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The house at 251 Rocklyn Avenue on the corner with Earle Avenue in Lynbrook is known as the Brower House because it was located on what was part of the Brower farm from 1870 to 1905, and was part of the final property of that estate to be sold. The original part of the farmhouse dates to 1793 and there have been three additions since that time. The farmhouse has evolved into a suburban residence, with two entrances from Rocklyn Avenue on the main facade. In 2008, the house at 251 Rocklyn Avenue was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house last sold in January 2019.

Main facade of former Brower farmhouse with two entrances facing Rocklyn Avenue (Bartos et al. 2007)

Building, Window, Plant, Tree

Survey plat of House at 251 Rocklyn Avenue, NRHP boundary/ lot line marked (Bartos et al. 2007)

Map, Rectangle, Schematic, Font

Rear facades of oldest part and middle of house, view from across Earle Street (Bartos et al. 2007)

Tire, Land vehicle, Car, Wheel

Interior views of fireplace at 251 Rocklyn Ave. (left) & of top of staircase (Bartos et al. 2007)

Property, Black, Black-and-white, Picture frame

Brower farmhouse (red arrow) on 1903 topographic map (US Geological Survey, Hempstead quadrangle, 15-minute)

Ecoregion, Map, World, Slope

Early land records for the farm that contained the farmhouse at 251 Rocklyn Avenue have been lost, so it is unclear who built the farmhouse in 1793 and when the Brower family took ownership of the farm. The area near the farmhouse was known as Brower's Corners Station in the early nineteenth century, and was the end of a stage coach line. Charles A. Brower and his wife, Maria occupied the farmhouse beginning in the 1870s. Charles was born in May 1827 and Maria was born in April 1828; both were New York State natives.

There were at least a dozen farmers named Brower listed in the federal agricultural census in Hempstead Township in what was then Queens County; most farmed about 30 acres or less. Charles A. only farmed 6 acres of imprved land in 1870 and no unimproved (i.e. woods) land; the farmland's cash value was $2,500 and farming implements were worth about $100. Charles A. paid wages or board worth $50 in the previous year and owned the following livestock as of June 1st: 1 horse, 1 milch cow, and 2 swine. His crops were winter wheat, Indian corn, buckwheat, Irish potatoes, and market garden produce. Charles A. also supplied butter and milk products. The two farms listed after Charles A. were those of Charles Brower (40 acres worth $7,000; possibly the father) and Elijah Brower (8 acres woth $3,000; possibly a brother).

Charles A. and Maria Brower did not appear in the 1880 federal census in what was still Queens County but were noted in 1900. Charles listed his occupation as "gentleman" in 1900; he owned his home free of a mortgage. He and Maria, the only other person residing in the house, had been married 41 years. Two of the three children of the couple were still alive in 1900. Another Brower family was listed next in the 1900 census, and may have been living on a tenant house on the Brower farm since they were renters. William C.A. Brower was born in April 1870 and worked as a bookkeeper. He and his wife, Edith T. (also 30) had been married for eight years and one of two children survived; their daughter, Istelle R., was two years old. William may have been Charles' grandson.

Charles A. Brower died in 1902 and the property was sold in 1904; the new owner quickly sold the land to the South Lynbrook Realty Corporation. The company subdivided the property to form Villa Estates and sold 50-by-150 foot residential lots. A number of houses were built surrounding the former Brower farmhouse from the turn of the twentieth century to 1920. A new road - Earle Street - was built off of Rocklyn Avenue by 1903, which turned 251 Rocklyn Avenue into a corner lot. In 1905, the Brower farmhouse was sold on a lot with the last 10,000 square feet of the farm. The new subdivision was located close to a station on the Long Island Railroad; commuters from Lynbrook in 1908 could reach lower Manhattan in 49 minutes at the whopping price of 35 cents!

The house at 251 Rocklyn Avenue was sold many times throughout the twentieth century and as recently as January 2019. John and Cassandra Brannick purchased the home in 1996. Google maps now marks the house as a bed and breakfast with the name Vincent Nicholas, but information was not readily found online. The house was advertised in 2018 as a 4 or 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom, nearly 3,000 square foot double residence.

Bartos, Virginia L. Mattson, Art. Schimmel, Rebecca. NRHP Nomination of House at 251 Rocklyn Avenue, Lynbrook, N.Y.. National Register. Washington, DC. National Park Service, 2007.

Century 21 American Homes. 251 Rocklyn Avenue, Lynbrook, NY 11563, Estately. April 24th 2021. Accessed April 30th 2021.

U.S. Census of Agriculture. Farm of Charles A. Brower in Hempstead Township, Queens County, N.Y., page 26-27, line 23. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1870.

U.S. Census. Household of Charles A. Brower in Hempstead Township Enumeration District 703, Nassau County, N.Y., dwelling 243, family 259. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1900.

U.S. Census. Household of William C.A. Brower in Hempstead Township Enumeration District 703, Nassau County, N.Y., dwelling 244, family 260. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1900.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

New York State Cultural Resource Information System [NYS CRIS]: