Rip Van Winkle Statue – Irvington, NY

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Rip Van Winkle Statue is located at the corner of Main Street and Ferris Street across from the fire department in Irvington (formerly Dearman), a suburban village in the town of Greenburgh in Westchester County, New York on the eastern bank of the Hudson River.

The life-size bronze statue of Rip Van Winkle, in which the reclining Rip wears a “crumpled hat with a feather, has a musket at his side, and appears a tad sleepy and quite harmless,” was inspired by the classic character in American fiction created by Washington Irving.

The statue was sculpted by Richard Masloski at a cost of $53,000 with funds raised for the Irvington RIP Project by the Chamber of Commerce. To build support for the project, the RIP Committee held a logo contest, won by Shinwa Yoshida, an Irvington High School student.

The town of Irvington uses a likeness of Washington Irving in its official seal, which it features on road signs into town.

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There is also a granite monument on the north end of town along Route 9 designed by Daniel Chester French in 1928 featuring a bust of Irving and a likeness of Rip. It is located near Sunnyside, the estate of Washington Irving in Tarrytown, New York.

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And, at the summit of Hunter Mountain, there is a larger-than-life blue sandstone carving of Rip Van Winkle envisioned by David Slutzky and carved by sculptor Kevin Van Hentenryck from 1995-2009.

The Rip Van Winkle statue is one of many artifacts, businesses, structures, and signs found around the Catskills that offers homage to the tale of a man who walked in the woods to escape his nagging wife, and fell asleep for twenty years.

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Other activities in the region with a Van Winkle theme include The Rip Van Winkle Wine and Cheese Festival kicks off each year in May – celebrating the bounty of regional cheese-makers, wineries, and The “Catskill Seven,” a series of golf courses along the Rip Van Winkle Golf Trail offers incredible views of the mountains and valleys.

The Washington Irving Inn Bed and Breakfast at 6629 Route 23A Tannersville, New York displays a statue of Rip Van Winkle in front of their rural getaway.

NOTE: As the story goes, Rip Van Winkle made his way into the mountains, and heard what he thought was the sound of thunder. But it turned out to be a group of men who were playing nine pin in a nearby hollow.

Just then from a thicket a man came out–
His legs were short and his body stout,
He looked like a Dutchman in days of yore,
With buttons behind and buttons before;
And held a keg with an iron grip,
And beckoned for help to the gazing Rip.

– Excerpt from a poem by George P. Webster (1872)

Rip helps carry a keg of liquor into their encampment, and soon thirsty Rip shares a flagon or two or three with the odd fellows. Unfortunately, the drink makes him groggy and he sets about to take a nap. To his surprise, Rip awakes 20 years later with a very long beard. Finding his dog gone, Rip picks up the rusted remains of his rifle and returns home only to discover everything has changed. Luckily, one of the men in town recognizes Rip and verifies his story about the strange men who were, indeed, the ghosts of Hendrick “Henry” Hudson, English explorer and his crew of the Half-moon (Hudson’s ship for his 1609 voyage) who return to the mountains to watch over the river and the great city that now bore Hudson’s name. In the end, the townsfolk welcome Rip back into the community, and with no nagging wife to bother him, Rip lived the rest of his days in peace.

Rip Van Winkle Statue
Corner of Main and Ferris Street
Irvington, NY 10533

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside Estate (Website)
Rip Van Winkle – Silent Film (Video)
Rip Van Winkle Animated Cartoon (Video)
Rip Van Winkle – Fairy Tale Theater (Video)
Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds (Website)
Rip Van Winkle Distillery (Website)

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Statues and Carvings

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