9. Bowne House Historical Society and Museum

Bowne House, a sacred sites open house stop in Queens
Photo Courtesy of the New York Landmarks Conservancy

Built in 1661, Bowne House is one of the oldest structures in Queens. The wood-framed, Anglo-Dutch Colonial house was originally owned by John Bowne, a champion of religious freedom who was arrested for holding a Quaker meeting in the house in 1662. His appeal to the Dutch West India Company helped lay the foundation for the First Amendment.

The spirit of Civil Rights advocacy continued through the following generations of Bownes. John Bowne’s great-grandson, Robert Bowne, was a well-known abolitionist. Mary Bowne Parsons and her husband Samuel Parson operated the home as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The house became a museum in the 1940s. The site will be open for self-guided tours on Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.