Not many Americans know of Rufus King and his family, but they should .
Not many New Yorkers know of him, either and they definitely should .
Rufus King was one of the members of the Continental Congress , which met in Philadelphia right after the Revolutionary War .
You might say that he was one of “the Founding Fathers ” as he also signed the constitution as a member of the New York delegation.
He was a United States senator and an ambassador to Great Britain under three presidents, Washington , Adams and Jefferson .
He was an outspoken critic against slavery.
The house, which is now a museum, was the home of Rufus, his wife, Mary, and their five sons, one of which became the governor of New York .
The house, which began as a farmhouse , was brought in 1805 by Rufus.
It stayed in the family until 1896, when his granddaughter , Cornelia , died.
The city of New York took over the property and in 1900, the house became a museum .
There is a guided tour of the house, which I advise that you take, as the guides are friendly and very knowledgeable about the house and the family .
You’ll see artifacts that the family did actually use such as the piano in the parlor , which still works.
You’ll also see the delicate and very elegant tea set that belonged to Elizabeth King , another granddaughter of Rufus.
Her portrait is on the second floor of the house as is the drawing room belonging to her uncle John who was the governor of New York .
The house is decorated in period pieces, even the kitchen.
While I did enjoy looking at how the servants prepared food, my favorite room had to be the dining room, where the Kings probably entertained guests .
There’s even a portrait of Mary hanging in the dining room which should tell you who exactly was the boss of the house, and it wasn’t Rufus.
There is a suggested admission price of $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students, but the main focus of this museum is for you to experience a time in history that you thought you knew about, but realky didn’t .
The museum also has lectures , which are free to the public.
The museum is easily accessible by taking the E train and getting off at the last stop, Jamaica Center and Archer Avenue .
From there , you walk down to 153th Street and Jamaica Avenue.
The museum is right there , in the middle of Rufus King Park.
What is now Rufus King Park used to be part of King Manor as well.
It was that big .
King Manor Museum
Rufus King Park
Jamaica Avenue and 153rd Street
Jamaica , Queens, New York
Monday – Friday 12pm -2pm
Saturday – Sunday 1pm – 5pm
The museum is opened from February until December and closed the entire month of January .