Philipsburg Manor, 381 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591, 914-631-8200 weekdays, 914-631-3992 weekends. Todays villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown are descendants of this colonial-era farming, milling, and trading center. In 1653 Frederick Philipse came to the Dutch colony of New Netherland as a carpenter for the Dutch West India company. Through canny business skill, an astute sense of politics, and two very advantageous marriages, Philipse came to control 52,000 acres of what is now Westchester County. When the British evicted the Dutch and renamed the colony New York, Philipse switched his allegiance to the British crown and business continued as usual. His heirs were less fortunate in reading the winds of change—they sided with the British during the American Revolution and lost everything in the aftermath.
Philipse’s trading center has been restored to its appearance in 1750 when it was home to several hundred tenant farmers and two dozen African slaves. Programs and events show how Dutch, African, and Native American cultures became entwined at this colonial outpost.
Also surviving from Philipse’s time is the church he built for the occupants of this part of his estate. Both the Old Dutch Church (still owned and used by the congregation) and Philipsburg Manor make appearances in Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Irving wrote of Ichabod Crane “Our man of letters, therefore, was peculiarly happy in the smiles of all the country damsels. How he would figure among them in the church-yard . . . or sauntering, with a whole bevy of them, along the banks of the adjacent mill-pond; while the more bashful country bumpkins hung sheepishly back, envying his superior elegance and address.” You’ll need to supply your own bevy of country damsels.
Hours: April 1 to October 31, daily except Tuesdays, 10am-5pm, last tour at 4pm. November and December, Saturdays & Sundays, 10am-4pm, last tour at 3pm.
Parking: Main lot at 381 North Broadway, overflow lot on Continental Street. The scenic path from the overflow lot to the visitor’s center offers good views of the mill.
Check our Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown calendar for more special events.
Sheep to Shawl
April 20-21, 2013. 10 am to 5 pm. Celebrate the arrival of spring on the farm! The event features Scottish border collies displaying their amazing skills with sheep-herding demonstrations throughout the day, while newborn lambs frolic, much to the delight of children. Visitors are invited to explore each step in the process of turning wool into cloth using 18th-century techniques. Sheep-shearing, dyeing wool, and weaving cloth are just some of the activities that all can enjoy.
May 19, 2013. A Dutch celebration of Pentecost, celebrated 7 weeks after Easter. Philipsburg’s annual Pinkster festival depicts the holiday’s importance to African slaves in the Hudson Valley. Filled with music, dance, food, and revelry, this cross-cultural festival re-creates the spring holiday with a rousing colonial-style celebration. Festivities include lively presentations of drumming and traditional dance, African folktales, and demonstrations of traditional African instruments and utilitarian wares.
Green Corn Festival
Labor Day Weekend. Native American harvest festival featuring traditional song and dance, games, open-hearth cooking demonstrations, hands-on activities, and child friendly crafts including corn-husk doll making.
2013 dates: October 5-6, 11-13, 18-20, 25-27. November 1-2. The area’s premiere Halloween event takes the tale of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” to its darkest extremes. At night, historic Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by vampires, witches, undead soldiers, ghouls, and ghosts, all serving the Headless Horseman himself!