1 contributing building.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places October 15, 1966.
The Voorlezer's House is a historic clapboard frame house in Historic Richmond Town in Staten Island, New York. It was acquired by the museum in 1939 and then restored to its original period of 1696–1701. It was first opened to the public on April 14, 1942 and then again after its second restoration on June 27, 1985. It is the oldest known schoolhouse in America, although it became a private residence for more than a century, and it is now owned and operated by the Staten Island Historical Society. It was built before 1696, and the date of the patent on which it is located is 1680.
"Voorlezer" is a Dutch word that can be translated as "fore-reader" or as "one who reads (to others)". A Voorlezer or Voorleser was the title given to a highly responsible citizen in New Netherland and later Dutch settlements in North America, who had semi-official duties in local law, education and religion. The title was predominantly used from the mid-17th century to the late 18th century; in the small colonial villages. A Voorlezer could maintain many tasks; be an assistant to a pastor, or in the absence of a pastor, hold religious services and read scriptures, or run a school.
Though well-maintained for many years, by 1936 it had fallen into disrepair and was threatened with demolition. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and was added to National Register of Historic Places when that registry was created in 1966.(read more...)
National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/66000565