A Lott of folk: Historic house hosts a bluegrass band

A Lott o’ country: Brooklyn country-folk outfit the Good Morning Nags will play on the Hendrick I. Lott House lawn to raise cash for the 18th century farmhouse on May 20.
Brooklyn Paper
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This party will raise the farm roof!

An olde timey country band will help visitors travel back to the 18th century during a fund-raising concert and picnic at Marine Park’s historic Hendrick I. Lott House on May 20. The performance, ancient games, and green surroundings of the 1720 farmhouse will provide a break from modern city life for musicians and attendees alike, said the group’s mandolin player.

“So much of what we play feels like a step back in time,” said Ben Quinn. “It’s interesting to play at a property as old as the songs are, even older.”

The Good Morning Nags will play its country, folk, and bluegrass tunes on the porch of the Lott House, one of the oldest homes in the borough. The day will also include picnic food, drinks, lawn games, and children’s activities, such as hoop rolling — a game from antiquity where kids roll a hoop as long as possible.

This type of event is in line with how the Lott family used the house in prior centuries, said a board member of Friends of the Lott House, which is throwing the party to raise cash for its preservation and education activities.

“The Lott family really enjoyed their outdoors space. They did a lot of parties and picnics on the lawn,” said Kim Howard. “We wanted to bring back this heritage.”

Friends of the Lott House has held more events this year, as the structure’s interior nears restoration, including a lecture series focusing on the history of Marine Park, happening next on June 7. This picnic is an opportunity for Lott House supporters to further establish the property as a gathering place for the neighborhood, said Howard.

“It’s a chance to get to know your neighbors and enjoy the lawn,” she said. “We’re trying to make it a community area.”

For the Good Morning Nags, the Lott House is not only a trip back in time; it is a journey back to their roots. The members are split between Flatbush and Queens, but they all moved from rural Indiana 10 years ago. Strumming their guitars, banjos, and mandolins at the Lott House feels like a slice of country living, said one band member.

“It very much feels like the type of communities and sites we used to play at back then,” said Quinn, who lives near Prospect Park. “We don’t get opportunities like this as much in New York.”

“A Lott Lawn Picnic: Fund-raiser” at the Hendrick I. Lott House (1940 E. 36th St. between Fillmore Avenue and Avenue S in Marine Park, (718) 375–2681, May 20; noon–4 pm. $50 ($25 kids).

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 5:44 pm, July 9, 2018
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