne House Historical Society’s website, there are approximately 5,000 objects in the museum’s collection, all of which are original to the house and belonged to the family. This includes traditional furniture, decorative arts, textiles, costumes, household artifacts, rare books and manuscripts, paintings and toys.