July 31, 2015

1795 UNITED STATES (New York) - Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow

Located on the east bank of the Hudson River, about 48km north of New York City, Sleepy Hollow is a village known as the setting of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a short story featuring the Headless Horseman by Washington Irving, who lived in neighboring Tarrytown and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Originally incorporated as North Tarrytown in the late 19th century, in 1996 the village officially adopted the traditional name for the area. The village is home to the Old Dutch Church, a 17th-century stone church which is the second oldest extant church and the 15th oldest extant building in the state of New York.

The building itself is a rectangular structure with a three-sided projecting rear apse on the east end, and a Flemish-style gambrel roof, with the lower segments flaring outward like a bell. On the west end of the roof is an octagonal wooden open belfry. Within it is the original bell, with an engraved verse from Romans 8:31, "Si Deus Pro Nobis, Quis Contras Nos?" (If God be for us, who can be against us?) and "VF", Frederick Philipse's initials. The main entrance is formed by paneled wooden double doors recessed within a Gothic archway. Above it is a glass transom with curved, intersecting muntins.

The early history of the church and its members was recorded by Dirck Storm, in his book  Het Notite Boeck der Christelyckes Kercke op de Manner of Philips Burgh. The churchyard is often confused with the contiguous but separate Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Here were buried, besides Frederick Philipse, the builder of the church, and other local personalities, several of the possible models of characters from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, such as Eleanor Van Tassel Brush (1763-1861) and Catriena Ecker Van Tessel, both possible models for Katrina, and Abraham Martling (1743-1830), a possible inspiration for the character of Brom Bones.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the definitives series American Design (2002-2007), about which I wrote here. The second, depicting Spicebush Swallowtail, is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here. The last stamp is part of the series Modern Art in America: 1913-1931, about which I wrote here.

Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 29.01.2014 
Photo: Bill Frei

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