A Look at Washington Heights in the 1830s

Morris-Jumel Mansion, 1893, Author's Collection

The apartment buildings and row houses surrounding the Morris-Jumel Mansion today belie the hundred acres of gardens, vineyards, and open fields that surrounded the house when Eliza and Stephen Jumel bought it in 1810, and give little hint the grand views in all directions—or the isolation in what was then a sparsely populated northern Manhattan. For a picture of life on the Jumel estate in the early 1800s, join Margaret Oppenheimer, author of The Remarkable Rise of Eliza Jumel, for “That Elegant Country Residence: Eliza Jumel and Washington Heights,” an illustrated talk at the Grinnell on Wednesday evening, February 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Conjuring up an era when rural landowners could go clamming and oystering on the banks of the Harlem River, Oppenheimer will describe the couple’s vineyard of French grapes and the agricultural products grown on their lands. She will also discuss the difficulties they faced in maintaining a country estate—including wood thieves and tramps with a taste for poultry—especially as the area grew more populated during Eliza’s later years.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Grinnell Community Room

800 Riverside Drive ~ at 158th Street


Sponsored by the Grinnell &
Riverside Oval Association

Books will be available for sale and signing at the event. This talk, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Grinnell and the Riverside Oval Association.

Margaret Oppenheimer

Margaret A. Oppenheimer, author of The Remarkable Rise of Eliza Jumel, holds a PhD in art history from New York University. A writer, copyeditor, and docent at New York’s Morris-Jumel Mansion, she is also the author of The French Portrait: Revolution to Restoration. Her articles on French art have appeared in Apollo, the Metropolitan Museum Journal, and other publications.


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