NEW: The Old Dutch Fest and Book Launch, noon to 6pm on Sunday, Oct. 9

sleepy hollow
An Old Dutch Fest in the Sleepy Hollow Graveyard, from noon to 6 pm
October 7, 2011
by Elinor Allcott Griffith

On Sunday, October 9, as Halloween approaches, come to the area’s most famous church and three-acre burying ground for this spookily fun community-wide event: The Old Dutch Fest. The festivities kick off at noon with bratwurst, sodas and ice cream. The Headless Horseman will gallop in for a visit (3 – 5 p.m.) and clarinet and accordion-playing minstrels will stroll through the graveyard.

Take a fun iPad tour anytime, developed by Lyle Anderson of Chappaqua, using the country’s first iPad tour application. And pick up the just-released book, with its riveting first-hand accounts of the church’s first 326 years! The Headless Horseman (and authors Janie Couch Allen and myself, former editors at Reader’s Digest) will stick around all afternoon to autograph copies.

This colorful and engaging book brings you the stories behind the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, now a National Historic Landmark. More than 130 pages with hundreds of photographs, maps, illustrations and entertaining true tales of the church and its people from 1685 to today make this book a delightful way to learn about the church, as well as Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, N.Y.

Read about the richest man in New York (Lord Frederick Philipse), who built the church but wasn’t altogether saintly ... the superstitious Dutch colonists who inspired a young man (Washington Irving) to write America’s most beloved ghost story about the church ... the “hero with the goose gun” (Jacob Van Tassel), just one of many local Revolutionary War heroes who are buried in the churchyard ... and, of course, the Headless Horseman whose haunt it is!

Also, the priceless First Record Book of 1715 (written in Dutch, the language preached from the pulpit until the Revolution), the church’s elegant furnishings, Colonial silver and more.

“This book offers insightful, personal glimpses into life over the centuries—not to be missed!” says Aubrey Hawes, president of the Friends of the Old Dutch Church and Burying Ground, the non-profit group that published it. “Authors Janie Allen and Elinor Griffith, and photographer Lyle Anderson, were invaluable in helping us create this delightful book that so intimately captures its history.”

“Everyone in the area loves the Old Dutch,” adds Rev. Jeffrey Gargano, pastor of the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns, which holds summer services at the Old Dutch Church. “Just consider the connections from Washington Irving to another Washington, our country’s first president. It’s truly a community treasure!”

We hope you can join the Old Dutch Fest and Book Launch on Sunday, October 9!

Elinor Griffith is a Chappaqua resident and former Reader’s Digest editor. Her recent book, First Thing Every Morning, was co-written with one of the country’s top motivational speaker, Lewis Timberlake.  And for six years now, she has been leading gourmet cooking tours to Julia Child’s former home in the South of France.

In 1609, Henry Hudson became the first European to explore the river that bears his name.  Soon this bountiful wilderness beckoned Dutch fur traders, and a thriving trade grew up between the pioneers and the natives.  Within decades, the river teemed with watercraft housing all kinds of cargoes, from beaver pelts, timber and salted sturgeon to livestock and even summer peaches.  Late in the century, the richest man in Manhattan boarded a river sloop.  His destination?  A bay twenty miles north of the island, where a swift stream the natives called the Pe-kan-ti-ko – “a run between two hills” – drained into the Hudson.  His destiny?  Lord or an expansive new manor.

Click HERE to see a pdf of the whole of Chapter 3 spring up!







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