6. One of the Wealthiest Women in New York Lived in the Mansion

Morris-Jumel Mansion
Trish Mayo, Courtesy of Morris-Jumel Mansion

Stephen and Eliza Jumel purchased Mount Morris and its surrounding land in 1810. Eliza was a self-made businesswoman who came from a poor Rhode Island family. She made a fortune by buying and selling land and renting properties in downtown Manhattan. Her real-estate ventures made Eliza one of the wealthiest women in New York City. After the death of her husband Stephen, she continued to live in the mansion.

When Stephen and Eliza purchased the home, there was a lot of redecorating to be done. They added the latest creature comforts to the home, including Argand lamps. Argand lamps were an early type of oil lamp that came out in the 1780s. They were nearly ten times brighter than previous lamps and produced a cleaner flame.