This Dutch-style farmhouse doesn’t look like it’s in great shape. But the man in the top hat is standing proudly in front of it on uneven ground beside an enormous tree.
This daguerreotype dates to 1848, according to the Museum of the City of New York. That could make it one of the oldest photographic images of Brooklyn, if not the oldest.
1848 is almost two centuries after the first French Huguenot Meserole family member arrived in Kings County. One of the original five families of Greenpoint, the Meseroles were very influential in the development of Brooklyn. (Meserole Avenue is exhibit A.)
Based on the image, it’s impossible to know exactly where it is in today’s Wallabout. But the house might not actually be Wallabout (above, in an 1840 map) at all.
[Image: MCNY: 42.121; map of Brooklyn 1840: David Rumsey Map Collection]
Source: FS – New York + Brooklyn