Southeast Brooklyn still has a number of colonial-era houses constructed by Dutch and English settlers from the mid-18th to early 19th Centuries. Among them are the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House on Clarendon Road and Ralph Avenue, the oldest house in New York State, going back to 1652.
Many of these historic houses have taken their places along the east-west and north-south streets laid out in the early 20th Century as private dwellings. Most passersby have no idea of their true age.
Records are murky on when this ancient house at 1130 East 34th Street near Avenue K, a couple of blocks west of Flatbush Avenue, was built but they do show that it was owned by Joost Van Nuyse at his death in 1792. The van Nuyse family had been in New Amsterdam since 1651.
Joost Van Nuyse had owned 85 acres of land in northern Flatlands. After his son Jacobus fell in a well and drowned on Christmas 1792 the house and surrounding plantation were sold; it passed through several owners until Robert Magaw purchased it sometime before 1834. In 1852 Magaw and his family moved into the larger Van Nuyse-Magaw House, which had been owned by Jeromus, the grandson of Joost Van Nuyse. It was moved to its present location in 1923 after streets were laid out.