What is Halloween? A look at Halloween traditions of the past What is Halloween and why the focus on the dead? It’s a boon to necromancers, the day when the dead are most inclined to rise up and join us in the world. Perhaps all it takes is a little pull from this side, and […]
Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson River Valley
Everybody knows the tale, but there's a lot of truth behind the legend. An hour up the Hudson River there's another world, still steeped in early American mythology, and still bearing the marks of this earlier age.
Here's a good place to start your adventure, how Washington Irving came to write the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, in his own words, and how that world has changed, and how it hasn't since then.
Donderberg Mountain overlooks the Hudson River just a bit above Sleepy Hollow and is in the thick of the Hudson Highlands. The legend of the Imp of Donder-Berg comes to us from the early Dutch settlers of the region, and was made somewhat famous by Washington Irving. According to the story, if the skipper of […]
At last she came to a little house, and an old woman was peeping out of it, but she had such great teeth that the girl was terrified and about to run away, only the old woman called her back. “What are you afraid of, my dear child? Come and live with me, and if you do […]
William Atterbury, my namesake was born in England ca 1700-1710, and was a laborer living in London, somewhere in the area of St. James Church and Westminster Abbey. Around the end of 1731, or the beginning of 1732, William went bad, and was nicked stealing five yards of linsey woolsey – a cloth made from […]
Top: Medicine box beside Washington Irving’s deathbed When you’re touring a historic home museum, keep an eye out for the little details which speak volumes about the people who lived there. Sunnyside was the home of American author Washington Irving, who wrote most famously, the short stories The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Rip Van […]
We don’t give a lot of thought to our silverware, a part of our daily life our ancestors didn’t take for granted A quick history of spoons and status in colonial era Dutch and English New York, at Philipsburg Manor, Sleepy Hollow, New York
The Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow has been perched on the hill overlooking the Pocantico River and the Albany Post Road for well over 300 years. As a young man, Washington Irving would often sit and look out the window in the above photo, daydreaming and watching the life of the graveyard just outside […]
When I was a kid I used to love haunted house attractions. It probably started with a visit to the Haunted Mansion at Disney World, and was fed almost every year by some form of Halloween event all the way through high school. As time went on however, the events became less about instilling those […]
Sleepy Hollow, a remembrance by Washington Irving is a short article which first appeared in the Knickerbocker Magazine in 1839. Unlike Irving’s more well-known short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Sleepy Hollow is autobiographical in tone. He explored the area as a teenager – a valley of the Pocantico River near Tarrytown, New York, […]
Above: The shot I was taking in Washington Irving’s Sunnyside when the lady laughed. People are always asking me if I believe these stories, they say “Todd, do you believe these stories?” That’s neither here nor there. But I will offer up a couple of experiences I’ve had, both coming from the Sleepy Hollow area […]
Statue of Peter Stuyvesant, St. Marks-Church-In-The-Bowery. Before there was New York, there was New Amsterdam. Founded by the Dutch in 1614, New Amsterdam occupied much of the tip of lower Manhattan, with today’s Wall Street taking its name from the outer walls of the settlement. New Amsterdam was a company town, ran by the Dutch […]
Philsburg Manor, a historic attraction In Sleepy Hollow, in the heart of the historic Hudson River valley, by history/travel photographer and writer Todd Atteberry for the History Trekker.