This posting is a bit late, as the Silver Tips Tea Room closed its doors for the last time on March 25th. Longtime readers of my blog knew of my fondness for this place in Tarrytown. Aniupa, the owner, was traveling abroad quite a bit on family business and it became too hard to manage her tea company and the Tea Room, so she decided to close it.
The Silver Tips was open for 18 years. There was a feeling of family there, a feeling of belonging. There were lots of hugs and tears as the day approached. As my friend Chris said, where are we going to hang out now?
Aniupa believes that someone else may open a tea room in Tarrytown. However, the former Silver Tips space is being taken over by Lefteris Gyro, the Greek restaurant next door that is going to expand, thus more than doubling the restaurant’s space.
The windows of the Silver Tips are papered over. Soon even the empty storefront will change, all evidence of a tea room disappearing. All the Silver Tips Tea Room will be is a memory, a warm, fuzzy memory to keep us fans warm on cold nights as time marches on.
In June, I was surprised to find the inflatable rat near the Tarrytown Village Hall. I’ve seen The Rat in New York City in front of various buildings where union protests are going on.
There was also a sign from the disgruntled workers. They were shaming Alpine Painting, and their protest was right across the street from the train station.
The rat appears when non-union workers are used on jobs or if the employer is doing anti-union activities.
One must be wary of all types of rats.
I can’t take any real credit for decorating the Historical Society. I did do some additional touches, but the majority of the work had been done in the weeks before by other volunteers. They did a great job in getting the place ready for the holidays.
The recent gift of a rope bed became the centerpiece of a festive display. Rope beds were what they are called. Instead of boxe springs or a mattress, which is what are modern beds are made of, a rope bed was a bed frame with rope being used to create a web in the frame for someone to lay upon. It is possible that some type of mattress would be put on top of the ropes, but in this case the mannequins were placed on the ropes.
The rope bed was a central piece in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas display. Two adult mannequins were dressed for “a long winter’s nap,” except the children were up and standing next to their parents’ bed. The baby was asleep in the cradle. A corner of the bed covers were pulled back so visitors could see how the ropes were strung to create a surface. I do wonder how comfortable the bed would be. While in Scotland, I slept in a twin rope bed that did have a mattress on it. As I remember, it wasn’t that comfortable. I didn’t sleep well in the bed.
In one of the front rooms is a display to Virginia O’Hanlon, the little girl who wrote to Francis P. Church, the editor of the New York Sun, one of the prominent newspapers of the city at the end of the nineteenth century. The eight-year-old wanted to know if there was a Santa Claus. Church’s famous editorial defending the existence of Santa Claus is known throughout the world. The display also included a copy of Church’s reply.
Following are some images from the society. I wanted to get these posted before the year ended and the holiday season fades from memory.
Oh, the photo here is of what has become known as the “Evil Clown.” There’s a debate among the volunteers of whether or not this toy is scary-looking. I think that everyone would agree that no one would give such a painted toy to a child of today. At some point in the distant past, this toy must have been beloved by some child. Nonetheless, by today’s standards this clown has scary-looking features. What do you think?
Way back at the beginning of the 20th century, a memorial/monument to Washington Irving was planned for Broadway, at the top of Sunnyside Lane. A local committee started raising funds in 1909-1910. Famous sculptor Daniel Chester French was hired to make a bust of Irving and some images of Rip Van Winkle and King Boabdil (from The Alhambra). The Headless Horseman is Irving’s most famous character, with Rip Van Winkle running second in popularity.
French worked on the monument for the next 15 years. Over those years, the costs of the monument, in French’s hands, kept going up and up. The local committee put on many fundraisers to try and keep up with the escalating price tag. In 1925, French designed this small statue of Rip Van Winkle for fundraising purposes; each sold for $500.
Unfortunately, the statue got no further than the model stage. French created a model to work from and started making preparations to build the statue. However, the money was not raised for the statue and the idea was scrapped. Still, the sculptor had to be paid. In order to recoup some of the money, the statue committee had copies made of the model and sold it locally.
The Charles T. Newberry Estate donated this statue to the Historical Society, where it peers out from a corner in the research room.
Before the month is over, and wanting to have a posting on Leap Year Day, here is something at the Historical Society.
No, I have not changed my mind from my last post. I still think Valentine’s Day is for people with not a romantic bone in their bodies. However, in honor of the day, the Historical Society installed a display of Valentines from the past. Many of them look to be from the late 19th-early 20th century.
For those you who like Valentine’s Day, enjoy. For those of us who don’t, it’s still interesting to look at artifacts from a bygone era.
The Empire State Building, lighted for the holidays
Well, the terrible term is over.
I was able to finish one class, finish an incomplete, and get another incomplete in another class, which will be finished by the end of January.
What a nightmare.
I’ve always believed that the end of the year, regardless of what you believe or disbelieve, should be one happy season. Go out and enjoy the season. Have some fun. We survived another year, which is something to celebrate. Spend it with people you care for, not people you can’t stand. (You know who they are.)
Though late, better late than never. Here are the few images I took before Christmas came. I wish I was able to do some of the things I wanted to do, but I just couldn’t get around to it. Well, there’s always next year.
Downtown Tarrytown decorated for the holidays
Madison Square Park’s tree
Bryant Park’s tree
Private Nelson Owens served in Company H, the 1st Regiment of the Missouri Volunteers during the United States Civil War. He died in the hospital on February 4, 1864.
J.T. Paine, the surgeon in charge, made a request to Charles Rockwell, the Captain of Volunteers, on February 5 for a coffin for the 4 pm funeral. I hope that Private Owens got his coffin and had a dignified burial.
I have finished unpacking the Rockwell papers at the Historical Society and am in the process of organizing the collection by topics and then chronologically. This is a slow process. When I unpacked the files, I put them into files with months and dates, but I am finding errors. So, I have to go through each file, item by item, to ensure that it is in the correct order, and then write up the finding aid.