Tag Archives: History

In Memoriam: Private Owens

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.



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Filed under History, Museums, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown

Christmas at the Historical Society

(2014-12-20 002)Better late than never.

I helped a wee bit in the decorating of the Historical Society for the holidays. I added a few ornaments to the tree, and that was about it. Others put up the tree and the decorations. There was a harp concert and some refreshments to celebrate the season earlier in the month, but I did not attend. (I had way too much homework to do.)

This year’s theme is, no surprise, toys and dolls of yesteryear. The school marm was “dolled-up” in a new outfit and(2014-12-20 001) made the mistress of the house where she looked on with her daughter at the beautifully-decorated tree. There were no lights on the tree, however; there are never any lights put on the tree. Technically, candles should be put on the tree, but there is no way that you could convince anyone in the place to actually risk burning down the building for that. The tree was decorated with ornaments from the 19th and 20th centuries. There were lights put up in other rooms.


The rooms of the first floor were filled with different objects that were once cherished by children. The displays were a bit heavy on dolls, but there were some interesting toys, like the Noah’s Ark that was near the tree. There are still arks being sold to children, but it was nice to see a toy from decades gone by that some child or children played with and enjoyed. (It was well-worn, so it was obvious that children had played with it.)

There were a variety of dolls, many being Asian, which surprised me. Some of the dolls were strange-looking, and I had to wonder if they didn’t scare the children instead of amusing them. What follows is some of the dolls still on display in the Historical Society.

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Filed under History, Holidays, Tarrytown

Why I Love New York

The history sign

The history sign

The Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Sleepy Hollow used to be St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. It was built in honor of Washington Irving, the famous 19th century writer whose estate, Sunnyside, is by the Tarrytown/Irvington border.

I pass by this church regularly whenever I walk into Tarrytown, which is often. Recently, the church started celebrating Maronite masses on Sundays. The Maronites are a Middle Eastern group whose church is in communion with Rome.

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Filed under History, Sleepy Hollow

Why I Love New York

(2013-07-09 097)

This marker is the supposed place where Major John Andre was captured during the American Revolution by militiamen John Paulding, David Williams and Isaac Van Wart. It stands at the entrance to Patriots Park, which is shared between Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. The local monument nearby also celebrates the capture of the British spy–in a grand way.

Andre’s capture was a major coup for the colonials. Had Andre gotten through the American lines the plans to the fortifications at West Point, which Andre was given from Benedict Arnold, would have fallen into British hands. In effect, the British would have been able to seize West Point and gain total control of the Hudson River, thereby opening a major route for their forces from Canada and effectively severing New England from the rest of the colonies. This incident also forced Benedict Arnold to flee to the British before he was arrested for treason.

This whole area was involved in the American Revolution, one of the more interesting parts of American history.

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Filed under History, New York (State), Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown