Visiting the Old Dutch Church

Visiting the Old Dutch Church and Burying Ground Fall 2020

After careful consideration we have decided to cancel the Old Dutch Fest and our fall weekend tours.


Traditionally, the months of September and October bring thousands of visitors to the Old Dutch Church who enjoy leisurely rambles through the old burying ground, weekend tours of the historic church, beer and brats at the Old Dutch Fest, and chance encounters with the Headless Horseman. As a church community we love to share this sacred space with visitors. Each of us who volunteer here have our own interpretation of Irving’s Legend and our favorite stories of the early settlers who brought their distinctive Dutch culture, language and religion to Sleepy Hollow. Every year we research our own history and find new ways to tell the story of all the peoples whose lives intersected with the life of our church. This year we have been delving into the role of the enslaved Africans at Philipsburg Manor who provided the labor to build the church. We look forward to sharing this story with you when we open again to visitors.In lieu of the traditional weekend tours offered by church volunteers, we invite you to look at tour options offered by the Historical Society, Inc, serving Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. Tour 3 is a walking tour that will cover Irving, the Old Dutch Church and the Colonial Experience. Size is limited to ensure safe distancing and masks are required. This tour will afford an opportunity to walk through the church with the tour guide. A portion of your ticket price will be donated to the maintenance of the Old Dutch.

If you come to the Old Dutch Church on your own, you must wear a mask at all times and practice safe distancing. Access to the burying ground follows the same regulations as Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Both the Burying Ground and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery close at 4:30pm. Please be respectful of church and cemetery staff who may be on hand to ensure the safety of our guests and the security of the historic head stones.

An alternative to visiting the Old Dutch is to view this beautiful photo essay from last October by our friend, photographer Haytham ad-Din who has captured the beauty of three houses of worship in Sleepy Hollow & Tarrytown: The Old Dutch Church (1685), the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns (1837), and Christ Episcopal Church (1837), the church of Washington Irving.

 

And if you would like to get sense of the beauty of Sleepy Hollow when leaves are turning and the air is filled with mystery, gather the family around the hearth, pour out some mugs of hot apple cider and listen to an audiobook version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. A personal favorite of our head docent is narrated by Tom Mison who played Ichabod Crane in the TV show Sleepy Hollow.

We also invite you to connect with the church community that continues in the tradition of the Old Dutch Church. Services can be accessed on our Facebook page at 10:30am every Sunday.

And finally, the health and well-being of our visitors to the Old Dutch Church is of paramount importance to us. Don’t worry! We’ve been around for 335 years. The Headless Horseman isn’t going any where. We look forward to welcoming you back in full-form next October for The Old Dutch Fest.