15. Merchant’s House

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Inside the Tredwells’ family room.

A unique gem lies tucked away on East 4th Street. The Merchant’s House Museum is the only 19th-century preserved home with original furniture, plaster, and clothing in New York City. Once belonging to the Tredwell family in the 1800s, The Merchant’s House gives an inside look into life for the wealthy merchant family and their Irish servants. The tour begins with an introduction to the gorgeous renovated garden at the back of the house. The Merchant’s House was purchased by wealthy merchant Seabury Tredwell in the 1800s. He and his wife lived in this home with their seven children for nearly 100 years until the early 1900s. His daughter Gertrude, the eighth and last child in the house, was born and also died here at 93 in an upstairs bedroom. It is said that the house is haunted to this day from Gertrude’s presence.

Entering the home is like entering another time dimension, from the mahogany wood furniture to crystal knobs to the beautiful intrinsic plaster above the chandeliers in the family room. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the museum is the servants’ quarters, featuring bells that hang on the walls for the servants when they were called upon. Tourgoers can also lift a bucket of coal with signs letting them how many steps the servants had to carry it upstairs. However, the museum is in danger of closing, but Candlelight Ghost Tours may return in October. You can also donate by telephone at 212-777-1089 or online.