Washington Irving & The Legend of Jersey City

On October 25, 2018, I participated in a Halloween event at the Apple Tree House in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The program was entitled “Washington Irving & The Legend of Jersey City.” The Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs and the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy served as hosts, and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities sponsored the night.

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The Apple Tree House at night, Jersey City, NJ, October 25, 2018. (Courtesy of Perfume Professor)

Actor and historian Luke Boyd gave a spellbinding reading of “The Guests from Gibbet Island,” a ghost story by Washington Irving set in today’s Communipaw neighborhood of Jersey City.

Guests, Charles Greene Bush, Princeton
(Courtesy of Rare Books & Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University)

I followed Boyd’s performance with a lecture on Irving’s connection to Jersey City (and New Jersey) and an interpretation of “Guests.”

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Talking about Washington Irving and his long relationship with Jersey City and the Garden State. Apple Tree House, Jersey City, NJ, October 25, 2018. (Courtesy of Perfume Professor)

After our respective chapters of the program, Luke and I fielded questions from the audience. This was a fun and engaged group.

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Luke Boyd and me during the question-and-answer session. Notice the beautiful interior details of the room. Apple Tree House, Jersey City, NJ, October 25, 2018. (Courtesy of Perfume Professor)

With its Victorian parlor and rich atmosphere, the Apple Tree House proved to be the perfect setting to discuss Irving, ghosts, and folklore on a chilly October night. What a treat to speak there.

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