PPA Profiles: Rafe Shaffer
September 02, 2014
There are few people more passionate and knowledgeable about the Park’s illustrious past than Rafe Shaffer, the Supervising Educator at the Lefferts Historic House. Rafe grew up in Park Slope and has spent a lot of time exploring the trails, woodlands, hills and history of Prospect Park.
“I never imagined I’d work in Prospect Park,” he explained. A graduate of Brooklyn College with a degree in anthropology, he has worked with the Alliance at Lefferts Historic House for three and a half years, starting his senior year of college and working his way to becoming a supervising educator. Rafe is passionate about history and sharing knowledge about the past. Built by a Dutch family in the 18th century farming village of Flatbush and brought to the Park in the early 20th century, Lefferts features a working garden, historic artifacts, period rooms and exhibits. Visiting the house, you can find Rafe leading tours, organizing educational programs and greeting visitors at the museum’s teaching garden.
“My favorite thing about working at Lefferts is the joy you see on children’s faces as they play with toys from the past," said Rafe. "They don’t even realize that they’re learning. And it’s a really powerful thing to watch. They might not remember the year this house was built or the names of the people who lived here, but they will always remember making butter and apple pie over an open fire.”
c. Paul Martinka