Lucky Duck visits the farm and the most famous cemetery in American History.
It was the best Fall day in Upstate New York. Kristen, Saunak, Tony, and I drove up over the GWB and killed it at Wilkens Farm, Tarry Town, and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – the area in the U.S. made famous by Washington Irving’s Classic Short Story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, where the headless horseman terrorizes school master Ichabod Crane before Crane’s final disappearance.
Picking apples and pumpkins galore
We stopped at the bakery right away for hot, fresh Apple Cider donuts and a few treats to go. Then we set out towards the orchard and the patch. Here’s a video of me demonstrating proper apple picking, using a borrowed stick. Sure, it’s fine to see me work this big stick, but the most exciting part of the video is the video bombers, hands down.
While you can pick apples and cut Christmas trees at Wilkens Farm, you can’t actually pick pumpkins fresh off of the vine. It’s not a pumpkin patch, per se, but they do bring 1000’s in for the taking.
Too soon to mention Christmas?
See a field of baby Christmas trees on the right, and get a snapshot of our day overlooking beautiful East Coast Fall vistas on the left.
The Halloween Parade in Tarrytown
Can you find Lucky Duck?
Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow is set in 1790 in the countryside around Tarry Town, (historical Tarrytown, NY where we were hanging out) in a glen called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere – the most famous being the Headless Horseman. As we watched the Tarrytown parade, it was awesome to see this infamous villain appear on his famous horse.
The Tarrytown community got all dressed up for the festivities, and I was impressed with the spirit. Clearly Halloween is the best time of year to be hanging out in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.
Murder and Mayhem Lantern Tour at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Prior to our 2-hour walking tour through America’s most famous cemetery, we filmed an awesome Fireside Chat, via Lantern light.
Basically, how the tour works is you and about 20 people grab lanterns and walk the cemetery with a guide who pulls off at certain headstones and tells incredibly captivating stories about the people who are buried there. Because we picked “Murder and Mayhem,” our stories were around the crazies of New York and ultimate tragedies. It was something to experience….
Image on left: This obelisk is where a swindled entrepreneur lies, maybe. After his son-in-law took him for everything he had, he jumped ship overseas while on a cruise. A family member went over to gather his remains, but no one knows for sure if the bones brought back were really his or not.
Image center: This is where “The Wickedest Woman in New York” lies. Madame Restell was an abortionist in the early 19th century. She had absolutely no medical training whatsoever and made a fortune. When authorities were catching up to her, she prepared a bath in her 5th Avenue mansion, dismissed her servants for the night, and slit her own throat in her tub.
Image on right: The largest mausoleum, on the highest point of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, belongs to none other than The Rockefeller’s. This was not part of the Murder and Mayhem tour, but it’s grand enough to get a shout.
The tour ends on a seemingly modest note
But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
When you look at this headstone, you see that every family member died in 1919 – that’s not good. It either means that something happened, or there was an epidemic. In the case of the Strong family, it sadly was the former. One night after dinner, everyone went to bed. The father went to the library to read a religious devotion, and after that, he went to the shed to get his ax. You know where this is going… I will spare the details, but miraculously, the two little girls survived the attack, and in the 50’s, cemetery records show that they came to Sleepy Hollow cemetery with their own children to visit this tombstone.
Ugh, that was heavy!
To lighten the mood, here are some retro-Halloween shots of my sister and me as kids in the 80’s. Have a wonderful Halloween week!