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On the Trail, an Eerie Tale


Photographs by Suzanne DeChillo/The New York TimesAt Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., from top left: flax hanging in a barn; a resident ram; making soup over an open fire; wheat kernels that are ground into flour at the mill.

Published: October 15, 2009

Tarrytown, which sits high on a hill and has majestic views of the Hudson River, claims as a native son none other than Washington Irving, the author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and other spooky tales. Its sister village, North Tarrytown, voted to rename itself Sleepy Hollow in 1996. So a visit to both villages is worthwhile, especially asHalloween looms and Irving’s tales come to life — at least in the imagination. Take the Hudson Line on Metro-North from Grand Central Terminal to Tarrytown.


Spooky WorldSlide Show

Spooky World

Sleepy Hollow and TarrytownMap

Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown

10 A.M. Grab a cab at the train station and head to Philipsburg Manor, 381 North Broadway in Sleepy Hollow, (914) 631-3992, a national historic landmark. (Get a card from the driver; you’ll need a ride back.) In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the manor was a farming, milling and trading complex. A visit ($12; $6 for children 5 to 17) is a trip back in time, complete with staff members in period costume, like the miller dressed in breeches and stockings who makes stone-ground corn. (A bag costs $3.) The farm also has historical breeds of oxen, cows and sheep, and you can tour the 300-year-old manor house and learn, among other things, the lesser-known story of slavery in the North. This weekend and next, the manor will hold special Halloween events for children, like pumpkin carving and the telling of ghost stories.

11:30 A.M. From Philipsburg Manor, walk across Route 9 (North Broadway) and one block north to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, 540 North Broadway, (914) 631-0081. You won’t be able to cover all 90 of its historical acres, but you can easily find gravestones etched with old Dutch names like Vanderbilt and Van Rensselaer. The cemetery maps can also direct you to the graves of the famous, including Andrew Carnegie, Brooke Astor, Leona Helmsley and Irving himself, whose family plot is set off by a wrought-iron fence. The beautiful Old Dutch Church, built in 1685, abuts the cemetery, and has its own burial grounds. Both the church and the cemetery were featured in Irving’s work.

1 P.M. Take a cab from Sleepy Hollow to Main Street and Route 9 in Tarrytown. For lunch, some local residents gravitate to Lefteris Gyro, 1 North Broadway, (914) 524-9687, for reasonably priced Greek dishes like Avgolemono, an egg-lemon soup with rice and chicken ($4 large), or the homemade yogurt, served with honey and walnuts ($4.25). For a really casual feel, consider Lubins-N-Links, 29 Main Street, (914) 909-4198, for all-beef hot dogs ($2.75 with two toppings) served with homemade sauces like “Dad’s ‘Jubee’ onion sauce” and “Mama’s spicy kraut.” On weekends, try the “teenie weenies,” which look like pigs in a blanket.

2:30 P.M. On a recent episode of TV’s “Mad Men,” Betty Draper took her children shopping for antiques in Tarrytown. She could do the same today. Main Street is dotted with a half-dozen charming stores crammed with furniture, lighting fixtures, paintings and more. Try Michael Christopher Antiques, 23 Main Street, (914) 366-4665, which specializes in lighting (a gorgeous English Regency chandelier priced at $5,200 sits in the window), or the less expensive Carol Master Antiques, 10 Main Street, (914) 332-8441.

4 P.M. Snack time. Coffee Labs Roasters, 7 Main Street, (914) 332-1479, a cozy spot with a huge coffee roaster in its center, offers an array of coffees, teas, smoothies and pastries. The place usually has a couple of dogs lying around; it offers free dog biscuits. Humans can sample the homemade Mallomar-style cookies in mocha, raspberry and other flavors ($2.15). Children in tow? Try Main Street Sweets, 35 Main Street, (914) 332-5757, for its homemade ice cream. The shop always has seasonal offerings — and an apt choice these days is its pumpkin ice cream ($2.95). Once fortified, walk down the long, steep hill of Main Street, which takes you back to the Tarrytown train station.


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