Glossary: Merchant's House

As haunted houses go, the Merchant’s House Museum is the real deal. So real, in fact, that The New York Times declared it “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House.” Dozens of unexplained events have happened here over the past eight decades since the house opened as a museum, in 1936 — and some even  before that (the first documented events occurred just after the last occupant died, and as work was being done to prepare the house for its new life as a museum).

Built in 1832, the house was occupied for nearly a century by a prosperous merchant family led by patriarch Seabury Tredwell (1780-1865). Daughter Gertrude (1840-1933) was born, and died, in the house. In all, seven family members died there.

Currently celebrating its 75th year as a museum, the Merchant's House Museum is New York City's only family home preserved virtually intact — inside and out — from the mid-19th century. It contains the family's original furnishings and personal possessions, offering a rare and intimate glimpse of domestic life from 1835-1865.

The Museum's Double Parlors, photo by Bob Estremera

The Merchant’s House Museum is located at 29 East Fourth Street (btw. Lafayette & Bowery). Open Thursday through Monday, Noon to 5pm. Admission: $10, $5 for students & seniors. Call 212-777-1089 or visit

"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

Mother and Father:
Seabury Tredwell (1780-1865)
Eliza Parker (1799-1882)

Sons and Daughters:
Elizabeth Seabury (1821-1880)
Horace Tredwell (1824-1885)
Mary Adelaide (1825-1874)
Samuel Lenox (1827-1921)
Phebe Eleanor (1829-1907)
Julia Eliza (1833-1909)
Sarah Kissam (1835-1906)
Gertrude Ellsworth (1840-1933)