Tracing the ancestry of Matthew Winne Jr. (1806-1897) has led me to a couple ordinary encounters together with his descendants, as really well as their unforgettable Niskayuna neighbors — a lot of of whom have shared their fascinating stories with me. The next account is most commonly focused on Roger Griffin, who married Carol Winne (1944-2016), a great-terrific-granddaughter of Matthew.
Roger, now 80, lives with daughter Holly on her ancestral place of dwelling at 3009 Troy Side road, first farmland of Matthew Winne Sr. (1768-1866). My interviews with Roger and Holly have been being similarly fulfilling and eye-opening.
Son of the past due Francis (1906-1984) and Holly (Sauter) Griffin (1906-1998), Roger grew up within the Rosendale neighborhood close to the Niskayuna-Colonie the city line. Roger, along side older brother Gary, who in a while grew to transform a soil mechanics professor on the School of Connecticut, attended Niskayuna Basic College No. 4 on Rosendale Side road.
In basic school, Roger accomplished classmates Peter Brownsey and Jeff Denison, who would become his lifelong pals. The three Niskayuna “amigos” — Roger, Peter and Jeff — grew up within the Fifties, and were maximum fortunate to be drawn into energetic Boy Scout Troop 40 affiliated with the Niskayuna Reformed Church.
Troop 40’s exceptional adviser was once Roland Alexander, whose son Lenny was once additionally a Scout mate of the lads. Roland Alexander, a very popular Civil Aeronautics Authority (precursor to as of late’s Federal Aviation Company) skilled, took a keen interest within the boys and grew to transform a troop chief. He repeatedly challenged his Scouts with tutorial and delightful jobs.
Below his tutelage, each would in spite of everything reach the esteemed Eagle Scout rank. In combination the way in which they acquired cast values and function ethics that will handbook them their whole existence. Roger was once an ambitious self-starter who frequently busied himself with loads of positions in his younger yrs. A number of summers have been expended functioning at a lumber mill close to Ticonderoga on Lake George even supposing residing at his father’s camp on Lake George’s Gull Bay.
He additionally worked on close by farms, however specifically preferred moonlighting as an airport commute driving force for Walt Heppinstall’s auto condominium company performing from the close by Albany Shaker-Troy Freeway intersection. Proper after graduating college, Roger was once used by New York Situation Civil Help for plenty of a long time.
Within the mid-Nineteen Sixties, Roger married longtime Niskayuna neighbor Carol Winne. Carol, daughter of Matthew C. Winne (1907-1955) and Antoinette “Ann” Kukan (1911-1992), lived on the Troy Freeway Winne place of dwelling, along with her sisters Joan and Susan.
Roger and Carol remained extremely close to with Peter Brownsey and his spouse, Donella (“Donnie”). In reality, Roger served as greatest male and Carol as maid of honor for Peter and Donnie after they eloped in Warrensburg. Carol, an avid quilter, additionally labored beside her most efficient mate at Donnie’s Touring Ducks Materials retailer.
Carol additionally skilled ties to the northern Lake George space. Her oldsters introduced and feature been making Springdale Manor Hotel in Hague when her father, Matthew, tragically died when Carol was once simply 10. Widowed mother Ann was once pressed to supervise of completion of Springdale whilst elevating 3 more youthful daughters. No longer handiest did Ann whole design, she successfully operated the holiday lodge for a large number of a few years.
More than a few happy circle of relatives summers were expended on this superb Adirondack location. Later, Roger built a scenic lakeside camp on a parcel of Hague area Ann allocated to Carol.
Carol and Roger ended up blessed with a couple of delightful daughters, Holly, Barbara and Elizabeth, who they relished expanding in Niskayuna. Each and every unmarried summer time, the couple held a big July 4th bash inviting relations, at the side of numerous pals and neighbors.
Carol’s sister Joan (1942-2021) and her husband Walter Grishkot (1926-2011), founders of the popular Adirondack Balloon Festival in Warren County, ended up common attendees. At a unmarried competition, the Grishkots accomplished ardent balloonist and film big name Hiroaki “Rocky” Aoki, operator of the Benihana eating place chain, who additionally joined only one memorable birthday party.
Roger and Holly however actively handle the Troy Freeway house as an functioning farm, generating veggies and bouquets whilst additionally advertising and marketing firewood. Many because of Holly’s generosity, I sampled some household-grown produce from the ancestral Winne farm. I will be able to for my part attest it was once utterly delectable.
Michael A. Davi is a member of the Niskayuna Ancient Committee. To put up knowledge and information, method or tale methods, electronic mail Niskayuna Town Historian Denis Brennan at [email protected].
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