Since 1697

Infants are baptized at Old Dutch today, just as they have been for well over 300 years.

Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Washington Irving made the Burying Ground the haunt of the Headless Horseman in his well-known story.

Summer Worship Season at Old Dutch Is Underway

Pictured at left is the new entrance completed this spring. The church is now easily accessible by wheelchair ramp and a new stairway that has replaced the former uneven steps.

Pastor Jeffrey Gargano and the congregation welcome all visitors to worship services at the Old Dutch Church, held at 10 a.m. each Sunday through Labor Day. During this time, the "Clock Tower" church in Tarrytown will be closed for services. The office remains open.

For the full story on the renovation project and how it has enabled access for all, please see the article by church member Deb McCue in the River Journal.

 

A Visit From a Descendant of Our First Pastor

Carrie Wick of Peotone, Illinois, shown here with Rev. Jeffrey Gargano, traces her family history back to Guiliam Bertholf, the first pastor of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, a congregation that continues today as the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns. Rev. Bertholf organized the congregation as Protestant Dutch Reformed in 1697 and ministered to it for 27 years, traveling from Hackensack, New Jersey, to the church several times a year to preach, conduct the sacraments, catechize children and visit the sick. As the sole Dutch minister in New Jersey, he also ministered to churches in Hackensack and Passaic and up to nine other isolated congregations. He is Ms. Wick's seventh great-grandfather. She was traveling in the area and made a special effort to attend the Easter Sunday 10:30 a.m. worship service. Welcome, Carrie!

 

Old Dutch Church Access Project Seeks Donations

The photograph above shows how the church entrance will look when the Old Dutch Church Accessibility Project is completed in mid-2017. A more welcoming stairway will replace the uneven stones, and there will be a new wheelchair ramp and an expanded landing at the threshold. A fundraising effort has so far raised nearly $260,000. The total cost is projected to be $350,000. Says the Rev. Jeffrey Gargano, pastor of the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns (continuing congregation of the Old Dutch Church), "Just as we have been gifted this marvelous house of worship by previous generations, we now have an opportunity to enhance it for future generations." Online donations

"O Holy Night: A Classic Christmas" Dec. 11

Marco PanuccioThe Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow will "Marco Panuccio Presents O Holy Night: A Classic Christmas" on December 11. The candlelight concert begins at 7:30 p.m. This production was described by the Chicago Tribune as "what a holiday concert should be: beautifully sung, moving, intelligent." Mr. Panuccio is an EMMY nominated and award winning lyric tenor. He has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and other esteemed opera companies. Expect timeless pieces such as Shubert's "Ave Maria" and Franck's "Panis Angelicus," as well as yuletide songs from a more modern era, including "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and a rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Mr. Panuccio will be accompanied on piano by David McConnell.Tickets: $25; $15 students


RCT Welcomes Descendants of Early Members

The Reformed Church recently welcomed Donald Guenther and his family, pictured (L-R): Kyung and Donald, currently of Allentown, PA, and nephew Klaus and his wife, Heidi, of New York City. Don and Heidi are holding the silver communion beakers with which Don's seventh great-grandparents Sybout Herrickse Krankheyt  and Marytie Abrahamsen Rycken celebrated Communion in 1697, the year the congregation of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow was officially formed. Klaus is holding the Baptismal Basin used to baptize Don's fifth great-grandfather Hercules Kranckheyt on June 24, 1727, in the Sleepy Hollow Old Dutch Church.

Here Lies ... Pumpkins

Garden at Sleepy Hollow School

 An environmental club at Sleepy Hollow High School is doing a series of garden plantings in the rear courtyard. They have a section that has simulated gravestones for different kinds of seeds next to a cutout of the Old Dutch Church and the Headless Horseman. The "headstones" read (left to right): RIP Lettuce, In Memory of Basil, RIP Mint, Here Lies Pumpkins.

Memorable Evening at the Old Dutch

 

A choir made up of members of the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns and other churches taking part in the Community Thanksgiving Service Nov. 25 rattled the rafters from their seats under the roof. The congregation much appreciated the anthem chosen, "Simple Gifts From God," and the closing song, "O Beautiful for Spacious Skies." Afterward, there was hot cider for everyone! See the full story.

 

"Sleepy Hollow" cast visits Old Dutch Church

Stars of the hit TV series
"Sleepy Hollow" stars Orlando Jones (who plays Captain Frank Irving) and Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny Mills) of the hit Fox TV Series "Sleepy Hollow" visited the real Sleepy Hollow, on Friday, September 26, 2014. for a ribbon cutting to kick off Sleepy Hollow's Halloween season. After meeting with Mayor Ken Wray and Police Chief Gregory Camp, the stars stopped in at the Old Dutch Church and the Burying Ground and at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to visit Washington Irving's grave. Irving, of course, started it all with his famous tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," set in the churchyard. Visit the show's website.

 

Dutch Treat at the Halloween Parade

Reformed Church members in the parade Church members and friends brought the flavor of colonial Dutch days to the Tarrytown Halloween Parade on Oct. 25 with a float featuring a windmill and colonial Dutch dress. The annual parade capped a busy day at the Old Dutch Church Fest, which ran for three weekends, ending Saturday, Nov. 1.

 

 

A New Tradition? Reading the "Legend"

 Mid-afternoon on Friday, Oct. 31, was a good time to bring the children to the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, spread a blanket in the Burying Ground and read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Irving's famous tale of the Headless Horseman, which is set in and around the old church. In Irving's "Legend," Ichabod Crane is chased by the Headless Horseman and races for the safety of the Old Dutch Church grounds, a refuge then and still today.

 

 

Weekends with Deb at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow

Honoring 332 Years

Old Dutch Church book coverIn 1685, when it was built in the wilderness north of New York City, the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow brought comfort and community to isolated pioneer families. Succeeding generations treasured the old church, the only house of worship in a wide area until 1837, when members of Old Dutch built a larger church nearby then another a few years later. Yet somehow they didn't abandon the old church, which continues to this day to host the congregation every summer for worship services. What was it about the church on the Pocantico River, made famous by Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Read about its rich history and colorful characters in The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow: Legends and Lore of the Oldest Church in New York. It is available from the church office at (914) 631-4497, or order it online here.

Christmas Eve at the Old Dutch Church