Last Sunday we put our Historic Hudson Valley membership to use and spent the morning at Washington Irving‘s riverside retreat, Sunnyside. The author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Irving is still quite the local celebrity, putting Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown on the map (there is now a neighboring town called Irvington as well). In his time, he was a world-famous best-selling author and was also supposedly the first author to live off of his writing alone. We (OK, Seth) can relate to that feeling of accomplishment!
After spending the first 52 years of his life crashing on other people’s couches (he was a traveler), Washington Irving built Sunnyside to mirror places he’d visited, with influences reminiscent of Amsterdam, Spain, and England. He had to add on to it, too, since he was living with an entourage of something like 7 unmarried nieces (he never married either, his fiancé having died of yellow fever leaving Irving heartbroken).
I particularly loved the vines and hope to visit in the next month or so to see them all in bloom. Its’ a great place for a walk and a picnic, too. Next time we’ll make a day of it! I wish I had remembered to bring the battery for our camera so I could take more shots than just these, especially of the view of the Hudson and Irving’s pond…
It was a fun way to spend the morning and reminded me I’d like to read Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. We all are familiar with the stories, but I’ve never actually read them!
This weekend the fun continues: a friend, our babies, and I are heading over to the old Dutch Philipsburg Manor for a “Sheep to Shawl” festival, a day combining costumed tour guides, old breed sheep, and yarn. Can it get any better? More to come!
~Updated~ Photos from Seth’s camera: