With Fall and Halloween approaching, I thought I would share one of my all-time favorite places I have visited. I had planned a two-week-long summer road trip through the New England states with my son and my parents. During the planning phase, I realized there was a small town only 30 miles north of New York City that I just had to visit. The name of that little village was Sleepy Hollow! I thought this village was just a fictional town in Washington Irving’s chilling tale, “Legends of Sleepy Hollow.” This story was always a childhood favorite of mine, and I could not believe I would be able to actually see this village.
I was expecting to see a modern-day town with the ever-present Starbucks and chain stores, but that is not what happened. It was a quaint small town that jumped right off the page of the story. Initially, my family and I tried to tour the Philipsburg Manor House, but it was a long wait for the next available tour. We decided to see the Old Dutch Church and cemetery, and I am so glad we did. We were met by one of the congregation's local members, and he gave us the tour of a lifetime! I had no idea that the characters from the story, including the author, were buried in that cemetery. Yes, even the headless Horseman! Ichabod Crane was buried on Staten Island, according to our guide. The church also held a Sunday service, and President George Washington attended. We were allowed to tour the inside of the church and walk in the footsteps of history.
Standing beside the church and looking back towards the Philipsburg Manor House, you will see the Horseman’s Bridge. I could actually see the story come to life at that moment. It was so easy to picture Ichabod leaving the Van Tassel’s home, crossing the bridge, and trying to outrun the Horseman.
If you have the opportunity to visit NYC and have time to rent a car, visit Sleepy Hollow, and get lost in an American classic!