By Henry John Steiner
Historian of Sleepy Hollow, New York
My friend Ed Murphy just sent me a message from Las Vegas. It’s always great to hear from him, because, whenever Ed gets contemplative about his hometown, he generally fills in another piece of the Sleepy Hollow picture.
Rockwood Hall is one of Sleepy Hollow’s wonderful scenic assets, and a favorite with many of us:
“As a child I lived in Philipse Manor, and my parents were members of Rockwood Hall [Country Club] during the short period it was a country club. My Mom, Aunt and Uncle played golf there in the season. My Mom taught me to ski on one of the hills south of/and overlooking the future area of the IBM [now New York Life Insurance] parking lot, which of course was not there in the 1930s.
The brook-side trail was always a delight in the spring with Dog Tooth Violets and Jack-in-the-Pulpits and the gurgling brook dashing downhill to join the Hudson. The stables were in operation for a couple years and we rode a little. All the estate buildings [of the Rockwood Hall estate] existed in those days. I left the area in 1945 after high school and joined the Marine Corps as the war [WWII] was on. I frequently returned to the area to visit my parents and friends and always took time to walk the trails and dream of days gone by while on the property.
The house at the bottom of Arch Hill [on Route 9 — the old stone gatehouse] was occupied by a golf pro for many years, and his daughter, Patricia, attended Pocantico Hills Grammar School. I think his name was Cecceli, but my spelling is questionable. As I remember his name was Pat…”
©2015 Henry John Steiner