Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York

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Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

* Sleepy Hollow, New York, USA *

Most known for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by resident Washington Irving. The town was originally “North Tarrytown” but name-changed to the village of “Sleepy Hollow” in 1996/1997 to memorialize the stories and Washington Irving. Therefore, this cemetery was not originally called “Sleepy Hollow Cemetery” but more known as the Old Dutch Church Burying Ground. Even though these grounds appear to be one cemetery, it is actually two and maintained as such as two distinctly separate entities, even though they share the same main entrance. There is the Old Dutch Burying Ground known in the Legend and attached to the Old Dutch Church, and present day Sleepy Hollow Cemetery that surrounds the older cemetery. The people that inspired the characters in Irving’s tales are buried in the older cemetery, while Irving and his family are buried in the new one. Together the cemetery extends over 88 acres. The original lot is only 3 acres.

Just as the headless corpse of the Hussian soldier who was buried here is unmarked and legendary, part of the Sleepy Hollow tale, another famous unmarked burial legend is that of the Witch named Hulda. She was an immigrant from Bohemia and reputed as the local witch, living in her cabin alone, making remedies for the locals out of herbs and lore. Most of the town were believed to be scared of her, even though she’d leave baskets of healing potions at their doorsteps when they were ill. She was killed by British soldiers when they marched upon the town and she got in their way, and the locals buried her in the Christian Old Dutch Burying Ground as a patriot who died fighting for her community. Other famous residents of the cemetery are Brooke Astor, Queen of Mean Leona Helmsley, Elizabeth Arden, Walter Chrysler, Andrew Carnegie, William Rockefeller and Samuel Gompers. Other residents include Viola Allen, John Dustin Archbold, Vincent Astor, Leo Baekeland, Robert Livingston Beeckman, Holbrook Blinn, Henry E. Bliss, Artur Bodanzky, Major Edward Bowes, Alice Brady, Louise Whitfield Carnegie, Walter Chrysler, Francis Pharcellus Church, William Conant Church, Henry Sloane Coffin, Kent Cooper, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, William H. Douglas, Maud Earl, Parker Fennelly, Malcolm Webster Ford, Paul Leicester Ford, Samuel Gompers, Madison Grant, Moses Hicks Grinnell, Walter S. Gurnee, Robert Havell, Mark Hellinger, Herry Helmsley, Raymond Matthewson Hood, WIlliam Howard Hoople, Washington Irving, William Irving, George Jones, Albert Lasker, Mary Lasker, Lewis Edward Lawes, Ann Lohman, Charles D. Millard, Darius Ogden Mills, Belle Moskowitz, Robertson Kirtland Mygatt, Nathaniel H. Odell, Whitelaw Reid, William Rockefeller, Edgar Evertson Saltus, Francis Saltus Saltus, Henry Villard Memorial, Carl Schurz, Charles Sheeler, William G. Stahlnecker, William Boyce Thompson, Joseph Urban, Henry Villard, Oswald Garrison Villard, Oswald Garrison Villard, William A. Walker, Paul Warburg, Thomas J. Watson, Egerton Swartwout, and Hans Zinsser.

Washington Irving loved this area and lived just down the road from Sleepy Hollow in his Dutch-style estate he called “Sunnyside”. When the cemetery was expanding and being called “Tarrytown Cemetery”, his influence to the naming was held high, as he declared he would rest his bones there someday, and it was later called “Sleepy Hollow Cemetery”. It was originally incorporated in 1849 as “Tarrytown Cemetery”, but later changed as requested. It became a National Register of Historic Places property in 2009. It is a non-profit, non-sectarian burying ground. The Rockefeller Family Estate borders the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and contains the private Rockefeller cemetery.

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