THE SLEEPY HOLLOW CEMETERY AT TARRYTOWN was incorporated October 29, 1849, under the “Act Authorizing the Incorporation of Rural Cemetery Associations” of April 27, 1847. The governing law at the present time is the New York Not For Profit Corporation Law. The Cemetery is owned exclusively by its lot owners, who annually elect a Board of Directors which manages the property.
ADMISSION TO GROUNDS. The main gate and south gate are open daily from 8:00 A.M. until 4:30 p.m., except Saturday when the gates are open at 8:30. The speed limit on all Cemetery roads is 20 miles per hour. No commercial vehicles are permitted except with permission from the Superintendent. The Cemetery reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone not a lot owner.
LOTS AND GRAVES. May be purchased, subject to these Rules and Regulations and Section 1501 et seq. of the Not For Profit Corporation Law. Lots may be transferred only as permitted by law. Lots may not be subdivided, and owners of lots and graves may not allow interments to be made for remuneration. Prices of lots, interments, receiving tomb rental, foundations, planting, repairs, care, and the like will be furnished on request. Payment in full must be made before a deed will be given or burial allowed on a lot. A map of the Cemetery, which includes all sections, roads, and paths, is available free of charge.
CHAPEL. The use of the Chapel for funeral or memorial services may be secured at a nominal charge.
Rules and Regulations
The rules and regulations of the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, applicable to all lot owners and visitors, have been adopted to assure the beauty, welfare and sanctity of this historic place of sepulchre. The Superintendent is responsible for the enforcement of these regulations. All who enter are reminded that these grounds are devoted to the interment of dead human beings and that a strict observance of decorum will be required of all.
Plantings and Decoration of Graves
Any planting, movement of soil, or any decoration other than fresh flowers must be approved in advance by the Superintendent. Ground cover and plants must be confined to the area close to the headstone of a grave or plot, except as otherwise approved for large plots. Only annual plants, not trees or shrubs, are allowed in the single grave sections. Flower holders may be placed on graves and the owner is urged to have the lot number plainly printed on the holder. Vigil lights, open flames, artificial flowers or shrubs, balloons, windmills, wire arbors, fencing, statues and other devotional objects, unauthorized trees and shrubs, food or other offerings, and the like are not permitted and will be removed. Flowers and decorations, including flags, will be removed when unsightly.
Chairs and benches may be incorporated into the design of a headstone. Any other chairs or benches must be approved by the Superintendent and are not permitted on lots having an area of less than 300 square feet.
The Cemetery may remove, at the expense of the lot owner, dirt, litter or other material left in the Cemetery. Planting, trimming and removing trees and hedges, painting fences, cleaning stones, and all other work by the Cemetery may be requested at special rates.
All excavating, grading and foundation work is done by the Cemetery exclusively, at special rates. Graves shall not be elevated and must be finished in accordance with the graves of the surrounding area. Where changes are made on lots, the grade and sod must be restored to the satisfaction of the Superintendent.
All interments, entombments, disinterments, and removals must be performed by the Cemetery under the management of the Superintendent. No interment will be permitted in any lot until the lot has been purchased and the cost of the lot and the interment has been paid in full to the Cemetery. Standard graves: subject to the approval of the Superintendent, two full interments and one cremation interment may be permitted in each grave. Cremation interments may be substituted for full interments, up to the maximum of three interments per grave. Cremation lots: subject to the approval of the Superintendent, two interments of cremated remains may be made in the Cemetery’s standard cremation lots of 9 square feet (3' x 3'); up to four interments of cremated remains may be made in cremations lots 3' x 5' and larger.
To request an interment, a written order signed by the lot owner must be filed at the cemetery office at least 24 hours in advance. For interments in the Single Grave Division, the original certificate for the grave must also be presented for endorsement. Notice of interment must include: the name of deceased; age of deceased and date of birth; date of death; lot number; lot owner; relationship of deceased to grantee; if not an adult, the names of parents or legal guardians of deceased; name and address of undertaker; exact size of outside box; and date and time of arrival at Cemetery. The Cemetery will not be responsible for errors or omissions in telephoned or oral instructions.
All interments shall be solely under the control and direction of the Cemetery. Only equipment operated by the Cemetery may be used. Automatic lowering devices are provided. Tent, chairs and matting will be supplied when requested, at a nominal charge. Where extra or special material or equipment is required or deemed necessary for an interment, equitable charges may be made for the same.
The Cemetery will attempt to accommodate interments on Sundays and holidays. There are additional charges for interments on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
Cremated remains must be interred in the ground or in a crypt, and only in an appropriate metal, plastic, ceramic, concrete or wood receptacle. Scattering of cremated remains is prohibited.
All interments in private mausoleums or vaults must be in an approved outer box, hermetically sealed.
All funerals shall enter the Cemetery at the main entrance where the Office and Chapel are located, unless directed otherwise by the Superintendent.
A Receiving Tomb at the Cemetery is provided to accommodate those who have occasion to make interments before they have purchased lots. Remains, unless cremated, shall not be permitted to remain in the Receiving Tomb for more than one year. All persons using the Receiving Tomb are required to deposit with the Cemetery a specified sum together with crypt rental for at least one quarter of a year in advance. All remains placed in Receiving Tomb must be contained in a hermetically sealed outer case.
Foundations, Retaining Walls and Enclosures
Except for single grave sections 61, 91, 92 and 93, all monumental work must be placed on concrete foundations installed by the Cemetery. Foundations must be full size of the super-structure and will be finished off at such levels as will permit the cutstone work to be set at least two inches below the surface of the sod at all points. All monumental work shall have the surface next to the foundation dressed sufficiently true to allow every part to be in contact with the foundation and must be set in a solid bed of mortar. All foundations must be 6 feet in depth except when required to be otherwise for engineering reasons. Bridging over graves for monument foundations or changing foundations is not permitted, except, subject to the Superintendent’s approval, where there are ledger stones placed over graves.
Fences, hedges, railings, copings or other enclosures to mark the boundaries of lots are not permitted. Hedges now growing in the Cemetery must be kept trimmed.
Monuments or markers found to have been installed after the adoption of this rule (June 3, 2015) without a foundation will be deemed unsafe and will be removed until the situation is remedied, provided the cemetery first gives not less than fifteen days’ notice by registered or certified mail to the last known owner at his last known address to repair or remove such object and the said owner shall fail to repair or remove the object within the time provided in said notice. In the event of such removal, correction or repair by the cemetery corporation it shall, within twenty days thereafter, notify the lot owner, by registered or certified mail addressed to him at his last known address, of the action taken by the cemetery corporation.
Plans and specifications for the construction or alteration of mausoleums must be approved by the Superintendent. Lots for mausoleums must be at least 25 by 30 feet in size and the intention to erect a mausoleum must be indicated in writing before the signing of an agreement to purchase the lot.
The buildings must be at least 6 feet clear of the lot lines and must not occupy more than 60% of the width of the lot. The outside walls above ground must be of cutstone at least 10 inches in thickness and all stones must hold their face size the full thickness of the wall. The outside walls of the mausoleum foundations shall be at least 18 inches thick. The base or water-table must be wide enough to catch the drip from the roof. Air spaces shall be provided between the catacombs and outside walls, with suitable air inlets or outlets at top and bottom. The auditorium must be suitably ventilated. A duplicate key must be deposited at the Cemetery office.
An endowment for Endowed Care must be purchased to cover future maintenance and repairs to the structure and lot on which it is located.
Plans and specifications for any new or changed monuments must be approved by the Superintendent as to material, dimensions and design. No material shall be brought into grounds before such approval is obtained. All monuments must be of granite or marble of acceptable quality. No lithochrome or color other than natural stone is permitted.
No copyright plates nor names of builders are permitted.
All corner markers will be set by the Cemetery at the expense of the lot owner.
Adult markers in the Single Grave Divisions 91, 92, 93 must be dark Quincy or gray Barre granite of approved design and quality, with a polished or steeled face, and having the following dimensions: thickness, 6 inches; height, 18 inches above grade; width, 18 inches; butt, 18 inches; oval top with 2 inch rise of arc. Infant markers shall be: thickness, 4 inches; height, 14 inches above grade; width, 14 inches; butt, 14 inches; oval top with 1.5 inch rise of arc.
Adult single grave markers in Section 95 must be slant faced, 2 feet wide, one foot thick at base and 14 inches overall high. When set, 2 inches will be below ground leaving one foot above. Grey, black or pink granite of good quality may be used. Sides and back must not be polished. Infant flush markers in Section 95 must be: thickness, 4 inches; width, 14 inches; depth, 9 inches; top must be flush with ground surface.
On lots less than 20 feet in depth monuments must not occupy more than 50% of the width of the lot. In larger lots monuments must not exceed 60% of the width of the lot. In no case shall the depth of the monument exceed 15% of the depth of the lot. The superficial area of the front of the monument must not exceed one-tenth (1/10) of the area of the lot. The height of monuments and foot markers must conform to requirements established for the section in which the plot is located.
No more than one monument, with one foot marker per grave, will be allowed on a lot. Foot markers (except military markers) are not allowed on single graves in Section 82 south and Section 96.
No metal monument or grave marker is permitted, except bronze plaques on stone pedestals and temporary markers placed by the Grand Army, American Legion, etc.
Memorialization without interment: Inscriptions and markers for individuals who have not been buried in the cemetery may be permitted, subject to the approval of the Superintendent. Relevant information, including proof of death, will be entered in the cemetery records. A recording charge will apply in addition to foundation and inscriptions fees.
Natural Burial Section
No embalming. If embalming is needed for ceremonial purposes, it must be formulated with a non-toxic, formaldehyde-free solution. Caskets, if desired, shall be biodegradable, made of wood, cardboard, bamboo, willow, or other untreated biodegradable materials. There shall be no metal hinges, screws, or nails. Shrouds made of biodegradable materials such as silk or cotton can be used, dyes must be organic. No concrete vaults or grave liners of any kind are permitted. Remains in which there are inorganic dental or medical implants and or internal prosthetics will be permitted.
Grave markers. No cut, machined, or polished markers or monuments of any kind are permitted. Stone markers are not required. If desired, stone memorials may be used and must be native stone. Natural stones brought from the outside cemetery grounds must be approved prior to placement and no bigger than 30” by 30”and set flush with ground level. All markers must be approved by the Cemetery Superintendent.
Cremation graves. Cremation graves are 3‘ by 3‘ in size. One or two urns are permitted in cremation graves. Urns must be made from biodegradable materials, such as untreated wood, cardboard, salt, cornstarch, etc.
South division. Single graves in the south division are one depth only, 10’ by 3’. Each single grave will accommodate one full body interment and one cremated remains.
North division. Single graves in the north division are 9’ by 3’. Single depth graves will accommodate one full body interment and one cremated remains. Double depth graves will accommodate two full body interments.
No artificial flowers, vases, statues, or other manufactured decorations are permitted. Any “grave adornments” must be biodegradable and made of all natural materials. No non-organic fertilizers or pesticides are used on this portion of cemetery grounds. All graves will be monitored over time for the best ecological “fit” for native plants and local environment.
Families will be given the opportunity to be involved with the burial and ritual process so long as participation does not conflict with state law, or with these protocols in form or substance.
Prior to any entombment or installation of an urn, the crypt or niche must be paid in full. Burial rights are restricted to human remains only.
A funeral must be ordered in advance by a funeral director. When required, the Cemetery will prepare the appropriate written consents or affidavits, which must be presented before interment. A proper burial transit permit and all other appropriate documents must accompany the remains or cremated remains before an interment can be made.
For crypt interment the funeral director must use either (a) a sealer casket with a manufacturer’s warranty or (b) a casket placed in a #60 or #55 metal zinc lined box, which will be sealed at the Cemetery. IMPORTANT: a casket is not to exceed 29” wide by 24” high by 86” long.
Urns must be of bronze, wood or ceramic, and are subject to the approval of the Cemetery. A maximum of two matching urns is permitted in double glass front niches and one urn in a single niche. A maximum of two urns will be permitted in niches in the exterior columns XC and XD.
Opening and sealing of all crypts and niches, and all interments and installation of urns, will be performed only by employees of the Cemetery. Only the supplies and equipment of the Cemetery may be used in connection with the openings.
All inscriptions on the face of crypts and niches must be made by and are subject to the approval of the Cemetery. The number of inscriptions permitted on a crypt is limited to the entombments in such crypt. If a crypt is to be used for the specific purpose of interment of cremated remains, or combination of cremated remains and caskets, the total number of entombments or inurnments is limited to the number of inscriptions for which the crypt cover was designed. Format of inscriptions will follow the form outlined on Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Community Mausoleum Authorization for Inscription.
Funeral flowers will be permitted in the Mausoleum only at the time of the funeral and is limited to one casket flower piece and a maximum of six baskets. All will be removed following the funeral.
Cut flowers are permitted at all times but will be removed within 72 hours from time of placement or upon becoming unsightly (wilted flowers) and/or malodorous (stagnant water). Glass containers and vases are not permitted. No more than one flower arrangements will be permitted per crypt or niche. Flowers may only be placed in designated areas, as provided by the Cemetery. The Cemetery reserves the right to relocate or remove any flower arrangements.
Artificial flowers, plants, and personal effects, including, without limitation, photos, balloons, stuffed animals, lights, greeting cards, art objects, religious articles, flags, emblems, memorabilia and the like are not permitted. No items are to be placed on or leaned against marble or glass fronts. Nothing may be attached or pasted to the crypt fronts. The Cemetery has the right to remove any such items. The Cemetery is not responsible for any items or any personal effects.
The Cemetery permits natural plants not to exceed 18” in height and wreaths free from artificial coloring during the winter and spring only in the exterior areas of the Mausoleum. Signs are posted in advance indicating when plants are permitted to be placed as well as when they will be removed.
Small flags will be permitted in the Mausoleum on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day in size and location as authorized by the Cemetery. They will be removed following the day.
Care of Lots
All lots in newly developed portions of the Cemetery are sold at a price that provides for care and maintenance of the ground (grass cutting only) by the Cemetery without further cost to the lot owners. A percentage of the sale price is invested in a Permanent Maintenance Trust Fund.
In the past most lots were sold with the proviso that such lots shall be cared for by the Cemetery under annual or Endowed Care arrangement provided for by the purchaser at the time of purchase. Lots are no longer sold with annual care agreements.
Endowed Care, which includes cutting grass, pruning and care of planting, and maintenance of the grounds, may be secured by a fund that is held by the Cemetery in trust. Estimates of the amount required for the Endowed Care of any lot will be furnished upon request, and acceptance of such funds is subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. Where funds for Endowed Care are to be bequested, it is recommended that this estimate be obtained before the completion of the will.
The term “Endowed Care” generally does not include the repair or replacement of any grave stones or monumental structures or railings or memorials; the planting of flowers or ornamental plants; or any special or unusual work, such as the repair, reconstruction or replacement of any marble, granite, bronze or concrete work on any lot damaged due to any cause whatsoever. A special fund may be established to cover some of these costs.
The Directors may adopt and amend such rules and regulations, from time to time, as they may deem desirable for the improvement or protection of the Cemetery. Complaints, requests for exceptions, and proposals for amendment of these rules should be made in writing to the Secretary of the Board.
The Directors retain general control of all improvements and ornamentation of the Cemetery lots and grounds. The Directors reserve the right to prohibit all plant life, structures or monuments which they deem likely to be injurious to the general character of the grounds. They also reserve the right to lay out new paths, walks, or avenues, and to change or close existing ones.
No alcohol, unlawful drugs or weapons of any kind are permitted. For the health and well-being of employees, lot owners and visitors, smoking and vaping is prohibited everywhere on cemetery premises. Smoking is defined as the "act of lighting, smoking or carrying a lighted or smoldering cigar, cigarette or pipe of any kind." Vaping refers to the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems or electronic smoking devices such as e-cigarettes, e-pipes, e-hookahs and e-cigars.
Dogs must be leashed at all times, maximum 6 foot leash. Dog waste must be collected, bagged, and placed in a proper trash receptacle or carried out of the cemetery.
Picnicking is not permitted. Parking or driving on lawns and graves is prohibited. Gravestone rubbings are prohibited.
No advertisements or solicitation are allowed.
Picking flowers, either wild or cultivated, is prohibited.
No photographs shall be taken without a permit from the Superintendent. Lot owners desiring photographs of their own monumental work must furnish the Cemetery with a signed order in each instance. Representatives of monumental concerns will not be permitted to photograph monumental work unless an order signed by the lot owner is furnished to the Cemetery.
All contractors, in the employ of the Cemetery or a lot owner, and including but not limited to monument setters and landscapers, must provide proof of liability and workers compensation insurance and will name Sleepy Hollow Cemetery as an additional insured for the duration of time on premises.
The Cemetery shall not be liable for any loss or damage to lot owners and others using the Cemetery. The Cemetery also disclaims all responsibility for loss or damage from causes beyond its reasonable control, and, especially, from damage caused by the elements, an act of God, animals, thieves, vandals, malicious mischief makers, accidents, riots, or order of any military or civil authority.
Any plant life, fencing or embellishment or structure which becomes so worn, neglected, broken or deteriorated that it is a danger to persons or property within the Cemetery may be removed, repaired or corrected by the Cemetery, provided it first gives not less than fifteen days notice by certified mail to the last known owner to repair or remove the object within the time provided in the notice. Within twenty days of the removal, correction or repair, the Cemetery will notify the last known lot owner by certified mail of the Cemetery’s action. Monuments or other markers that have fallen into disrepair or dilapidation so as to create a dangerous condition may be removed or repaired by the Cemetery, provided that not less than sixty day’s notice by certified mail is given to the last known lot owner and the lot owner has failed to remove or repair the marker within the time provided in the notice. In case the last known lot owner cannot be found, notice may be given once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in Westchester County. If replacement is appropriate for identification purposes, the Cemetery may replace any monument or other marker that is removed with a flush bronze or granite marker suitably inscribed.
It is the duty of the lot owner to notify the Cemetery of any change of address; notice sent to the last known address on file shall be considered sufficient legal notification. In the event the owner fails to repair, correct or remove the danger in a manner satisfactory to the management of the Cemetery within the times specified in the above paragraph, the Cemetery may correct the situation and charge the expense against the lot and to the lot owner of record.
Writing upon, defacing or in any way injuring any ornament, plant or structure in the Cemetery will be punished as provided by law. The laws provide for the punishment of any person who damages any cemetery plot or burial place, and the Cemetery may seek compensation for any damage to its property.
Adopted May 25, 2021