Wolfert’s Roost, 1855

1855 edition of Wolfert’s Roost by Washington Irving generously donated by author Neil Cohen. Wolfert’s Roost tells the story of Irving’s home Sunnyside which began almost 200 years before he lived there with Wolfert Acker, a Dutch-American inhabitant of the region. His property, Wolfert’s Roost, was part of the Manor of Philipsburg. Among other buildings, Wolfert’s Roost contained a simple two-room stone tenant farmhouse, built around 1690, which … Continue reading Wolfert’s Roost, 1855

The Sunnyside Waltz, 1850

The charming, fairytale-looking cottage home of Washington Irving provided the inspiration for this waltz, composed in 1850. “Sunnyside Waltz” was written by Henry T. Oates and dedicated to a Miss Ella Ford of Augusta, Georgia. An original copy of the score sits on the rosewood piano found in Irving’s living room. “We are not musical”, reviewed the Southern Literary Messenger in 1850, “but that we … Continue reading The Sunnyside Waltz, 1850

Rip’s Retreat Roadside Attraction, c.1950s

Washington Irving deliberately kept the exact home of Rip Van Winkle a secret: his classic 1818 short story was just set somewhere in the Catskill Mountains of New York. But the widespread popularity of his tale saw many villages and towns in the area began to name check the long sleeping, hen pecked husband. Rip Van Winkle day tours, garages, diners and hiking trails soon … Continue reading Rip’s Retreat Roadside Attraction, c.1950s

J.H.Johnston Souvenir Spoons, c.1882

J.H.Johnston & Co. was a high end silversmiths and jewelry firm, located at 17, Union Square, New York. Started in 1844, the company specialized in highly decorative silverware and novelties, including a line of souvenir spoons commemorating notable New York figures. The coffee spoons included Rip Van Winkle, Peter Stuyvesant, and a rendering of the Headless Horseman based on Darley’s illustrations. The handle of the … Continue reading J.H.Johnston Souvenir Spoons, c.1882

Washington Irving’s Funeral

The funeral service for the writer who shaped much of Tarrytown & Sleepy Hollow’s identity was held at Christ Church, Tarrytown in December, 1859. The illustration appeared on the front page of Harper’s Weekly, December 17th. Irving died of a heart attack, aged 76, in his bedroom at Sunnyside. Legend has it his last words were, “Well, I must arrange my pillows for another night. … Continue reading Washington Irving’s Funeral