Noonmark Antiques

Lower Hudson River Valley, Part 3 - Washington Irving's "Sunnyside"


After a misty morning at Kykuit, the sun greeted us as we arrived at "Sunnyside" the Tarrytown home on the Hudson River built by Washington Irving. Irving was born in 1783 and spent his early years in New York City. He eventually moved to Europe and enjoyed great success there as a writer. Irving never married. He returned to America to tend to his invalid mother and purchased land on the Hudson in 1835. Washington Irving loved the peaceful quiet of the area and was greatly distressed when the railroad inevitably encroached upon the region. However, he remained at Sunnyside until his death in 1859.

I chose to visit Sunnyside because I was curious to see the home of the author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." It is a pre Victorian house with European flair. I was intrigued by the mustard color faux finish on the interior woodwork, which I believe is original. Irving's brother and 5 nieces lived at Sunnyside, so this is not a bachelor pad. He had 6-8 servants at a time and all the comforts one could afford, including an ice house and laundry room. Washington Irving is buried at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, just north of Tarrytown. The Rockefeller family purchased and restored Sunnyside.

If you go:

Tours last about one hour. Reservations are recommended. There is no air conditioning in the house, but, the veranda is delightful. The grounds are lovely though in need of attention. Great views of the Husdon River, which is quite close, as is the train.