73 Washington Irving.
and which is preserved with the utmost care in the same condition in which he left it. His study lamp, writing material, and a few papers are on the writing-table which was presented to him by his friend and publisher, G. P. Putnam; his easy chair stands beside
it, as though it had but' just been vacated by the master who had stepped out for a walk after his morning's literary work and might soon return.
Ball's terra-cotta bust stands in one corner of the room. The book-cases cover two walls and a few water-color sketches, and drawing's
hang over the mantel.
Mr. Irving purchased Sunnyside, then known as Wolfert's Roost, early in 1835. On July 8th of that year he writes to his brother Peter Irving, then at Havre: " You have been told, no doubt, of a purchase I have made of ten acres, lying at the foot of Oscar's farm
on the river bank. It is a beautiful spot capable of being made a little paradise. There is a small Dutch stone cottage on it, built about a century since, and inhabited by one of the Van Tassels. I have had an architect up there, and shall build upon the old mansion
this summer. My idea is to make a little nookery, somewhat in the Dutch style, quaint, but unpretending. It will be of stone. The cost will not be much. I do not intend to set up any establishment there, but to put some simple furniture in it, and keep it as a nest, to
which I can resort when in the mood."
Prior to the Revolution the Roost formed a part of the manor of Phillipsburgh, owned by Frederick Philipsen. It was occupied by Jacob Van Tassel as a tenant. As the feudal Lord Philipsen was loyal to the King the property was forfeited to the state, and in 1785 was
conveyed to Jacob Van Tassel by the commissioners of forfeiture.
The changes by which Irving converted the old stone cottage with its four unembellished walls into the quaint, picturesque Sunnyside, occupied a little more than a year. In December, 1836, he writes :
" I am living most cozily and delightfully in this dear, bright little home, which I have fitted up to my own humor. Every thing goes on
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