Pocantico River

I’m a volunteer at the local historical society (The Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society), which is situated on the lower level of the building that also houses the Briarcliff Manor Library, the village Recreation Department, and the Vescio Community Center. A bike/walking path (actually a spur of the North County Trailway) passes right by our building and goes into the village. I often walk along this path into the village. The path runs alongside the Pocantico River. One day, while walking by the river I noticed the patterns that the flowing water was making. They caught my interest and so I took a few pictures.

Taken with a Sony RX100 M3

From Rockwood Hall to Sleepy Hollow – Lunch at the Bridgeview Tavern

It was a rather warm day and after walking for some time I was tired; my feet were sore, and I was thirsty and very hungry. My walk had taken me to the bottom of Beekman Ave. in Sleepy Hollow just a block or two from one of my favorite hangouts: The Bridge View Tavern. It has a good selection of beers, food which is decent if not spectacular (fairly typical put style food in fact), a cozy atmosphere and a nice view across the Hudson to the Tappan Zee Bridge. I found myself wondering, however how long the view would last. The restaurant overlooks a former General Motors Assembly Plant. When that facility was demolished in 1999, it left the River View Tavern with a broad, unobstructed view of the bridge. However, the site is now being developed and buildings (condominiums) are popping up all over it. I imagine it won’t be too long before you can’t see the river at all.

From there, refreshed if a little sleepy, I headed home.

Taken with a Sony RX100 M3

From Rockwood Hall to Sleepy Hollow – Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse

According to Hudson River Lighthouses:

The Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse is unique among Hudson River lighthouses – it is the only “sparkplug” style lighthouse to contain family quarters. Unlike Jeffrey’s Hook, which is essentially a cast iron housing for a staircase, Sleepy Hollow’s brick-lined walls held five floors of living space. The first and largest floor contained the kitchen, dining room, and living room. The second and third floors contained one large bedroom apiece. The fourth floor contained a smaller bedroom and a work room. The fifth floor, which had no windows, just small portholes, was the watch room, where the keeper could keep an eye on the river during storms and other weather, safely out of the wind and wet and out of the way of the light. Another unique feature of the Sleepy Hollow light is the glass inserts laid into the floor of the tower room, which allowed natural light from the tower’s 360 degree windows down into the watch room. Originally a fixed red light, in 1902 the lighthouse was updated to a white, rotating light.

Constructed in 1883, the cast iron caisson was pre-fabricated, as was the trend at that time. The need for a lighthouse off the coast of that section of Westchester County became apparent as early as the 1840s, when pole lights were all that warned mariners away from the dangerous shoals. When the Federal Government started seeking land to purchase to construct a lighthouse, they first looked to Ossining (then known as Sing Sing), but the landowner got wind of the impending sale and the amount he asked for was too much for the government’s budget. The same thing happened again when looking for land near Tarrytown. Eventually, it was decided to locate the island a half mile offshore of Kingsland Point, neatly solving the dilemma of purchasing land.

In the 1940s the interior of the lighthouse was updated with modern sanitation and electricity. The light was automated in 1955, and with the completion of the Tappan Zee Bridge just to the south in 1957, the keeper became unnecessary. Soon, even the automated light was deactivated, in 1961. The lights of the bridge proved to be ample navigation aid for mariners.

In addition, in 1959, the Federal government declared all but one hundred feet of land around the lighthouse to be “surplus” property available for sale. Never mind the fact that the “land” was underwater. It was quickly purchased by the nearby General Motors Plant, who raised that “land” with fill to expand their operations, leaving the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, formerly a half mile off shore, within 100 feet of the shoreline. In the 1970s, Westchester County secured an easement from General Motors to build a pedestrian walkway out to the lighthouse, which was completed in 1975. Today, the lighthouse is managed by the Village of Sleepy Hollow Recreation & Parks Department and is considered part of the Kingsland Point Park.

With Tappan Zee bridge in the background.

Taken with a Sony RX100 M3

From Rockwood Hall to Sleepy Hollow – Sleepy Hollow RiverWalk

This relatively new public park in Sleepy Hollow provides access to a stretch of Hudson River shoreline that has not been accessible for more than a century! The new park, known as the Sleepy Hollow RiverWalk, hugs the perimeter of the former General Motors Assembly Plant property in the village.

The first phase of the park included paths to provide access along the waterfront from River Street as far north as the historic 1883 Sleepy Hollow lighthouse. A second phase extended the path further north to Kingsland Point Park. These pictures cover the stretch from the lighthouse to Kingsland Point, featuring the mural: The Wishing Wall. According to an article: The Wishing Wall Colors the Sleepy Hollow Community in Westchester Magazine.

A 520-foot community-painted mural brought local residents together during a trying time, thanks largely to the efforts of two area women. Sleepy Hollow’s Kersten Harries knew that a lengthy concrete wall, left after a GM factory closed shop decades ago, could be transformed into something beautiful. As early as 2019, she had been reaching out to owners of the site, Edge-on-Hudson, about turning the space into a temporary art installation. It wasn’t until the summer of 2020 when her dream became a reality, working with Sleepy Hollow community liaison Diane Loja, Edge-on-Hudson, and the Village Board of Trustees to form The Wishing Wall, a mural adjacent to the Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, painted by both community members and area artists.

So how did Harries and Loja, project managers for The Wishing Wall, find enough artists to cover a concrete canvas roughly one-tenth of a mile long? “A Call for Artists was used to select a core team of designers [Erin Carney, Tim Grajek, Katie Reidy], who utilized the community’s ideas to create a cohesive design concept that was laid out along the entire wall, which also included locating spots where selected volunteer artists and groups could directly paint their submitted ideas,” explains Harries. “An additional eight artists and community art educators were part of the core team responsible for executing the painting of the mural, with the help of many volunteers who signed up.”

This article, written in 2021 states: “…the wall is slated to come down in 2022”. Well, it’s now mid 2024 and it’s still there. I hope it stays. I like it.

Like all the other paintings this butterfly is very colorful.

Headless Horseman. And why not? This is, after all, Sleepy Hollow – the real one, as described in Washington Irving’s “Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.

Taken with a Sony RX100 M3