The Morris-Jumel Mansion
East 163rd Street
The local newspaper had an article about the oldest home in NYC and I recalled a blog I published about my visit to the mansion.
Entering the mansion. I was met by a person, clad in an old woolen sweater with a woolen cap pulled down over the ears, who opened the door with a cane.. I paid the modest fee and was directed to tour the building on my own. Knowing that there had been stories of Ghosts living on the 2nd and 3rd floors, and as I was the only other person in the building I started to wonder about my greeter.
The inside of he house was dark and reminded me of the mansions along the Hudson River. While not as stylish as those, this house had a certain small-look charm to it. They had mannequins dressed in costumes in all the rooms and did a good job describing the activities that took in each room.
Since my Blogs are not meant to be complete history lessons, I have put a brief history at the end. The following are pictures of specific things in the building’s rooms that interested me – of course, with hopes that will you as well!
Since this Gallery has several pictures, It may be best for you to invent Captions for some of them
Click on thumbnail to start slide show
This Georgian house was built in 1765 for Colonel Roger Morris, a Royalist, and his Dutch wife Mary Philipse as their summer residence, which they named Mount Morris. During the War of Independence this wood-encased brick mansion changed hands a number of times. Because of the house’s strategic situation above the Harlem Valley overlooking central Manhattan, General George Washington used it as his headquarters during the autumn 1776 Battle of Harlem Heights. Washington returned as president, with his cabinet, in 1790. The house was saved from neglect in 1810 by the wealthy French-Caribbean wine merchant Stephen Jumel and his wife Eliza “Betsey” Bowen, who returned it to its former glory.Later, the widowed Madam Jumel married Aaron Burr in the front parlor.
This was a rural area until 1882 when the Jumel heirs sold the estate, retaining only the grounds around the house. The Sylvan Terrace row houses (older blog) were begun the same year.
The rose- and herb gardens, which date back to colonial times and look out over the Harlem River, are maintained by volunteers. This 1970 Historic District runs from West 160th to 162nd Streets between St. Nicholas and Edgecombe Avenues and includes the Sylvan and Jumel Terraces.