The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Upstate New York is home to the plot of 19th century author Washington Irving and his family. The cemetery and adjoining church get a lot of foot traffic by tourists and fans of his most famous short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, first published in 1820, a ghost story that takes place in the church. The Cemetery management explains, “Grass has been worn away by countless visitors to the plot, retaining walls are crumbling, shrubs are ragged and dying after several hard winters, and numerous grave stones need to be reset.” They are accepting donations for the $5,000 required to restore the site.
The graveyard was opened in 1849 under the name Tarrytown Cemetery. In a letter to editor Gaylord Clark of Knickerbocker Magazine, Washington Irving implied that the name should be changed “to secure the patronage of all sleeping quietly in their graves.” The cemetery sites his letter as responsible for the plot’s name change to match the hilly wooded area of Tarrytown and the adjacent church.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is the burial site for various other famous New Yorkers, including philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and members of the Rockefeller family. It also hosted part of the Atlas Oscura’s “Murder & Mayhem” Tour earlier this year, where they explored some of the cemetery’s more “haunting” features. Consider donating to this piece of literary history! Click here for more information.