The Universal Declaration of Human Rights handwritten on an illustration of orange flowers

Handwriting the Constitution

What does the U.S. Constitution actually say? On January 20, 2017, artist Morgan O’Hara took a pen and paper to the central branch of the New York Public Library and began to write her own copy of the document in long hand. In what she describes as “a form of protest for introverts”. She was soon joined by others. Since then, there have been some 119 sessions on three different continents and more than 2,000 participants.

Morgan says: “This art practice was created so that people will know their rights, deepen their understanding of laws created to protect these rights, and helps resist negative thinking. To date approximately 2000 people have participated, both nationally and internationally. The goal of this art practice is to encourage people to hold their own Handwriting sessions on a recurring basis; to create a physical and psychological space that explores the practice of concentrated writing as an art form, and a process designed to bring people together in a quiet and calming way, all by focusing on human rights.”

This summer, we will be hosting the first online version of the Handwriting Project, collaborating with several Historic House Trust sites in New York City, as well as a community of artists in Europe. We will meet every Thursday from 12 pm – 2 pm beginning on August 13, 2020 and ending on September 17, 2020. Commit to spending time with the U. S. Constitution, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or choose another document. Participation is casual and members will have the opportunity to share their documents.

Register here

The Battle of Brooklyn – An Overview for Students

A resource for teachers and students until we can visit together at the Old Stone House!

Follow the links below to view a 14 minute overview of the Battle of Brooklyn, and an instruction sheet on How to Talk Like A Soldier!

Talk Like A Soldier

Battle of Brooklyn – An Overview for Students

Dutch Toys & Games

Many historic toys and games were played with simple objects that could be found around the house. Crafty and creative children invented lots of ways to have fun!

Hopscotch Around The World

How To Make A Cloth Doll

How To Play Rota

How To Make A Ball & Cup Game

How To Make A Whirligig

Colonial Era Crafts

The people who lived in Brooklyn during the Colonial era had to hone many different skills and to make their clothing and other household items.

How To Dress In 1699

How To Make A Weaving Loom

How To Sew A Pocket

How To Make A Tin Can Lantern

How To Make Watercolor Paints

How To Make A Pomander Ball

How To Make A Book

How To Make A Fan

Historic Recipes 

In the days before grocery stores and refrigerators, the people who lived in Brooklyn relied on their farms for most of their food.

Follow the links below to view the instruction guides for some of our favorite Colonial era recipes that are easy to try out in modern kitchens!

How To Make Butter

How To Make An Apple Pie

How To Make A Blueberry Pie Video

Old Stone House & Washington Park Garden Coloring Pages

Explore the gardens with these botanical coloring pages. Each page features an iconic plant from our garden, and includes fun facts about the useful properties of the plant and its blooming dates. Share your coloring with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with #ColorOSH!  If you’d like to learn more about the OSH gardens and our urban food forest, check out our video series with Director of Gardens Sam Lewis.

Click the links below to download and print the pages:

Daylily Coloring Page

Daffodil Coloring Page

Redbud Coloring Page

Hyacinth Coloring Page

Comfrey Coloring Page

Ornamental Apple Coloring Page

Sage Coloring Page

Tulip Coloring Page

Mullein Coloring Page

Rugosa Rose Coloring Page

Sweet Potato Coloring Page

Elderflower Coloring Page

Cover of the DVD Brave Man by Joseph McCarthy

The Brave Man

Joseph McCarthy’s film, The Brave Man, tells the story of the Maryland 400 and their fateful stand against the British and Hessians on August 27, 1776.

Filmed in Brooklyn in 2001, The Brave Man takes place around the Old Stone House on the sites where the Battle took place; contrasting the smoke of musket fire with contemporary Fourth Avenue.

“Not the usual re-enactment of a battle of the American Revolution … a story of putting a cause first over personal safety… fast-paced… History teachers in junior high school and above will want to use this production with classes studying the American Revolution as well as New York history.”
~ School Library Journal (April 2002)

Get the DVD  and a downloadable curriculum guide.

Cover of the book 1776 by David McCullough

1776: The Illustrated Edition

If you could put one thing in your classroom to teach students about the American Revolution, what would it be?

Consider 1776: The Illustrated Edition by David McCullough. In this edition, McCullough includes not only lovely color illustrations, but wax envelopes which contain reproduced handwritten letters and maps, as well as period documents. These individual documents give the reader the sense that they are holding the original primary source and provide some wonderful insights into the events of the American Revolution. Students of all ages who visit the Old Stone House are fascinated by it.

Get the book.