Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Legends: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Sleepy Hollow, NY

Interesting Places I've Photographed
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow, NY
Topic: Legends

GPS: N41° 05.356; W073° 51.704

Quick Description: 

A statue of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman recreates a scene from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It  is located on Broadway and Gordon Avenue in Sleepy Hollow, NY

Long Description:

Washington Irving's classic tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was set in the Tappan Zee area of the Hudson River Valley near the Old Dutch Church and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in North Tarrytown, NY.

In this legend, the area is haunted by a headless horseman believed to be the ghost of a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannon ball during the Revolutionary War. The Horseman is seen most often riding by the Old Dutch Church and nearby cemetery, where according to local lore he was buried. He is believed to be in search of his head. Ichabod Crane is prone to believe in the supernatural and is fascinated by this story. That is, until he actually encounters the Headless Horseman.

To capitalize on the legend the village North Tarrytown renamed itself Sleepy Hollow. To further cement the connection to the legend of the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane an 18' high, 11 ton steel sculpture of the pair was erected in 2006 alongside Route 9, not far from the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery's south entrance. The rust-colored structure depicts the Ichabod Crane riding for his life on his horse Gunpowder. He is closely followed by the Headless Horseman, who is about to throw his jack-o'-lantern head at Ichabod.

"Another convulsive kick in the ribs, and old Gunpowder sprang upon the bridge; he thundered over the resounding planks; he gained the opposite side; and now Ichabod cast a look behind to see if his pursuer should vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone. Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his head at him." - Washington Irving

The sculpture cost $175,000 raised through private donations and a state grant. The rust colored sculpture is fabricated out of overlapping rusted metal plates by the metal working company of Miglo-Bufkin.

What's the Real Story?:

The story of the headless horseman was widely told, locally. The original source was thought to be a German folk tale. Washington Irving created the character of Ichabod Crane and developed the story of the encounter in 1820.  

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