Merchant's House Museum

Merchant's House Museum Life at Home in Mid-19th Century New York City www.merchantshouse.org
Built in 1832, the Merchant's House Museum is New York City's only 19th century home preserved intact, with original family furnishings and personal belongings.

A unique survivor of Old New York, the House offers a rare and intimate glimpse of how a prosperous merchant family and their four Irish servants lived from 1835 to 1865, when New York grew from seaport to thriving metropolis. "The distinction of the Merchant's House -- and it is a powerful one -- is that it is the real thing. One simply walks through the beautiful doorway into another time and place in New York." The New York Times

Operating as usual

Paranormal happenings have been reported at the Merchant's House ever since Gertrude Tredwell died in the house in 1933....
10/06/2021

Paranormal happenings have been reported at the Merchant's House ever since Gertrude Tredwell died in the house in 1933.

One afternoon in 1981, following an extensive structural restoration, the museum's caretaker was opening the shutters in the kitchen when she suddenly heard a horrible screeching sound behind her. She spun around and saw the cast iron stove heaving and shaking violently, as if it were trying to pull itself loose from its fastenings. Terrified, she fled the building.

The architect in charge of the restoration later tried to reassure her, suggesting it was a “heavy truck” or the “express train” that caused the incident, but she knew better. The stove weighs hundreds of pounds. [Stove photo by Hal Hirshorn.]

Have you had a paranormal experience? Share in the comments! And don't forget to join us for our Haunted History virtual ghost tour, next Wednesday, October 13. Tickets at https://merchantshouse.org/calendar/reservations/#!/Oct-13-6-p-m-Haunted-History-Virtual-Tour/p/386703854/category=1651948

Paranormal happenings have been reported at the Merchant's House ever since Gertrude Tredwell died in the house in 1933.

One afternoon in 1981, following an extensive structural restoration, the museum's caretaker was opening the shutters in the kitchen when she suddenly heard a horrible screeching sound behind her. She spun around and saw the cast iron stove heaving and shaking violently, as if it were trying to pull itself loose from its fastenings. Terrified, she fled the building.

The architect in charge of the restoration later tried to reassure her, suggesting it was a “heavy truck” or the “express train” that caused the incident, but she knew better. The stove weighs hundreds of pounds. [Stove photo by Hal Hirshorn.]

Have you had a paranormal experience? Share in the comments! And don't forget to join us for our Haunted History virtual ghost tour, next Wednesday, October 13. Tickets at https://merchantshouse.org/calendar/reservations/#!/Oct-13-6-p-m-Haunted-History-Virtual-Tour/p/386703854/category=1651948

Phebe Eleanor Tredwell, Seabury and Eliza's fifth child, died 114 years ago today, on October 3, 1907. Born at her paren...
10/03/2021

Phebe Eleanor Tredwell, Seabury and Eliza's fifth child, died 114 years ago today, on October 3, 1907. Born at her parents' previous home on Dey Street, Phebe was six years old when the Tredwell family moved to Fourth Street.

Phebe never married, and lived at the Merchant's House until her death. She died in the house, at the age of 78, from injuries sustained in a fall down the stairs -- one of many reasons we encourage visitors to be mindful of the many stairs at the museum!

Phebe Eleanor Tredwell, Seabury and Eliza's fifth child, died 114 years ago today, on October 3, 1907. Born at her parents' previous home on Dey Street, Phebe was six years old when the Tredwell family moved to Fourth Street.

Phebe never married, and lived at the Merchant's House until her death. She died in the house, at the age of 78, from injuries sustained in a fall down the stairs -- one of many reasons we encourage visitors to be mindful of the many stairs at the museum!

10/01/2021

It's October, and we've got a full calendar of "spirited" events this month, both virtual and in-person.

Venture into "Manhattan's Most Haunted House" for a candlelight ghost tour, learn about death & mourning in the 19th century, or join us on Halloween night for a concert of music celebrating ghosts, ghouls, and goblins!

Tickets and more information at www.merchantshouse.org/october2021

Ghost sightings have been documented since the beginning of recorded history – 5,000 years! – but no solid evidence has ...
09/28/2021

Ghost sightings have been documented since the beginning of recorded history – 5,000 years! – but no solid evidence has been uncovered to prove their existence ... at least, not yet.

Consider: in the year 36 BC, the Roman writer Marcus Terentius Varro proposed that disease could be caused by “certain minute creatures ... which cannot be seen by the eye ... float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose.”

It took 2,000 years until a sensor able to detect these “minute creatures” – a sensor we now know as the microscope – was invented. [pictured: Hooke microscope, 1665]

By applying rigorous scientific methods, paranormal investigator Dan Sturges & neuroscientist Dr. Lee hope to not only prove the existence of ghosts, but to understand them in the same way that biologists now understand our living bodies.

Tonight, Tuesday, September 28, at 6 pm, join Dan and Dr. Lee for this month's "In the Spirit of Science," where they explore the history of scientific discoveries that made the unseen, seen – and in so doing, brought phenomena from the fringes of science into the mainstream. Tickets at https://merchantshouse.org/calendar/reservations/#!/Sept-28-6-30-p-m-In-the-Spirit-of-Science-Seeing-the-Invisible/p/379931549/category=1651948

Ghost sightings have been documented since the beginning of recorded history – 5,000 years! – but no solid evidence has been uncovered to prove their existence ... at least, not yet.

Consider: in the year 36 BC, the Roman writer Marcus Terentius Varro proposed that disease could be caused by “certain minute creatures ... which cannot be seen by the eye ... float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose.”

It took 2,000 years until a sensor able to detect these “minute creatures” – a sensor we now know as the microscope – was invented. [pictured: Hooke microscope, 1665]

By applying rigorous scientific methods, paranormal investigator Dan Sturges & neuroscientist Dr. Lee hope to not only prove the existence of ghosts, but to understand them in the same way that biologists now understand our living bodies.

Tonight, Tuesday, September 28, at 6 pm, join Dan and Dr. Lee for this month's "In the Spirit of Science," where they explore the history of scientific discoveries that made the unseen, seen – and in so doing, brought phenomena from the fringes of science into the mainstream. Tickets at https://merchantshouse.org/calendar/reservations/#!/Sept-28-6-30-p-m-In-the-Spirit-of-Science-Seeing-the-Invisible/p/379931549/category=1651948

Greetings, this is @sylviadewolfostrander on the Merchant’s House Instagram again. My 21st century friend Stacy Renee Mo...
09/24/2021

Greetings, this is @sylviadewolfostrander on the Merchant’s House Instagram again. My 21st century friend Stacy Renee Morrison will be speaking tonight at the house about Sylvia: A 19th Century Life Unveiled, an exhibition at the MHM museum in 2020. Here are a few of my favorite photographs from the show. This program is made possible by City Artists Corp/NYFA

Among the Coolest Museums in NYC? We think so! Coming in at #15: "A unique gem lies tucked away on East 4th Street ... E...
09/23/2021
The Coolest Museums in NYC - Untapped New York

Among the Coolest Museums in NYC? We think so! Coming in at #15: "A unique gem lies tucked away on East 4th Street ... Entering the home is like entering another time dimension"

Thanks, Untapped New York!

Check out these 22 under-the-radar, obscure, and strange museums in New York City, including historic homes and antique galleries.

09/17/2021

Happy birthday, Gertrude!

Gertrude Ellsworth Tredwell was born #OnThisDay in 1840, the only of her siblings to be born in the house that would become the Merchant's House. Over the course of her long life, Gertrude witnessed the neighborhood, city, and country change drastically, although her home here on Fourth Street remained largely the same.

Join us in wishing Gertrude a very happy 181st birthday! 🎉

In honor of all the kids here in NYC who went back to school last week, a peek into Mary Adelaide Tredwell's copy book f...
09/12/2021

In honor of all the kids here in NYC who went back to school last week, a peek into Mary Adelaide Tredwell's copy book from 1838. The elegant penmanship filling the book makes it easy to forget that Mary was just thirteen years old in 1838, and, like many children, doodled in the margins of her notebook (perhaps during a particularly tedious lesson).

Pictured here: "how do you do?" by Mary Tredwell, 1838. MHM 2002.4603.8

In honor of all the kids here in NYC who went back to school last week, a peek into Mary Adelaide Tredwell's copy book from 1838. The elegant penmanship filling the book makes it easy to forget that Mary was just thirteen years old in 1838, and, like many children, doodled in the margins of her notebook (perhaps during a particularly tedious lesson).

Pictured here: "how do you do?" by Mary Tredwell, 1838. MHM 2002.4603.8

Due to the rain, this evening's Music in the Garden with flutist Cheryl Pyle has been canceled. However, the Museum (and...
09/09/2021

Due to the rain, this evening's Music in the Garden with flutist Cheryl Pyle has been canceled. However, the Museum (and Garden) are still open until 8 p.m. this evening! Come pay the Tredwells a visit!

Due to the rain, this evening's Music in the Garden with flutist Cheryl Pyle has been canceled. However, the Museum (and Garden) are still open until 8 p.m. this evening! Come pay the Tredwells a visit!

Do you love the Merchant's House? Consider joining us as a volunteer! There are lots of ways to get involved.Volunteers ...
09/08/2021

Do you love the Merchant's House? Consider joining us as a volunteer! There are lots of ways to get involved.

Volunteers at the Merchant's House greet visitors and lead guided tours, help with education programs and special events, and assist behind the scenes, with mailings, maintenance, research, and more.

Volunteer time commitments are modest and the benefits are many, including invitations to exclusive volunteer gatherings and outings, as well as the opportunity to learn more about 19th century NYC and share your interest with other enthusiasts. (Not to mention the undying gratitude of the Museum’s board, staff, and resident ghosts.)

Email [email protected] for more information!

Do you love the Merchant's House? Consider joining us as a volunteer! There are lots of ways to get involved.

Volunteers at the Merchant's House greet visitors and lead guided tours, help with education programs and special events, and assist behind the scenes, with mailings, maintenance, research, and more.

Volunteer time commitments are modest and the benefits are many, including invitations to exclusive volunteer gatherings and outings, as well as the opportunity to learn more about 19th century NYC and share your interest with other enthusiasts. (Not to mention the undying gratitude of the Museum’s board, staff, and resident ghosts.)

Email [email protected] for more information!

Today, on Labor Day, we're going back to 1919. Gertrude Tredwell, age 79, is living at her family home with her nephew, ...
09/06/2021

Today, on Labor Day, we're going back to 1919. Gertrude Tredwell, age 79, is living at her family home with her nephew, John "Tred" Richards. Next door, at 27 East Fourth Street, is the NY headquarters of the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the "Wobblies."

The IWW was founded in 1905, partly as a reaction to the more conservative American Federation of Labor. We don't know what Gertrude thought of her radical neighbors, but their presence on Fourth Street is certainly a testament to the way the elite "Bond Street Area" changed since Gertrude's birth, in 1840.

The shuttered windows of the Merchant's House can be seen to the right of this 1919 photograph.

Today, on Labor Day, we're going back to 1919. Gertrude Tredwell, age 79, is living at her family home with her nephew, John "Tred" Richards. Next door, at 27 East Fourth Street, is the NY headquarters of the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the "Wobblies."

The IWW was founded in 1905, partly as a reaction to the more conservative American Federation of Labor. We don't know what Gertrude thought of her radical neighbors, but their presence on Fourth Street is certainly a testament to the way the elite "Bond Street Area" changed since Gertrude's birth, in 1840.

The shuttered windows of the Merchant's House can be seen to the right of this 1919 photograph.

09/03/2021

The Tredwell family lived at 29 East 4th Street for nearly 100 years, and at least eight people died in the house. Reports of strange and inexplicable occurrences have been widespread since Gertrude, the last surviving Tredwell, died in 1933. Is it Gertrude who is watching over her family home? Join us on a Candlelight Tour and decide for yourself.

October 28, 29, 30 ONLY with very limited capacity!! Visit www.merchantshouse.org/october2021 for tickets and more information, including safety protocols!

The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the SoHo/NoHo Upzoning plan TOMORROW, Thursday, September 2, ...
09/01/2021

The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the SoHo/NoHo Upzoning plan TOMORROW, Thursday, September 2, at 10 am.

PLEASE TESTIFY AND URGE THE CITY PLANNING COMMISSION TO VOTE NO! Virtual and in-person testimony will be allowed.

For more information, visit https://www.villagepreservation.org/campaign-update/city-planning-commission-soho-noho-upzoning-hearing-this-thursday/

The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the SoHo/NoHo Upzoning plan TOMORROW, Thursday, September 2, at 10 am.

PLEASE TESTIFY AND URGE THE CITY PLANNING COMMISSION TO VOTE NO! Virtual and in-person testimony will be allowed.

For more information, visit https://www.villagepreservation.org/campaign-update/city-planning-commission-soho-noho-upzoning-hearing-this-thursday/

Trends in facial hair come and go, and a look through the Tredwell Photograph Collection turns up a number of interestin...
08/30/2021

Trends in facial hair come and go, and a look through the Tredwell Photograph Collection turns up a number of interesting examples. Today, it's #MustacheMonday -- and here are a few mustachioed gentlemen from the collection.

Unknown sitter, 1870-1877 (MHM 2002.0236); Unknown sitter, 1866 (MHM 2002.0166); Charles Richards, 1890-1900 (MHM 2002.0267); Unknown sitter, ca. 1860 (MHM 2002.0237)

Loungewear, 19th century style! The wrapper, or dressing gown, was an informal garment, worn only at home. According to ...
08/28/2021

Loungewear, 19th century style! The wrapper, or dressing gown, was an informal garment, worn only at home. According to Florence Hartley’s "Ladies Book of Etiquette," first published in 1860, “The most suitable dress for breakfast is a wrapper made to fit the figure loosely."

Wrappers were full-length garments with front closures, making them easy to put on and take off. The silhouette of the wrapper reflected the fashion of the moment.

Only the housebound, such as invalids or expectant mothers, received visitors wearing a wrapper. There were no special maternity clothes, so when a woman's dresses became too tight to wear, she relied on wrappers for the duration of her pregnancy. Pregnant women wore special corsets to accommodate their expanding figures (the corset was considered a necessary support garment, even for pregnant women).

Pictured here, a detail of two wrappers in the Tredwell collection.

Loungewear, 19th century style! The wrapper, or dressing gown, was an informal garment, worn only at home. According to Florence Hartley’s "Ladies Book of Etiquette," first published in 1860, “The most suitable dress for breakfast is a wrapper made to fit the figure loosely."

Wrappers were full-length garments with front closures, making them easy to put on and take off. The silhouette of the wrapper reflected the fashion of the moment.

Only the housebound, such as invalids or expectant mothers, received visitors wearing a wrapper. There were no special maternity clothes, so when a woman's dresses became too tight to wear, she relied on wrappers for the duration of her pregnancy. Pregnant women wore special corsets to accommodate their expanding figures (the corset was considered a necessary support garment, even for pregnant women).

Pictured here, a detail of two wrappers in the Tredwell collection.

Strange happenings have been reported at the Merchant's House ever since Gertrude Tredwell, the last surviving family me...
08/26/2021

Strange happenings have been reported at the Merchant's House ever since Gertrude Tredwell, the last surviving family member, died in the house in 1933. For many years, the Museum discouraged its paranormal reputation – this docent training manual from 1976 warns docents to "avoid talking about myths, ghosts, or other extraordinary stories."

That could not be further from the truth today, and we are 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗱 to announce that in-person candlelight ghost tours are 𝘣𝘢𝘢𝘢𝘢𝘢𝘤𝘬 this October.

Visit www.merchantshouse.org/calendar for more information!

Strange happenings have been reported at the Merchant's House ever since Gertrude Tredwell, the last surviving family member, died in the house in 1933. For many years, the Museum discouraged its paranormal reputation – this docent training manual from 1976 warns docents to "avoid talking about myths, ghosts, or other extraordinary stories."

That could not be further from the truth today, and we are 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗱 to announce that in-person candlelight ghost tours are 𝘣𝘢𝘢𝘢𝘢𝘢𝘤𝘬 this October.

Visit www.merchantshouse.org/calendar for more information!

Announcing the return of 𝗔 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗼𝗹 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝘁'𝘀 𝗛𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲, live and in-person this holiday season!Join Mr. Dick...
08/24/2021

Announcing the return of 𝗔 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗼𝗹 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝘁'𝘀 𝗛𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲, live and in-person this holiday season!

Join Mr. Dickens, portrayed by John Kevin Jones, as he tells his timeless Christmas tale in the elegant intact Greek Revival double parlor of the landmark 1832 Merchant’s House Museum.

Strictly limited engagement, December 1 to December 31. Tickets and more information at www.merchansthouse.org/christmascarol

Announcing the return of 𝗔 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗼𝗹 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝘁'𝘀 𝗛𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲, live and in-person this holiday season!

Join Mr. Dickens, portrayed by John Kevin Jones, as he tells his timeless Christmas tale in the elegant intact Greek Revival double parlor of the landmark 1832 Merchant’s House Museum.

Strictly limited engagement, December 1 to December 31. Tickets and more information at www.merchansthouse.org/christmascarol

#OTD in 1933, Gertrude Tredwell, the youngest of Seabury and Eliza Tredwell's eight children, died at her home at 29 Eas...
08/22/2021

#OTD in 1933, Gertrude Tredwell, the youngest of Seabury and Eliza Tredwell's eight children, died at her home at 29 East Fourth Street, less than one month before her 93rd birthday.

Born in the house in 1840, Gertrude made few changes to her family home over the years, keeping it "as papa wanted it," according to family legend. The house opened as a museum three years after her death, on May 11, 1936.

Gertrude is buried in the family plot at Christ Church, in Manhasset.

#OTD in 1933, Gertrude Tredwell, the youngest of Seabury and Eliza Tredwell's eight children, died at her home at 29 East Fourth Street, less than one month before her 93rd birthday.

Born in the house in 1840, Gertrude made few changes to her family home over the years, keeping it "as papa wanted it," according to family legend. The house opened as a museum three years after her death, on May 11, 1936.

Gertrude is buried in the family plot at Christ Church, in Manhasset.

Address

29 E 4th St
New York, NY
10003

Subway: 6 to Astor Place, N or R to Broadway/8th, F or B to Lafayette Bus: M5 or M6 to Broadway/4th, M102 to 4th, M1 to Brdwy/8th

General information

HOURS: Thurs-Mon, 12-5pm (closed Tuesday & Wednesday) GUIDED TOUR 2pm Thurs-Mon SELF-GUIDED TOUR booklet available RESERVATIONS not required for groups of less than 10. ADMISSION: $15 General, $10 Students & Seniors, FREE Members and Children under 12. GROUP TOURS: http://merchantshouse.org/visit PROGRAMS & SPECIAL EVENTS: http://merchantshouse.org/calendar

Opening Hours

Thursday 12pm - 8pm
Friday 12pm - 5pm
Saturday 12pm - 5pm
Sunday 12pm - 5pm

Telephone

(212) 777-1089

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“The real thing”

www.merchantshouse.org Built in 1832, the Merchant's House Museum is New York City's only 19th century home preserved intact, with original family furnishings and personal belongings. A unique survivor of Old New York, the House offers a rare and intimate glimpse of how a prosperous merchant family and their four Irish servants lived from 1835 to 1865, when New York grew from seaport to thriving metropolis and the commercial emporium of America. "The distinction of the Merchant's House -- and it is a powerful one -- is that it is the real thing. One simply walks through the beautiful doorway into another time and place in New York." The New York Times

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