Sleepy Hollow is a river village within the Town of Mount Pleasant, located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River about 30 miles north of Manhattan and 10 miles west of White Plains. It is a short, scenic 40 minute Metro North train ride along the Hudson River shoreline to New York City.
Points of Interest In The Sleepy Hollow Area
A Brief History of Sleepy Hollow
From Native Americans to Dutch settlers to English farmers to American patriots to modern industrialists - All their stories overlap and unfold in Sleepy Hollow. Where today the Pocantico River meets the Hudson, local Native Americans had an opportunity to remark at Henry Hudson's ship, the Half Moon, sailing up the big river in 1609.
For a time the tribes which had inhabited the lands bordering the Pocantico shared their domain with Dutch trappers and homesteaders, but before the century had ended, title to the lands about the Sleepy Haven kill (river) had passed to Frederick Philipse. Philipse hailed from the Lowlands, but after England had taken New Netherlands from the Dutch in 1664 he demonstrated his loyalty to the British Crown. The Crown later confirmed his ownership of a great portion of Westchester County which was to be known as Philipse Manor. Sleepy Hollow, the valley of the Pocantico, was to be one of the featured places in his domain.
There, during the 1680's, he built a manor house, a mill, a dam and a church. He invited Dutch families to settle nearby and during the next hundred years English, French and German settlers and African American slaves swelled the area of Sleepy Hollow. They paid their rent to the descendants of Frederick Philipse and brought their corn and wheat to be ground at his mill. Yet hard work and self-reliance forged their sense of independence and when Revolution swept the land the majority rejected the Loyalist tendencies of their landlord. Bitter civil war swept "the Neutral Ground" a war ravaged swath of land which lay between the British forces in New York and the Americans to the north. The people of Sleepy Hollow endured the terror and strife, and many volunteered for military service.
Then followed a period of agrarian tranquility for the Sleepy Hollow folk. They were Americans who preserved many of their old world customs. This is the period which Washington Irving pictures for us in the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and in other writings. The image which Irving presented struck a cord with writers and artists of the mid-19th Century. Wealthy admirers of the Irving legacy arrived in the area to build their country estates on the hills and wheat fields of the early homesteads. Soon other outside influences would shape the future of the quiet community.
Commerce and industry inevitably placed their marks on the landscape. The first Croton Aqueduct and the Hudson River railroad brought workers and their families into the region. Many people made their homes in Beekmantown, a small hamlet built on farmland and laid out in small lots for houses and stores. With the dawning of the 20th Century, these folk and their descendants began to work in the factories which had started to appear near the mouth of the Pocantico. Meanwhile the Old Dutch Church, built over two hundred years earlier by Frederick Philipse, was still standing vigil over Sleepy Hollow. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, established in 1849, had begun to reach upstream along the Pocantico River and north along the Albany Post Road.
The neighborhoods of Sleepy Hollow and Beekmantown were incorporated into the modern village of North Tarrytown. Nearby, there cropped up many suburban homes for those who made their living in New York City. The richest man in America, John D. Rockefeller, moved his family to Kykuit Hill, which overlooks the old church, the Hudson River, and the valley of Sleepy Hollow. The population of this village has swelled by the welcome arrival of people from many lands, and in 1997, the village adopted the name Sleepy Hollow, making it easier for visitors to find this famous American place.
Sleepy Hollow Points Of Interest
Philipsburg Manor, Upper Mills:
This early 17th century farm was owned by the Philipse family and includes a fully furnished Dutch-style manor house, barn and a restored gristmill, gardens, reception center, orientation film and gift shop.
Union Church of Pocantico Hills:
Works of Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse, two modern-day masters, are featured in the spectacular stained glass windows at this beautiful church, built by the Rockefeller family in the early 20th century. The building boasts the only cycle of church windows created by Chagall in the United States.
This house and gardens was the home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Tours include the house, gardens and coach barn and are available by reservation only.
The 1883 Lighthouse at Sleepy Hollow:
A trip to this historic lighthouse begins at Kingsland Point Park. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the lighthouse offers nature and historic heritage programs on a monthly basis and features exhibits of logbooks and chronicles, photographs and furnishings that illustrate what life was like in a lighthouse more than 100 years ago.
Rockefeller State Park Preserve - NYS Department of Parks
Friends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve
Over 1,000 acres of woodlands, meadows, wetlands and a 24-acre lake offer a wonderful retreat from the city. Come to hike, jog, fish, cross-country ski or study nature.
Fishing licenses are required and horseback riding is allowed with a permit. Kykuit, former home of the Rockefellers and one of the valley's most popular attractions, is located adjacent to the preserve.
Old Croton Aqueduct Trailway.
The aqueduct is a 33 mile linear state park. Built in 1845, it is owned and managed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the trailway offers a scenic walk from northern Westchester County to New York City. It follows the path of the aqueduct that was once used to bring fresh water from the Croton River to New York City.
Kingsland Point Park:
299 Palmer Avenue off Route 9 in Sleepy Hollow. A scenic county-owned, 18-acre park right on the Hudson River. Kingsland Point Park is maintained and operated by the Village of Sleepy Hollow Recreation Department. Park facilities include ball fields, picnic areas, kayaking facilities, a ½ acre dog park and access to the Kingsland Point Lighthouse, also known as the Tarrytown Lighthouse. Built in 1883 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the lighthouse stands in the shadow of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Group tours are available by appointment.
Old Dutch Church
The Old Dutch Church is believed to be the oldest church still used for religious worship in New York State. The little structure of thick stone walls, designed to withstand Indian attacks, was built by Manor Lord Frederick Philpse. Work was begun about 1684 and dedicated for use by the early settlers in 1697. Philipse and members of his family are buried in a crypt under the church. The old church was featured in the writings of Washington Irving, especially the legend of Sleepy Hollow. Washington Irving is buried in the adjacent cemetery.
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