• The manor house at Philipsburg Manor is reflected on the millpond.
    Local History & Interest,  Places & Landmarks,  Van Tassel Feast

    Philipsburg Manor

    Drive North on Route 9 out of Sleepy Hollow and you’ll suddenly find yourself amidst trappings of a bygone era. An iconic white-washed stone building rests adjacent to a large and placid mill pond. Additional buildings, such as a mill and a barn linger nearby, framed by large picturesque trees. Squint and you might think you took a wrong turn and ended up in the wrong century. This is the remaining vestige of the early-18th century in Sleepy Hollow Country: Philipsburg Manor. The Lord of Philipsburg Manor In the 1680s, dutch immigrant, Frederick Philipse I had amassed nearly 52,000 acres of land on the eastern side of the Hudson River,…

  • The east facade of St. Barnabas features a Norman Tudor tower.
    Ghosts & Spooks

    Ghosts of St. Barnabas Church

    “Most longtime parishioners at Irvington’s Church of St. Barnabas cheerfully accept the idea that there are ghosts that haunt the venerable Episcopal Church and its Rectory.” –The Hudson Independent, October 2, 2011. St. Barnabas Church in Irvington, New York, an Episcopal congregation, traces its history to the mid-1850s when The Reverend John McVickar purchased a 30-acre property north of Main Street for a summer residence. This was in part due to his friendship with author Washington Irving whose own home, Sunnyside, was less than a mile away. Around 1852 McVickar set about improving his property and the spiritual well-being of the community by launching the construction of a chapel and…

  • Image of a newspaper headline reporting a UFO over Sleepy Hollow, New York.
    Weird & Unexplained

    UFOs Invade Tarrytown!

    ” . . . stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country . . .” –The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving The 1947 purported crash of an alien spacecraft in Roswell, New Mexico launched a national UFO frenzy. The Hudson Valley, no stranger to the marvelous and unexplained, quickly became a hot spot for unexplained flying craft. Pine Bush, about 60 miles north of Sleepy Hollow, seems to hold a special attraction for alien craft, with reported sightings from the 1950s through the present. While we aren’t breaking out the tinfoil hats just yet, we heartily agree with Washington…

  • A jagged rock formation on Buttermilk Hill is framed against gloomy woodlands.
    Local History & Interest

    Rockefeller’s War on Snakes

    “I will pay 25-cents for each snake killed on my estate. I desire to rid my land of these reptiles, and any one may enter the war of extermination.” JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER -The New York Times, June 12 1906. John D. Rockefeller declared war. A war on snakes. Reportedly afraid of the reptiles since his youth and unable to walk safely in portions of his estate, there had been no other explanation given for the public announcement of the need to exterminate the snakes on his large estate in Pocantico Hills, particularly the Buttermilk Hill area which is “the wildest in the county.” For weeks following the proclamation of war,…

  • A dead ash tree stands at the entrance the Buttermilk Hill segment of Rockefeller State Park Preserve.
    Local History & Interest,  Crime & Murder

    The Deaths of Buttermilk Hill

    “Buttermilk Hill” is the name of a desolate, rugged mountain, about a mile from Unionville Station, studded with a thick growth of young trees, underbrush, and rocks. It is about a half mile from the base to the top of the mountain, and to ascend it one must follow a lonesome, tortuous, rocky wood road, starting from the Sawmill River Road, which lies at the foot of the hill on the eastern side.” The New York Herald, Thursday September 1, 1881. “MURDERED IN THE WOODS” Something might be off about Buttermilk Hill. Today most people know of it as an area of scenic walking paths in Rockefeller State Park Preserve…

  • Armor-Stiner Octagon House in Irvington, NY is framed by eerie trees and a gloomy sky.
    Local History & Interest,  Ghosts & Spooks

    Ghosts of the Octagon House

    “We have a ghost here, you know. Oh yes, we have. It followed us from 144 West 12th Street in New York City where we used to live. We’ve never seen it; it’s a fragrance that haunts the house.” -Carl Carmer This colorful house is an architectural and visual gem. With a string of occupants as colorful as the house itself, you would be perfectly reasonable to suspect a few lingered on after death. Before we get to the ghosts—and several owners have heartily embraced the presence of resident spirits—let’s take a brief look at its history and the characteristics that make it one-of-a-kind. The Armour-Stiner House is one of…

  • The André Captors monument in Tarrytown marks the spot where British spy Major John André was apprehended and where John André's ghost is said to linger.
    Local History & Interest,  Ghosts & Spooks

    John André’s Ghost

    “Down the post road, on still autumn nights, belated wayfarers sometimes heard the sound of hoofs. A madly galloping horse seemed to approach, but no horse or horseman was visible to the keenest eyes…All agreed that the hoofbeats stopped as though the rider had reined in suddenly, and that they were never heard further south than the immense old tulip tree, known as André’s tree, that spread it’s gaunt ghost-like arms in the moonlight.” –Chronicles of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, by Edgar Mayhew Bacon Two ghostly horsemen. One gallops headless out of the pages of Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the other rides alongside from the pages of history…

  • "Capture of Major John André’," undated, THS Picture Collection, 13295, Tennessee Historical Society, Tennessee Virtual Archive
    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 John…

  • News clipping describing a plague of exploding mosquitoes in Tarrytown, NY.
    Weird & Unexplained

    Revenge of the 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…