About Archives

Bushwick (Boswyck) Family Collection

The Bushwick Family (Boswycks)

Many of the objects in the Archives and Collections belong to the Bushwick (Boswyck) Family Collection. These objects date primarily from the first half of the twentieth century and span the history of this significant Dutch American farming family, and their belief in Source Energies. Fifty years ago, in the kitchen of a Vermont farmhouse, a notable family business was born. Earl Martense and Josephine Mary Bushwick, both descendants of Dutch Brooklyn families, married and relocated from Brooklyn to southern Vermont. Earl and Josephine founded Bushwick Farms in 1958, giving many Americans their first introduction to home made pumpkin butter. The first batches of pumpkin butter were cooked over a woodstove, using Josephine Mary’s traditional family recipe, and distributed to neighbors and friends. By 1960, word had spread and the Bushwicks began distributing the pumpkin butter throughout the eastern states. The business was truly a family affair, with Earl Martense, Josephine Mary and their sons John and Joe, filling the eight-ounce glass containers by hand and delivering them via the family truck.The Bushwick Farms 1979 Ford pick-up truck and 1968 travel trailer are prized objects of the collection.

Bushwick Farms, crica 1958

Josephine Mary Bushwick

Aerial view of local landscape

Children of Josephine and Earl, John and Joe Bushwick

Earl Martense Bushwick

Watering seedlings, circa 1958

Violet Gray and Joe Rotto Bushwick, The Traveling Variety Show

Joe Rotto Bushwick, son of Josephine and Earl Bushwick believed in keeping the name of Bushwick Farms in the public realm. Joe, along with his wife Violet Gray traveled America for a number of years in the Bushwick Family 1968 travel trailer and 1979 Ford pick up truck. Together they presented The Traveling Variety Show, sponsored by Bushwick Farms, which traveled throughout America for four years. Among the Bushwick (Boswyck) Family Archives are the original road map and log-book pages kept by Joe and Violet during their time on the road. During their travels Violet and Joe preferred to travel secondary roads, living in the desert with the use of solar power, staying on free government camping land where possible. When the weather got too cold in the winters, or too hot in the Nevada summers, Violet and Joe would live in monthly motel rooms and perform the show for very small audiences.

view trailer
Joe and Violet
Tent Show
Pumpkin Butter
Grand reopening