The Bowne House Historical Society was founded in 1946 by a group of local Flushing residents for the sole purpose of purchasing the house and opening it to the public as a museum. The Society purchased the house from the last family occupants, the Parsons sisters, and has operated it as a museum since 1947.
The Museum's exceptional collections illustrate the social history of the Bowne and Parsons families from the 17th through the 20th centuries. Most of the approximately 5,000 objects in our possession are original to the house and belonged to the family. Included are fine examples of English and American furniture, decorative arts, textiles, costumes, household artifacts, rare books and manuscripts, paintings and toys. Correspondence in the collection demonstrates the influence of political, social and economic events of the day on the house's residents, including their civic activities. The collections are a renowned resource for scholars of American history and decorative arts.