Roger Morris House / Jumel Mansion

The Morris-Jumel Mansion dates from 1765 and is the oldest surviving house in Manhattan. It was originally built as a summer retreat for British colonel Roger Morris, one of many built by wealthy New Yorkers when this part of Manhattan was undeveloped. This spot in Harlem Heights is one of the highest points in Manhattan and (before 20th century development) had a clear view all the way to the southern tip of the island and north into Westchester.

Morris left for England during the Revolutionary War and his house was occupied by both British and American forces, most notably by George Washington between 9/14/1776 and 10/20/1776. Following the war, the house served as a popular tavern before being sold in 1810 to Stephen Jumel. Jumel's widow, Eliza, lived in the home until 1865 and the home passed through a succession of owners before being purchased by the City in 1903 and being opened as a museum the following year with the assistance of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

When I visited in the fall of 2007, the house contained nine rooms restored with period furnishings and details similar to the way it appeared in George Washington's day.

Front view from the southwest
11/2/2007 03:00 PM
Front view from the southwest
Front view from the southeast
11/2/2007 03:00 PM
Front view from the southeast
Sign to house in 157th St IRT Station
11/2/2007 02:47 PM
Sign to house in 157th St IRT Station
View from southwest
11/2/2007 02:55 PM
View from southwest
Sign on fence
11/2/2007 02:55 PM
Sign on fence
Southern retaining wall
11/2/2007 02:56 PM
Southern retaining wall
Fence detail
11/2/2007 02:56 PM
Fence detail
Parks historical sign
11/2/2007 02:59 PM
Parks historical sign
National Landmark plaque
11/2/2007 02:59 PM
National Landmark plaque
Rear door
11/2/2007 04:13 PM
Rear door
Herb garden
11/2/2007 04:15 PM
Herb garden

Octogonal Drawing Room

This drawing room on the rear of the house was used for parties, dances, banquets, concerts and other social events.

The tilt-top tea table was an example of how furniture of this period was often built to be stored against the walls when not in use to free up room space for other activities. It also permitted moving the furniture near the fireplace for heat or near windows for light.

Octogonal Drawing Room
11/2/2007 03:19 PM
Octogonal Drawing Room
Rear view of the house from the northwest
11/2/2007 04:13 PM
Rear view of the house from the northwest

Dining Room

18th-century dining rooms were usually reserved for formal occasions with ordinary meals served in the parlors or bedrooms. Meals could include as many as eight courses and this table is set for the dessert course, much as it might have been in Washington's day.

Dining Room
11/2/2007 03:20 PM
Dining Room

Parlor

Parlor
11/2/2007 03:26 PM
Parlor

Kitchen

Stairwell down to the kitchen
11/2/2007 03:27 PM
Stairwell down to the kitchen
Bathroom (1930's era addition)
11/2/2007 03:28 PM
Bathroom (1930's era addition)
Kitchen
11/2/2007 03:28 PM
Kitchen
Fireplace
11/2/2007 03:29 PM
Fireplace
Kitchen utensils
11/2/2007 03:32 PM
Kitchen utensils
Kitchen dishes and utensils
11/2/2007 03:33 PM
Kitchen dishes and utensils
Kitchen dishes and utensils
11/2/2007 03:33 PM
Kitchen dishes and utensils

Upstairs Bed Chambers

George Washington's Bed Chamber
11/2/2007 03:35 PM
George Washington's Bed Chamber
George Washington's Bed Chamber
11/2/2007 03:35 PM
George Washington's Bed Chamber
Mary Bowen's Bedchamber
11/2/2007 03:36 PM
Mary Bowen's Bedchamber
Changing Room with Chamber Pot Chair
11/2/2007 03:38 PM
Changing Room with Chamber Pot Chair
Bed Chamber
11/2/2007 03:39 PM
Bed Chamber
Front Bed Chamber
11/2/2007 03:42 PM
Front Bed Chamber

Sylvan Terrace

The Morris-Jumel House is part of a historic district that also contains this street of lovingly maintained period row houses on Sylvan Terrace just to the West of the Morris-Jumel House.

Sylvan Terrace
11/2/2007 04:18 PM
Sylvan Terrace
Sylvan Terrace
11/2/2007 04:18 PM
Sylvan Terrace
Sylvan Terrace
11/2/2007 04:19 PM
Sylvan Terrace
Sylvan Terrace
11/2/2007 04:19 PM
Sylvan Terrace
Sylvan Terrace
11/2/2007 04:20 PM
Sylvan Terrace
Sylvan Terrace
11/2/2007 04:20 PM
Sylvan Terrace