• Local History & Interest

    The Capture of John André

    “In the centre of the road stood an enormous tulip-tree, which towered like a giant above all the other trees of the neighborhood, and formed a kind of landmark. Its limbs were gnarled and fantastic, large enough to form trunks for ordinary trees, twisting down almost to the earth, and rising again into the air. It was connected with the tragical story of the unfortunate André, who had been taken prisoner hard by; and was universally known by the name of Major André’s tree.” –The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving Looming in the background of Washington Irving’s ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ is the historical capture of Major…

  • Weird & Unexplained

    Exploding Mosquitoes!

    “Tarrytown, N. Y.—Mosquitoes in Cortlandt street, North Tarrytown have become gasoline drunkards and are terrorizing the town.” Nyack Evening Star, November 23, 1911 Imagine if you will, a flying menace. A tiny insect of prolific numbers, small enough to slip into any house, stealthy enough to land on your person without being noticed. Imagine the mayhem if that abundant pest were the common mosquito and it developed a taste for gasoline, turning itself into a flying Molotov cocktail. On October 15, 1911, James Brady of Cortlandt Street became the first victim of the North Tarrytown plague of exploding mosquitoes. News articles are mixed on the source of the gasoline, with…

  • "Milton Minnerly, 1877" inscription etched in a natural rock formation in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
    Local History & Interest

    Milton Minnerly, 1877.

    Take a walk in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery amongst the tombstones. Wind your way along the ridge of the hill to take in the dramatic views. There are monuments all around you, but you find a sunny patch of grass with a rock angling down a slope like an old scar. It’s a nice place to rest, so you brush away some loose lichen, leaves, and pine needles that have settled into the cracks. Your fingertips find something else though, faint in the sandpaper surface, and different from the deep veins and crevices. It almost feels like letters. The sun and shadows hit just right to highlight a faint inscription in…

  • Ghosts & Spooks,  Local History & Interest

    The Mystery of the Woman in Black

    “Tales of a mysterious woman haunting the streets late at night, dressed in black, with a veil over her face and a hand held under a shawl, have been told there since Monday night…The figure was seen coming from the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery one night. Another time it was in Beekman Avenue, and often in Beekman Walton’s yard. A heavy thunderstorm occured Tuesday night and the figure was out.” Nyack Evening Star, Monday January 30th, 1899. “Effigy of Woman” For a brief period in 1899, something other than the headless horseman haunted the streets of North Tarrytown, today known as Sleepy Hollow. A woman in black, shrouded, and face obscured,…

  • This is a trade publication ad for the Holt Egg Beater and Cream Whip produced by the Holt-Lyon Company of Tarrytown, New York.
    Local History & Interest,  Vanished Sleepy Hollow

    Holt-Lyon Company

    Over the course of its existence, the Holt-Lyon Company manufactured a variety of hand-powered kitchen appliances like cream whips and egg beaters, bread slicers, and mayonnaise mixers. Holt-Lyon was incorporated around the year 1900 for capital of $20,000 (about $700,000 in 2023 dollars). The business was the joining of forces by Nelson Lyon, who had manufactured egg beaters near Albany, New York, with Thomas Holt, who held patents for improved egg beater designs. The partners leased a factory on the Tarrytown, New York waterfront for their steam-powered equipment. Hand-powered egg beaters and similar hand-held mixers first appeared in US patents filed in the 1850s. Their innovative utility made them household…

  • A postcard of the Hotel Florence, Tarrytown, New York, with several early 20th century cars park out front.
    Local History & Interest,  Postcards,  Vanished Sleepy Hollow

    The Florence Inn

    From 1819 to 1964 the northwest corner of the intersection of South Broadway (Route 9) and Franklin Street was occupied by a rambling old house that for much of its existence was a popular inn. Known first as the Franklin House and later as the Vincent House, Florence Inn, and Hotel Florence, it served locals and travelers along the Albany Post Road. In their History of the Tarrytowns, local historians Jeff Canning and Wally Buxton record a parade of notable visitors to the Florence: President Martin Van Buren often stopped while in transit from his home in upstate Kinderhook, NY to Washington, DC; Woodrow Wilson lodged there while giving a series…

  • Local History & Interest,  Postcards

    Russell and Lawrie Postcards

    Founded by Frederick A. Russell and James T. Lawrie, the Russell & Lawrie drugstore originally occupied the first floor of the Washington Building at Main Street and Broadway in Tarrytown, a Tudor-style building that in 1894 replaced the pre-Revolutionary Edward Covenhoven Inn. The drugstore moved a couple blocks up Broadway after a fire swept the building in 1965. Like their crosstown rival, Farrington’s Drug Store, Russell & Lawrie published a series of souvenir postcards, some of which we collect here. Russell & Lawrie card numbered A5888 shows Tarrytown’s Depot Square with the Orchard Street district intact. The entire row of buildings behind the train station was demolished in the name…

  • Local History & Interest,  Postcards

    Farrington Postcards

    Like his rivals at Russell & Lawrie in Tarrytown, drugstore owner Edward Farrington had a line of souvenirs. Farrington’s Drug Store was located on the corner of Beekman Avenue and Washington Street in North Tarrytown. Farrington employed a numbering system for his images, typically a six-digit code on the image side of the card. In the mid-2000s former Rockefeller archivist Lucas Buresch cataloged Farrington’s “Lost Postcards of the Rockefeller Estate” with notes on each. 404,416 Residence of J.D. Rockefeller, Pocantico Hills, N.Y., showing Sunken Garden and Japanese Tea House. Farrington is incorrect. The Rockefeller family refers to it simply as the “tea house”. The interior is in the style of…

  • A color drawing of an American shad (Alosa sapidissima) by Duane Raver commissioned by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
    Local History & Interest,  Van Tassel Feast

    Shad: America’s Founding Fish

    “Fain would I pause to dwell upon the world of charms that burst upon the enraptured gaze of my hero, as he entered the state parlor of Van Tassel’s mansion . . . Such heaped-up platters of cakes of various and almost indescribable kinds, known only to experienced Dutch housewives! There was the doughty dough-nut, the tenderer oly koek, and the crisp and crumbling cruller; sweet cakes and short cakes, ginger cakes and honey cakes, and the whole family of cakes. And then there were apple pies and peach pies and pumpkin pies; besides slices of ham and smoked beef; and moreover delectable dishes of preserved plums, and peaches, and…

  • Raven Rock in Rockefeller State Park, viewed from below Buttermilk Hill.
    Ghosts & Spooks

    The Ghosts of Raven Rock

    “Nowhere in this part of the country are the ravens to be found, though it is thought that they may have been plentiful a century or more ago. The crows, who are known to be inveterate neighbors of their larger cousins, perhaps drove them out. Upon their exodus these birds of ill omen left their names in more than one lonely spot, to couple with dark associations. Raven Rock is a detached portion of the steep, rocky, eastern side of Buttermilk Hill, which a deep fissure has long separated from the mass, and the fragment, becoming independent territory, set up a mythology of its own. Not content with one legend,…