Of all the ways we have of connecting to the past, as far as I’m concerned, the historic house museum trumps all others when it comes to understanding life in a place and time beyond memory.
It’s here we can come closest to the people who went before us. These are the very walls that enclosed them. Here they stood before the fire. Here are the mirrors that reflected their movements in the parlor. This is the stair they climbed on their way to bed.
When we tune in to the height of the ceilings, the nearness of the walls, the path we travel from room to room, the narrowness of a passageway or the lack or presence of natural light, we begin to feel in our bones what daily life was like for those who lived there long ago.
I tend to be a ghost skeptic, but if you were to ask me if there are ghosts in the Merchant’s House, I’d say, “Of course; that’s the whole point!”