Halloween in the Spring: A Series. The Funeral of Seabury Tredwell



Merchant’s House Museum photo was taken by participant/team Tony as part of the Commons:Wikipedia Takes Manhattan project on April 4, 2008.

NOTE: This series, "Halloween in the Spring," is based on the posts I wrote for my Halloween 2020 Take-Over of AHNCA's (Art Historians of Nineteenth Century Art) social media accounts. It's a jolly bit of writing and the inspiration for this blog. I've left the posts almost identical to the originals to preserve the rollicking tone; however, I've added links to the original sources, museum websites, or other information you, dear reader, might find interesting. Without further ado, it's time to celebrate Halloween in the springtime!

Greetings, my friends. I am so glad that you have joined me today. It is too bad that we are meeting under such sad circumstances. Poor Mrs. Tredwell! Though I have to say, she is a beacon of strength and grace for this family as she mourns her beloved Mr. Tredwell. We were asked to remain outside while the family prepares the parlor for the viewing.

Yes, that's me waiting for the mock funeral, The Merchant's House Museum.

I see that you’re admiring this beautiful home. I don’t blame you. It was built in 1832 by Joseph Brewster, who sold it to Seabury Tredwell (1785-1865) in 1835. Mr. Tredwell, God rest his soul, was a successful hardware merchant. He bought this house when he retired from his business. Oh don’t you worry! Mr. Tredwell was a smart, savvy business man and built the family’s fortune by investing in real estate and the new railroad industry. He and his lovely wife, Eliza Parker Tredwell (1797-1882) had eight children and a gaggle of grandchildren.

Denis Vlasov, photographer. Front parlor, MHM. http://merchantshouse.org/

 Their youngest, Gertrude (1840-1933), never married and died in the house. She lived in this house her entire life and was determined to keep it and its contents exactly the way they were when the family lived there! Despite financial hardship, Gertrude never sold the home or its contents, leaving NYC a glorious time machine into 19th century domestic life. When she died, her distant cousin, George Chapman, bought the property and renovated it. The house opened as a museum in 1936 and remains one today. In 1965, the house was given landmark status. Ahem, rumor has it that Gertrude never left. I see the surprised look on your face. According to many personal accounts since its opening as a museum, strange and mysterious things happen here. I, personally, have never had an experience. Perhaps you will during this visit or future visits. Ah! I see the door is opening. It’s time to pay our respects.

Merchant’s House Museum photo was taken by participant/team Tony as part of the Commons:Wikipedia Takes Manhattan project on April 4, 2008.
Denis Vlasov, photographer. Front parlor, MHM. http://merchantshouse.org/
ALL OTHER PHOTOS BY ME — YES. That’s me in costume.

A DEVELOPER HAS SUBMITTED YET ANOTHER PROPOSAL TO BUILD A HOTEL IN THE LOT NEXT TO THE MUSEUM. THE CONSTRUCTION WILL CAUSE 
"Irreversible damage from the construction is guaranteed and the risk of collapse of our fragile 189-year-old landmark building is even higher."

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TO SAVE THE MERCHANT'S HOUSE MUSEUM: 

http://merchantshouse.org/calltoarms/ 


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