I Didn’t Know These Famous People Were Buried in the Hudson Valley’s Oldest Cemetery
Last month marked the 25th anniversary since the election where citizens of North Tarrytown chose to change the name of their village to Sleepy Hollow. December 10th, 1996 marked the election, and the decision was ratified by village trustees on December 11th. The name "Sleepy Hollow" dates back to the mid-17th century from Dutch settlers. You are probably most familiar with the town because of "the Legend of Sleepy Hollow," where the infamous Headless Horseman pursues schoolteacher Ichabod Crane. There have been a number of movies and television shows centered around the premise over the years.
The official name change occurred after the shutdown of the GM Tarrytown plant, which was a mainstay of the village's economy. The already going movement of the Sleepy Hollow Society was only bolstered by the shutdown, as people believed the name change would boost the economy. In the years since the name change, tourism has skyrocketed in the area. The Society's then-President Christopher Skelly said, "North Tarrytown says you're the northern part of somewhere else. I can't think of any village with such a nonentity for its name when it is sitting on a treasure of great value, a world-famous entity." It is believed that Sleepy Hallow entertains around 100,000 tourists annually between September through November alone, just in time for Halloween.
One of the biggest draws is the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which I got an opportunity to tour a couple years ago. "The Legend" famously mentions both the cemetery and the Old Dutch Church. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which was founded in 1849, is a non-profit, non-sectarian cemetery that holds nearly 46,000 internments on their 90 acres. Besides being the setting of a Halloween ghost story, this cemetery holds the burial grounds for a number of historical figures. Below is a list of some of the famous figures who reside in the grounds. Is there someone we missed? Let us know!