All of us down the South during the summer are dreaming of the cooler temperatures Fall has to offer. But, if you just absolutely can’t wait until September…or October…or November for those cooler breezes, I highly recommend a trip to the Hudson River Valley!
There’s a whole lot of amazing American history to see, and I explored Kykuit, in this post. But what else is there to see in the Hudson River Valley…a whole lot, y’all!
To me, old cemeteries are endlessly fascinating. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is adjacent to the Old Dutch Church, whose small burying ground is identified in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” as the resting place of the fictional headless horseman. Washington Irving is laid to rest in the southern end of the cemetery in a plot overlooking the old church and its burying ground. Other famous individuals buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery include Andrew Carnegie, Walter Chrysler, William Rockefeller, and Elizabeth Arden.
According to www.sleepyhollow.com, “Irving himself was involved in the founding of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. By the 1840s the 2-acre burial ground of the Old Dutch Church was fast approaching capacity. To secure a large family plot, and maybe because he was a member of a different church, Irving endorsed the plan by local businessmen to found a non-denominational cemetery. Although he lent his support to the endeavor, he was dismayed when its organizers named it the Tarrytown Cemetery instead of the name he proposed, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. He protested to the cemetery’s directors, to no avail. Six years after his death the cemetery honored Irving’s request, renaming itself Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.”
The Hudson River Vally also offers the opportunity to see where Washington Irving lived. Follow a gently curving path to gorgeous views of the Hudson River, and you can visit the homestead of Washington Irving. Irving once described his home as “all made up of gable-ends, and as full of angles and corners as an old cocked hat.” Interpreters in period dress conduct tours and recount the story of our nation’s first celebrity author, which is a lot of fun!
Visiting West Point is an absolutely high point of a trip to the Hudson River Valley! The Cadet Chapel is a famous landmark and symbol of religious activities of the Military Academy and was designed by the renowned firm of Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson. Dedicated in 1910 and constructed of native granite, this building blends naturally into the surrounding landscape. The architecture combines the techniques and shapes of Gothic with the massiveness of medieval fortresses.
Be sure and check out the first pew, which features silver plates engraved with the signatures of previous Superintendents. Among them are the names of Generals MacArthur, Taylor, and Westmoreland.
Overlooking the Hudson River Valley in Tarrytown, New York, is Lyndhurst, one of America’s finest Gothic Revival mansions. It was designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis, and the mansion holds a beautiful and comprehensive collection of original decorative arts. It’s important occupants included: former New York City mayor William Paulding, merchant George Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould. I just love touring historic homes!!!!
Union Church of Pocantico Hills is located in Westchester County, is in the Hudson River Valley. an unassuming stone country church in the hamlet of Pocantico Hills is the unexpected home of 10 masterful stained-glass windows by celebrated artists Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. Each window is so beautiful, and the light that illuminates the church is simply etherial. The beautiful rose window was Matisse’s final creation and the nine works by Chagall are his only cycle of church windows in America.
It’s about a two hour drive from NYC, also accessible from Albany. I would recommend renting a car, as the scenery is so beautiful, and driving gives you the opportunity to stop along the way, whenever the mood suits you!
A visit to the Hudson River Valley is as rich in history as can be! Cooler temperatures, gorgeous scenery….I’m thinking I need to plan another trip!!! Who wants to go with me????