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tysen1The Guyon-Lake-Tysen House is now located on the north side of Richmond Road between Court Place and St. Patrick's Place. It was moved to Historic Richmond Town in 1962 from its original location in Oakwood, on Tysen's Lane between Mill Road and Hylan Boulevard. 

The Guyon-Lake-Tysen House is unusually large by 18th-century Staten Island standards and represents a substantial, prosperous way of life. It was constructed as a farmhouse and was used as such for most of its history. It was situated in an area of large, fertile farm plots of substantial acreage.

The house is one of few 18th-century gambrel-roof houses surviving on Staten Island today. This once-common form combines Dutch and Franco-Flemish features in a style that was later dubbed "Dutch Colonial." It is exceptional for the survival of its interior wood paneling and detailing. It has two stories plus a cellar and attic, and a kitchen extension to the west. The main portion of the house has dormers and a wide front porch. The kitchen has a wide spring eave on the front, a small porch at the back door, and a small woodshed attached to the west end.

The house was originally built near New Dorp Beach on an 80 acre farm. Joseph Guyon, a farmer of Huguenot descent, constructed the house ca. 1740 (his name can still be seen written in the clay daubing above the door of the middle parlor), but he only finished part of the interior. Joseph was a bachelor, and when he died in 1758 the house and property were willed to his eight-year-old nephew, also named Joseph Guyon.

By the late 1700s or early 1800s the house and farm were owned by Henry Barger. He and his wife Mary (nee Tysen; married 1783, according to Moravian Church records) headed a household of eleven people, and the 1805 inventory of Henry's estate included three slaves, horses, cows, steer, sheep, oxen, flax, wheat, rye, barley and hay. Mary died in 1809 and left the house to her son Jacob.

In 1812, the house and property were sold to Daniel W. Lake, a farmer of English descent. He increased the land holdings to 115 acres and added the two-story kitchen wing ca.1820, replacing an older structure. He also divided the open second story of the main house to create bedrooms. He and his wife, Mary Gifford Lake, had eight children and according to the 1820 census, owned three slaves: 2 males under 14 years of age and one female between the ages of 14-26. Emancipation in New York State occurred in 1827 and the 1830 census lists "1 free male colored person 36-55, and 1 free female 55- 100."

Daniel Lake died in 1839, and some of the land was sold, but the house and land adjacent stayed with Lake's daughter Elizabeth and her husband David J. Tysen. In 1840 they had four children and Elizabeth was 26. In all, she bore 14 children, ten of whom lived to adulthood. While they lived in the house they completed the upstairs bedrooms, added three dormer windows, and changed the staircase.

According to the 1850 census sons John (age 13), Daniel (11), and David (10), and daughter Margaret (9), were noted as attending school.

In 1855 the farm was 60 acres, valued at $10,000, and they grew winter wheat, oats, buckwheat, corn, potatoes and turnips. They owned 2 cows, 2 horses, and 2 swine. David Tysen died in 1885 and Elizabeth Tysen died in 1898, but the house stayed in ownership of the Tysen family until 1962, when it was given to the Historical Society by Ruth G. Tysen and Francis Nutt. From ca. 1932 to ca. 1937 the house was operated as a tearoom/restaurant by John L. Porter, and after 1937 it was the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Whitaker, who were presumably renting.

Restoration of the house began as soon as it was moved to Historic Richmond Town in 1962. It was first opened to the public on Old Home Day in October 1963. The house was designated an official New York City landmark in 1969.

Main Village - Structures

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  • The Third County Courthouse is located on Center Street at the head of Court Place. It was built in 1837 on this site, replacing earlier courthouse buildings that had been located on other sites nearby. Standing on one of the
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  • The Historical Museum is the former County Clerk's and Surrogate's office for Richmond County. It is a large brick structure in its original location on Center Street at the corner of Court Place. Its architecture features decorative bracketed eaves of
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  • The Edwards-Barton House remains on its original site on Richmond Road at the corner of Court Place, where it was constructed in 1869. The house was built for Webley J. Edwards (1816-1870) and his wife Deborah (Mercereau) Edwards (1823-1888). Before
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  • This privy (outhouse) now stands in the yard behind the Edwards-Barton House on Richmond Road. It originally stood on the property of the Jacob Crocheron House at its original location in Woodrow. At 12 feet wide, it is unusually large
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  • The Guyon Store is on its original site, on the south side of Richmond Road between Arthur Kill Road and Court Place. It was probably built ca. 1819 or 1820.  It is a simple two-story clapboard building with a one-story
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  • This structure is a coursed stone foundation for a barn. It was built by the staff at Historic Richmond Town in the area bounded by Center Street, Arthur Kill Road, and Richmond Road. It is appropriate for an early 19th-century
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  • The Town Pond was once located south of Richmond Road just east of Arthur Kill Road. Its existence is documented in the early 18th century, when Richmond was established as the county seat. The pond was likely drained and filled
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  • The establishment of a Richmond County jail was provided for by an Act of Assembly in 1704. This site was selected and construction was undertaken in 1710, with orders that the building be built of stone, two stories high, measuring
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  • In 1769, the Reformed Dutch Church built an edifice on what is now the corner of Center Street and Arthur Kill Road (not far from the Voorlezer's House which had been its meeting house in the previous century). This church
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  • The Parsonage is located on its original site on Arthur Kill Road at the corner of Clarke Avenue. It was built in 1855 as home for the pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church (now demolished) that once stood nearby. The
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  • The Annadale Railroad Station is now located north of Clarke Avenue and east of Arthur Kill Road. It was moved to Historic Richmond Town in 1975 from a location on Annadale Road in Annadale. The building has an unusual history.
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  • This railroad station, which once served the neighborhood of New Dorp, now stands on the south side of Center Street near Tysen Court. Its original location was near Rose Avenue and 6th Street (now New Dorp Plaza). It was built
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  • This structure was constructed for location filming of the television series Boardwalk Empire. It represents a 1920s American diner in the fictional town of Tabor Heights, New Jersey. This set was utilized for episodes which originally aired during the show’s
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  • The Rezeau-Van Pelt Cemetery is located near the intersection of Tysen Court and Center Street, just west of the Third County Courthouse, on the original site where it was established in the 1780s (decades before the courthouse was built). It
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  • The lawn between P.S. 28 and the Third County Courthouse is now used for visitor picnicking and outdoor concerts at Historic Richmond Town. But in earlier years, a house stood here, at 284 Center Street. The house was erected in
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