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Historic

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 »