2024 Past Programs
Monday, January 1, 2024
Celebrating New Year’s Day 2024 with the Tredwells
Paying social calls on friends and family on the first day of the new year was one of Old New York’s most cherished customs. Join us – virtually – for good cheer to toast the New Year and learn how New Yorkers like the Tredwells celebrated the day.
In this immersive video experience, we’ll go back in time to the mid-19th century to meet the Tredwells and hear how they’ve been decking the house for New Year’s Day and preparing their lists of social calls. Join us as we continue the 19th century tradition of renewing, reviving, and reaffirming friendships that last the whole year through. Watch on YouTube.
Open through Sunday, January 7
Special Holiday Exhibition –
Christmas Comes to Old New York
In the early 19th century, Christmas, as we know it, had not yet been invented. Most New Yorkers did their celebrating on January 1, continuing the Old Dutch tradition of making New Year’s Day calls on friends and neighbors. Over the next fifty years, new traditions took hold: from Santa Claus, stockings, and presents; to holiday feasting; to Christmas trees decorated with lights and ornaments; to holly and evergreen garlands decking the halls; to Christmas songs and carols. Many of these traditions were popularized right here in New York City, and quickly spread throughout the country.
Journey back in time to the 1850s and join the Tredwells for Christmas in Old New York. The house is decorated with swags of evergreens, brilliant holly berries, white mistletoe, and red-leafed poinsettias, as the family prepares for the season. Also on display, a selection of holiday gifts from the Tredwell collection.
Wednesday, January 17, 6 p.m.
Edgar Allan Poe: the Man, the Mystery, the Legend!
Co-Sponsored by Village Preservation
In celebration and observance of his birthday on January 19 (his 215th), join thanatologist Matilda Garrido and Poe expert Andrea Janes (virtually!) for a deep dive into Poe’s early life and evolution as a writer, his time in New York, when he lived just steps from the Tredwells, and his mysterious death in Baltimore. A Q&A follows the talk. Free (suggested donation $10); register for “Edgar Allan Poe.”
Andrea Janes is the owner and founder of Boroughs of the Dead and the co-author of A Haunted History of Invisible Women. She has also written the YA novel Glamour and several short stories. She lives in Brooklyn, where she can usually be found roaming in a cemetery, swimming in the ocean, or telling ghost stories to her daughter. Visit her online at www.andreajanes.com
Matilda Garrido is a certified thanatologist (Association for Death Education and Counseling) and holds master’s degrees in thanatology and bioethics. She has extensive experience working with the dying, families of the dying, and the bereaved. Matilda is focused on normalizing the experience of grief and reducing death fears through education, action, and increased community support for the dying and grieving. She enthusiastically supports the mission of the Merchant’s House Museum, including its exploration of 19th century death practices and contemporary death education.
Friday, January 19, 6:30 p.m.
Celebrating Poe’s Birthday: Poetry Reading with John Kevin Jones
Join us, virtually, in celebration of Edgar Allan Poe’s 215th birthday, when the masterful John Kevin Jones takes on the 19th century master of horror, performing Annabelle Lee and The Raven, as Poe himself did at the literary salons of the period. We’ll also present a preview of Killing an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe: Murder at the Merchant’s House, which will return to the Merchant’s House later this year. A live Q&A with Mr. Jones follows the performance. It will be a bone-chilling evening of irrational revenge, obsession and premeditated murder, dismemberment, and the very, very dark. 60 minutes. Free (suggested donation $10); register for Virtual Poetry Reading.