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Historic

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Donald H. Whitely –  Dr. King was honored with the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964. He was the youngest man to ever receive the award at the age of 35. On April 4, 1968, my sister Tina and I had just started doing our homework in our family’s second floor, five-room apartment. My sister was in her room, ... Read More »

Deconstructing the Tappan Zee: Where Does It All Go?

by Barrett Seaman –  Like a giant Mantis, the 328-ft. arm of the super crane (dubbed I Lift NY) hovers over its prey — seemingly for hours as its mechanized talons are calibrated so as to grasp just the right places. Once aligned, it descends, locks onto the latticework of a 235-foot-long steel truss and lifts it slowly skyward. That’s ... Read More »

Petition Circulating Opposing Naming of Tappan Zee for Mario Cuomo

by Rick Pezzullo –  An on-line petition, spearheaded by a Port Chester man that opposes naming the new bridge for former Governor Mario Cuomo, has attracted more than 101,000 signatures to date. Dr. Monroe Mann, 40, started the petition on Change.org on November 2 and stated the public should have had input before the state Legislature voted in June to ... Read More »

Commentary – George Washington’s Viewpoint

by Robert Kimmel Given the current controversy over our government’s policies concerning immigrants coming to our shores and across our borders, it might be useful to go back in history to determine how our nation’s first President viewed similar issues. As an example, what might George Washington have said about the current administration’s decision to suspend the Deferred Action for ... Read More »

Rockefeller Estate in Pocantico Hills on Market for $22M

By Rick Pezzullo The Westchester residence of banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller, who died in March at the age of 101, is up for sale for $22 million. Situated on 75 acres in Pocantico Hills, the three-story, 11,000-square-foot main residence, known as Hudson Pines, is surrounded by broad lawns, immaculate gardens, a round heated pool, an apple orchard, a private ... Read More »

Old Dutch Church Ribbon Cutting Marks Access Project Completion

by Robert Kimmel For decades, accessibility to the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow was challenging for handicapped walkers, people with carriages and the elderly.  That challenge officially ended last month with a ribbon cutting that heralded the completion of a project that brings an ease of access to those whose entry had been a burden. Old, uneven steps, labeled ... Read More »

Are There Ghosts and Witches in Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow?

by Maria Ann Roglieri According to Sara Mascia, Executive Director of The Historical Society, Inc. of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, there have always been rumors about “spooky people and spooky happenings” in our two villages. In the 18th and 19th centuries, townspeople were very superstitious, and anyone who was different was considered to be a witch. The Chronicles of Sleepy ... Read More »

Just Where Was That “Sleepy Hollow,” Actually?

by Barrett Seaman    It is, of course, the name of a village in Westchester County—arguably the county’s most famous. It used to be North Tarrytown until administrators decided they’d get better recognition by taking advantage of that famous short story by Washington Irving. Practically everybody knows of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Irving’s fantastical tale of a headless horseman, said ... Read More »

WWII Veterans from North Tarrytown High Honored in SH

by Tom Pedulla The delightful sounds of children romping at a nearby playground echoed as 45 former North Tarrytown High School students who died in World War II were honored during recent ceremonies at Winfield L. Morse School. The children knew nothing of Chick Galella, 96, a Pearl Harbor survivor who played a lead role in organizing the event to ... Read More »

Letters to the Editor: Re: “A Piece of Tarrytown History Appears Doomed,” published August 3, 2017 in The Hudson Independent

Article Captured Essence of Life at Brace Cottage What a wonderful job Elaine Marranzano did capturing the essence of life at Brace Cottage and Braceholme for posterity in her article in the August issue of The Hudson Independent. The article will be a permanent testament to the vision of Dr. Brace, the daily work of the good Mr. Hutchinson, and ... Read More »

Ceremony Planned to Honor WWII Vets

A ceremony honoring the 44 former North Tarrytown High School students who gave their lives for their country during World War II will be held Sunday, September 10 at 2 p.m. Organized by Chick Galella and the Alumni Association of North Tarrytown High School, the featured speaker at the event, which will be held at Winfield L. Morse School, will ... Read More »

Cattle Farm on Rockefeller Preserve in Sleepy Hollow to Disperse

by Elaine Marranzano If you are accustomed to walking in Rockefeller State Park Preserve and enjoy seeing the cattle, say goodbye while you can. The cows are going. Once described as “Bonanza meets Downton Abbey,” Hudson Pines, the cattle farm in Sleepy Hollow owned by the late David Rockefeller, will host a “complete dispersal” sale on November 1. “It is ... Read More »

A 19th Century Hastings’ Confederate Cemetery Monument Designed to Unify Causes Present-Day Concern

by W. B. King From Charlottesville, Virginia to San Diego, California, public monuments celebrating leaders of the Confederate Army, such as Robert E. Lee, are being toppled by residents and municipalities that decry associations to slavery and oppression. This heated national debate now includes a local Confederate monument in Mount Hope Cemetery in the Town of Greenburgh. “The Confederacy was ... Read More »

A Piece of Tarrytown History Appears Doomed

Brace Cottage in Wilson Park will soon be demolished.

by Elaine Marranzano In the winter of 1934, John Hutchinson emerged from a two-story, stone cottage in Tarrytown. To his left were the nuns of Marymount. Ahead on the hill, he could see the red gabled roof of the big house, a massive, far more elaborate version of his own dwelling. Behind him, bisected by the Old Putnam County Railroad, ... Read More »

World War II Ceremony

Sunday, September 10 at 2:00pm: a ceremony honoring the 44 former North Tarrytown High School students who gave their lives for their country during World War II. Organized by Chick Galella and the Alumni Association of North Tarrytown High School. The featured speaker at the event, which will be held at Winfield L. Morse School, will be former Marine Captain ... Read More »

Dramatic Changes Are Being Made at Lyndhurst with Interior, Exterior and Landscaping Restoration

by Morey Storck Lyndhurst, the Gothic Revival “country house” designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838 for New York City mayor William Paulding, Jr.,was originally named The Knoll. Aptly termed, it is situated on a 67-acre park-like setting beside the Hudson River, spanning an idyllic, beautifully landscaped area rambling from Route 9 to the water’s edge. There is abundant open ... Read More »

A ‘Thin Space’ Thick with History: The Old Dutch Church

by Krista Madsen Borrowing a Celtic reference, Pastor Jeff Gargano refers to the Old Dutch Church as a “thin place,” where Heaven and Earth almost touch. This thin space where the spiritual infuses a great variety of life-and-death celebrations is actually very thick of wall – three-feet at the base, in fact, thick enough to withstand over 300 years of ... Read More »

Lowey Presents Overdue Medals to Tarrytown WWII Veteran

by Morey Storck Tarrytown resident Leon Gutherz was awarded five medals, due to a neighbor’s interest and initiative, albeit 70 years late. It was during an outside gab session one afternoon that Gutherz happened to mention his war record to one of the group. She immediately picked up on it, felt he definitely deserved recognition, copied his discharge papers, put ... Read More »

A ‘Thin Space’ Thick with History: the Old Dutch Church

Aubrey Hawes

Borrowing a Celtic reference, Pastor Jeff Garganorefers to the Old Dutch Church asa “thin place,” where heaven and earth almost touch. This thin space where the spiritual infuses a great variety of life-and-deathcelebrations is actually very thick of wall – three-feet at the base, in fact, thick enough to withstand over 300 years of history as New York’s oldest, and ... Read More »

Old Dutch Church Expected to Re-Open by Mid-June

by Robert Kimmel With construction work designed to improve access to the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow proceeding on schedule, its reopening is expected by mid-June. After decades of entry problems for the handicapped and elderly, new stairs, ramps and pathways leading to the building will ease access for all worshippers. The church’s old approaches have disappeared as workers ... Read More »

Access Construction Project In Progress at Old Dutch Church

by Robert Kimmel Construction work is underway to fix a problem that has confronted the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow for many decades.  The church’s accessibility for the handicapped, elderly, and others with ambulatory disabilities has been difficult, or as one person associated with the church described it, “treacherous.” Old, uneven steps leading to the church’s front entrance will ... Read More »

Arts & Entertainment – Celebrating the Hamiltons of Irvington

Principal creative people involved in the James Hamilton show. (L-R:) Eighth-grader Sasha Paris Carter, vocal coach; eighth grader Liam Oley, composer; retired Irvington High School Principal Dr. Scott Mosenthal, librettist. —Photo by: Barrett Seaman

by Barrett Seaman Who Will Tell Your Story? asks the title of a brand new musical production about Hamilton—that is, the family that survived Alexander Hamilton after Aaron Burr shot him to death in 1804. The story, subtitled An Evening with the Hamiltons of Irvington, focuses on the life of Hamilton’s oldest surviving son, James, whose own legacy is deeply ... Read More »

Have a Classic Car?

Looking for area Classic Car Owners to Join the Village of Irvington’s Historic Main Street Festival, Celebrate Irvington for a classic car meet-up. Stay an hour or all day. Call or email Karen for details.  914-591-4356 or KBuccheri@irvingtonnny.gov See general info on Celebrate Irvington, June 18: http://www.irvingtonny.gov/index.aspx?nid=376 Read More »

President’s Budget Cuts Could Hamper Plans by Historic Hudson Valley  

Philipsburg Manor Historic Hudson Valley

by Robert Kimmel Projects planned by Historic Hudson Valley could be in jeopardy if President Donald Trump’s preliminary budget proposals are all passed by Congress this month. Among the president’s proposals for the 2018 budget, beginning in October, are the virtual elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Those agencies have ... Read More »

Ground Breaking Set This Month for Old Dutch

by Robert Kimmel With the fundraising effort for improving accessibility to the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow having reached over $250,00, well on its way toward its $350,000 goal, ground breaking for the construction project will be held Wednesday, March 15. The church, built 332 years ago, saw subsequent changes over the years in the road level at its ... Read More »

John André: The Spy Who Loved Us

by Charlene Weigel On a chilly Saturday, The Historical Society of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow was alive with visitors in search of a dead man. Not just any man. He had to have charm and wit, but be honest to the core. Cultured. Handsome. Schooled in the arts. Massively charismatic. Perhaps a bit full of himself, but with good reason. ... Read More »

Warner Oral History: Long Live the Nonprofits of 10591

by Krista Madsen While we are a vital part of a growing biotech belt in Westchester County, 10591 seems to thrive on the strength and number of its historic nonprofits. A group of local leaders met recently at the Warner Library for a Meet-the-Nonprofit-themed oral history session. Their passion and knowledge certainly speaks to their organizations’ successes and impacts. Clare ... Read More »

Celebrating a 107th birthday, Gunter Lorenz Stays Active

by Robert Kimmel Gunter Lorenz has the best attendance record at the weekly meetings of the Men’s Club at the Shames Jewish Community Center on the Hudson. At the age of 107, that is no small achievement. Adding to that accomplishment are the lectures he has given over the years to his fellow members at the JCC. During a lively ... Read More »

The Woman Who Inspired the Memorial at AME Zion Church

by Charlene Weigel Foster Memorial AME Zion Church is an airy space with a vaulted ceiling, polished wooden pews and arched stained-glass windows. A small, framed photograph of a woman sits in the vestibule. She meets the camera with a direct gaze. Light brightens one eye; shadows obscure the other. Her halo of curls is silvered by age. Her lips, ... Read More »

Old Dutch Church Challenges Rental Fee from NY State

Old Dutch Church

by Robert Kimmel The year 2016 passed as most other years for the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow – with one exception. It got an annual “rental” fee bill. The invoice, for $1,700, was from the New York State Department of Transportation for the use of property located between the church’s entrance and Route 9.  Most unusual was that ... Read More »

A Bit of Old Rome on the Hudson Unearthed at Greystone

by Barrett Seaman  Saturninus, the freed slave who rose to be a senior tax collector for the Roman Emperor Claudius, would surely have been surprised at the ride his tombstone took after his passing in the mid-first century AD. Commissioned as the receptacle for his ashes by his wife Flavia, the monument—or “cippus”—was impressive enough to eventually earn a spot ... Read More »

Warner Oral Histories: Small Businesses Make a Village

by Krista Madsen The eclectic group of small business owners circling the table at the latest Warner Library Oral History session reflected the richness of our mom-and-pop landscape – how essential these enterprises are to our local lifestyle, how much they’ve changed through the decades, or in some cases, how they’ve helped maintain the traditions residents cherish. Nancy Coffey, director ... Read More »

The Old Dutch Church Accessibility Project: A Much Needed Fund-Raising Opportunity

“The Old Dutch Church is a community treasure,” noted the Reverend Jeffrey Gargano, Pastor of the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns. “Built by Frederick Philipse in 1685 for himself and his tenant farmers, many of whom were enslaved Africans, people have come from all over the world to visit it, thanks to Washington Irving.” But, not every visitor has been ... Read More »

Warner Oral Histories: Volunteering in Tarrytown

Ann Phillips

by Krista Madsen “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi Toiling behind the scenes, with little acknowledgement and no pay, it is the volunteers who really seem to provide the special sauce to this community. A room of five extreme volunteers, who have dedicated countless hours to service, somehow found ... Read More »

Irvington Historical Society Celebrates Restoration of the Octagon House’s Greenhouse

More than 150 Irvingtonians and friends braved the sweltering heat and humidity of Saturday, September 10 to celebrate the completion of the reconstructed Lord & Burnham greenhouse at the Octagon House, the village’s architectural crown jewel. The event, catered by Suzanne’s Table, featured auctions, both live and silent, and house tours that, together with ticket sales, brought in more than ... Read More »

Blessing of the Headless Horseman

Halloween season kicked off on October 2 at the Old Dutch Church with Reverend Jeffrey Galgano’s blessing of the Headless Horseman and his horse – a fitting ceremony, since, without the “The Old Dutch” our river towns would not have the opportunity to celebrate this fun-filled holiday. Read More »

New Jack O’Lantern Stamps Unveiled at Historic Hudson Valley Blaze

by Rick Pezzullo Historic Hudson Valley kicked off the new season of its annual The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze on September 29 with the unveiling of the United States Post Office’s Jack O’Lantern stamps. Both the stamps, which feature four different photographs of carved pumpkins, and The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze® celebrate the American symbol of Halloween. This is not ... Read More »

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is Also for the Living

By W. B. King Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow’s favorite literary son, Washington Irving, once said: “Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.” For the approximately 15,000 tourists who visit the famed Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to pay respects to Irving and other well-known interred “residents” ... Read More »

Warner Oral Histories: Food Memories of 10591

From the Aroma of Alter’s Bread to that Squirmy Bucket of Greene County Snails by Krista Madsen Our memories related to food – the smells, tastes, the scene surrounding what we ate – are often our strongest. The most vivid recollection that came out of last month’s Warner Library Oral History food-focused session had to be those giant baskets of ... Read More »

Arts & Entertainment – Bjorn Olsson’s Vision for The Music Hall: “A Living Room for The Community”

by Morey Storck In a wide-ranging interview, backstage at the Tarrytown Music Hall, Bjorn Olsson, Executive Director, discussed his thoughts about where the Music Hall founders and administrators started, what they learned, where they are, where they plan to go, and what he means by “A Living Room for The Community.” Olsson became involved with the Music Hall in the ... Read More »

Restoration of SH Cemetery’s Matchless Chimes Planned

by Shelly Robinson and Robert Kimmel Hidden away high up in the stone belfry of the Washington Irving Memorial Chapel just inside the north gate of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is a set of 10 tubular bell tower chimes installed in 1923. Known for their fine musical qualities with rich and mellow tones, guaranteed never to crack or go out of ... Read More »

Local WWII Vet Recounts Racism During War and Peace

by Krista Madsen “The United States Army was very particular. They made sure that not too many black troops were ever in any situation where they could gain any recognition.” — Booker Morris Booker Morris’s description of the second-class treatment he and his four brothers experienced while serving in the U.S. Army during World War II won him the admiration of the Transfiguration School ... Read More »

Arts & Entertainment – The Pinkster Festival at Philipsburg Manor is an African- American Celebration of Spring

by Morey Storck On Saturday, May 14, Philipsburg Manor will host the Pinkster holiday, an African-American celebration of Spring which is known to have been observed in the Hudson Valley as early as the 17th century. The cross-cultural, colonial style festival re-creates the holiday with lively presentations of drumming, traditional dance, African folktales, and demonstrations of traditional African instruments and ... Read More »

Warner Oral Histories: Life in the Van Tassel

by Krista Madsen The Van Tassel (lovingly called “VT”) is no ordinary apartment complex. Its history is rich and fascinating, as we discovered from a handful of long-time residents who gathered at the latest Warner Library Oral Histories session. Some facts: • The bas relief medallions flanking the top of the main entrance are portraits of explorer Henry Hudson and ... Read More »

Oral Histories: Remembering the Original Tappan Zee Bridge

by Krista Madsen When Anne Petry of then-North Tarrytown was in the fourth grade, her teacher emphatically told the class, “there will never be a bridge” across this part of the Hudson. Citizens of Nyack and the Tarrytowns, separated by one of the widest parts of the river, got from one side to the other by putting their cars on ... Read More »

Revisiting The Tiffany Reading Room

By Ginny Read A little more than three years have passed since the unveiling of the restored Tiffany Reading Room, the peaceful sanctuary tucked within Irvington Town Hall. If, today, you were to stop by the room on any given weekday, you might come upon someone reading, in quiet study, or even meditating. You might walk in on a weekly ... Read More »

Oral Histories: Skating and Sledding in the Tarrytowns

By Krista Madsen On a January day that hit 50 degrees outside (there were even signs of crocus leaves pushing through the library lawn), a group of six talked inside about simpler, colder times. Five women and one man who grew up in different neighborhoods across the villages shared a common delight in the winter months they remembered – when ... Read More »

Oral History: Hudson Street’s Helen Manca

by Krista Madsen Helen Manca, 99, is my next-door neighbor and popular with my two young daughters for her endlessly replenishing bowl of M&Ms. Since we moved here in 2009, we’ve enjoyed her stories of growing up in the very house she still lives in, so it felt special to be able to record them for this installment of the ... Read More »

Oral Histories: Galella, Reluctant Hero, Recalls Pearl Harbor Attack

by Krista Madsen Armando “Chick” Galella, 94, sees himself as a person with a life-long habit of serving rather than any kind of hero. He’s reluctant to get all the attention and accolades he gets as our region’s sole surviving Pearl Harbor veteran. “I’m not the only veteran around,” he said. “They should interview other people besides me. I know ... Read More »

Transfiguration Students Honor WWII Vets in Letter Writing Campaign

by Neal Rentz For students in grades five through eight at the Transfiguration School in Tarrytown, World War II is something more than what they have read about in textbooks. Pupils in social studies classes taught by Rosemary Holodak have formed a bond with those who fought in the conflict. The students wrote letters to veterans from the Hudson Valley ... Read More »

Life on the Homefront During WWII: “Having a Common Cause”

|by Krista Madsen| Ten women and two men filled every chair in the third floor Warner Library conference room to share stories of life on the homefront during WWII. Though the war ended 70 years ago, their memories are as vivid as if it all happened yesterday – from the constant air raid drills and pulled curtains for blackouts, down ... Read More »

Jewish Spy in Nazi Territory to Speak in Tarrytown

| by Alexander Roberts |  Just 22 years old, the pretty blond woman pretended to be a nurse searching for her Nazi soldier boyfriend behind enemy lines in Nazi–occupied France during World War II.  But in actuality, Marthe Cohn was a French Jew with forged papers who spoke fluent German, recruited by the Allies to funnel information about German troop ... Read More »

Ceremony at Lighthouse to Celebrate New Beacon

Exact replica of original lens has been installed in the Lighthouse.

|  by Robert Kimmel  | Without its light since the 1960’s, the Lighthouse by night has been a murky silhouette in the Hudson River off the Sleepy Hollow shoreline. But that is about to change. Originally labeled the Tarrytown Light when it was built in 1883, the structure was decommissioned in 1961, and its valuable lens was removed and sold ... Read More »

New Irvington Laws Aim to Stave Off Wrecking Ball

|  by Barrett Seaman  | When the Irvington Historic District Committee (IHDC) held public information sessions two years ago in an effort to resurrect a 10-year-old plan to designate much of the village’s business district as “historic,” many local owners voiced fears that the plan would lead to yet another layer of regulatory restrictions on what they could do with ... Read More »