Seventy-odd years ago, the men in our family were looking for a place to go hunting. Grandma Millie, our matriarch, was just a girl at the time. Her mother Nana saw an ad in the New York Times advertising 80 acres with an old farmhouse, a barn, and an old school from the 1800’s for sale. Should anyone wish to view the property, the landowner would pay for their train fare to Stroudsburg and put them up in the Indian Princess Hotel. They would also in a free set of Melmac dishes.
Nana and Aunt Jo made the journey to see the property. The entire kit-and-caboodle was on sale for $2800, including the various buildings. We still have that set of Melmac dishes.
Their husbands, Kiki (Millie’s father) and Uncle Dom, split the cost of the property and kept 40 acres apiece. Kiki chose the acreage upon which the vineyard now sits. Uncle Dom chose the acreage up on the hill.
The Pohopoco - "Big Creek". Lots of memories here for many generations of our family.
The old farmhouse was given some much-needed repairs. Uncle Dom and Aunt Jo lived there for a time until they built a log cabin elsewhere on the property. Kiki and Nana took up in the old farmhouse.
The old farmhouse. This was torn down in 1989 to build Stephen's house. He made sure that the front door is in precisely the same place.
Over the years, Kiki cleared all the land on the stream side of the road, making a clear and perfect view of Big Creek. He worked tirelessly to make the property into the paradise he envisioned.
A portion of the upper vineyard, right outside of the winery building. We have 26 acres of grapes on 86 acres of land.
Millie says what her father lacked in formal education, he more than made up for with common sense.
“There’s only so much land in the world,” he had said. “Once people buy it all up, it’s gone.”