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Sleepy Hollow

Village of Sleepy Hollow, New York (Enter Sleepy Hollow's Hudson River Gallery)

Like Tarrytown, its neighbor to the South, Sleepy Hollow was first inhabited by Native Americans, followed by the Dutch in the 1600s. Frederick Philipse established two settlements on his vast holdings along the river in the 1680s, one in Yonkers and the other at the mouth of the Pocantico River. The Upper Mills, as it is known, and the Old Dutch Church, built in the late 1600s, are located in what is now Sleepy Hollow.

Sleepy Hollow was known as Beekmantown from the end of the Revolutionary War until the 1870s when the name was changed to North Tarrytown. In 1996 the name was changed again--this time to Sleepy Hollow--to commemorate Washington Irving’s tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which took place there.

The economy of Sleepy Hollow was mainly agrarian until well into the 19th century. Grain was grown, milled and then shipped to market from the Beekmantown wharf. In the latter part of the century a shoe factory appeared, along with a pottery works and a book bindery. By 1900 the Mobile Company of America, makers of small cars with steam engines, had built an impressive 700-window factory on part of the former Kingsland estate. In 1904 the factory was sold to the Maxwell-Briscoe Company, which led the world in the production of low-priced gas-powered automobiles. In 1915 Chevrolet acquired the factory, and until it closed in 1996, it was the largest General Motors assembly plant east of the Mississippi. Debate continues in 2009 over development on the former General Motors site.