Skip to main content

A Trip to Sleepy Hollow: Part One

From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of SLEEPY HOLLOW. . . ” - Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
This past Friday my friend Amy (who loves to take pictures as much as I do and loves exploring cemeteries as much as I do!) and I packed up the girls and made the 2-hour trip west to the small village of Sleepy Hollow just up the Hudson from New York City. A dispatching buddy had mentioned to me awhile back that it was probably someplace that I would enjoy as there are some mega-awesome graves there and, of course, there's the legend of Sleepy Hollow and Ichabod Crane being chased by the Headless Horseman to entice visitors also. It sounded like it was right up our alley so we set off Friday morning for a little bit of an adventure.

I've decided that the best way to do a post is to actually do several posts being that I took way too many pictures - again! Besides, that way I get to relive the trip again and maybe throw in a little extra history for those of you who enjoy it as much as I do. For those who don't, well ... I hope you enjoy the pictures! So, let's start with the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, which sits adjacent to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, shall we?

The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow and its accompanying 3-acre burying ground are the setting for Washington Irving’s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; it was in this cemetery that Irving's unfortunate character Ichabod Crane sought refuge from the Headless Horseman.

The church, whose walls are about two-feet thick and composed of local fieldstone, was constructed around 1685 on what was then the manor of Frederick Philipse, Lord of Philipse Manor, whose 52,000 acre landholdings stretched from Yonkers to Croton. The congregation was formally established in 1697.

The original bell, which was cast in the Netherlands, still hangs in the open-air belfry. Its inscription is from the book of Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 31: "Si Deus Pro Nobis, Quis Contra Nos?" - "If God be for us, who can be against us?"

Though the church has undergone some alterations over the years, nothing has been changed that would make it unrecognizable to a member of the congregation from a generation past. When the Albany post road was rerouted from east of the church to west, the door was moved from the south wall to the west wall and the original small, square windows were replaced with the current large, pointed arches; beyond that, it remain as it did in the late 1600's.

In 1963, the church and grounds were designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior. The Friends of the Old Dutch Burying Ground, a not-for-profit organization, was established in 1984 to preserve the landmark as well as educate the public about its historical significance. Tours are available and services are still held at The Old Dutch Church on Easter, Christmas Eve, summer services, and occasional weddings.

The burying grounds at the Old Dutch Church are often confused with Sleepy Hollow Cemetery but they are not related except by proximity. We weren't able to tour the inside of the church but we did walk around outside and take pictures through the windows.

At over 300 years old, the church is one of the oldest standing churches in the State of New York and it speaks volumes about the volunteers who care for it that it is in as wonderful shape as it is. I know by European standards that's probably not all that old but by American standards it most definitely is!


I like the way the windows reflected the burying grounds outside in these two pictures above. I think they kind of add to that "eerie feeling" you're supposed to get when visiting the place!

Next installment will be the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Triple-Sheeting Defined

In a recent post on the beautiful Inn Victoria in Chester, Vermont, I mentioned "triple-sheeting" and a commenter asked, "What's triple sheeting? Is that the same as being 3 sheets to the wind??" Uhm, no, Sarah, it isn't! Though I can certainly appreciate the humor in your comment!

Triple-sheeting, a style of bed-making that uses multiple layers of sheets, blankets, and duvets or bedspread-like covers, is something that a lot of upscale hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts are starting to do as it's not only an easy way to change the design of the room should that be desired but it's also a lot more hygienic for guests.

If you stop and think about it, chances are really good that the bedspreads and/or duvets that are used in guest accommodations don't get washed very often and they most definitely don't get washed in between every guest.  Think about how often you wash your own bedspread and the light probably goes on, right?  Uh-huh ... Do…

The Tale of Indian Leap at Yantic Falls in Norwich

Long before English settlers purchased the 9-mile square of land upon which the City of Norwich, Connecticut sits, the land was owned and occupied by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians. They made their homes near the Great Falls of the City of Kings and were led by the great sachem, Uncas.

One of the more popular and famous stories of Chief Uncas involves The Battle of the Great Plain that took place on September 17th, 1643 between the Mohegan Tribe and the Narragansett Tribe from neighboring Rhode Island, some of which took place near what is now known as "Indian Leap".


As the story goes, Miantonomo, Sachem of the Narragansetts, led 900 of his warriors in what was to be a surprise attack on the Mohegans at Shetucket, the Mohegan capital near the City of Kings. The night before the battle, Mohegan scouts in the area observed the advancing enemy and carried the intelligence back to Uncas who formed a plan.

Uncas knew he didn't have enough warriors to battle Miantonomo but he…

A Virtual Visit to Salem's House of the Seven Gables - Part Two, The Turner-Ingersoll Mansion

"Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst. The street is Pyncheon Street; the house is the old Pyncheon House; and an elm-tree, of wide circumference, rooted before the door, is familiar to every town-born child by the title of the Pyncheon Elm." - Chapter One, The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1851
Whether he meant it to or not, the dwelling that took on the life of the "rusty wooden house" in Hawthorne's second novel, and which became popularly known as The House of the Seven Gables, began its story in 1668 as the house of a prominent Salem resident before almost 240 years later taking on the role of a social reform-based settlement house and museum.

John Turner, the son of an English-born shoemaker and hat merchant of Boston who died when Turner was seven, moved to the No…