A Brief History: The Merchants House Museum located at 29 East 4th Street New York, New York was built by Joseph Brewster in 1832. Seabury Tredwell purchased the home three years later and remained in the family for almost one hundred years. Lillie Nichols, niece of Gertrude (youngest member of the Tredwell family who died in the home in 1936), was prepared to sell the home and everything inside to auction when her cousin George Chapman arranged to purchase the home. In 1936 the home was opened to the public as a museum.
Due to the historic value of the home he turned it over to a non-profit organization that he had established to operate it. He personally provided most of the museums support. He had died in 1959 and the museum was getting close to being beyond repair and was getting too old to keep up with. In 1966 it was designated as a national landmark.
In 1968 serious water damage caused extensive structural repair. An architect Joseph Roberto fell in love with the home and spent the next nine years repairing it using original materials and keeping the original design. The museum was reopened in 1979. It is one of only 114 historical houses recognized by the City of New York. In 1999, the house joined the historical house trust of New York ensuing its preservation for generations to come.
Haunted History: Supposedly haunted by Gertrude. She had lived her entire life there. She was born in1840 in an upstairs bedroom and died there at 93 in 1933 and was the last member to occupy the home before it turning to a museum. There have been reports since the thirties of seeing, hearing and smelling things that weren’t there. A restoration worker claimed to have seen a small elderly woman in a light colored dress in the hallway then she vanished before his eyes. There have also been reports of children playing outside and being noisy and having an elderly woman run out of the home yelling and waving her arms at them. She is sometimes seen as a young woman in the main staircase and the front bedroom where she passed away. There have also been reports of every year when they set up the master bedroom to its original in 1832 unusual activity is witnessed.