Spruce Lawn Cottage

The house during a sunset in the winter.
The house during a sunset in the winter.

As a young man who spent his whole childhood growing up in New York City, it may seem ironic that the most significant object in my upbringing is a small cottage in the woods, but that is exactly the case. The spruce lawn cottage is located in the Catskill mountains and has been in my family for over eighty years. The house was built in 1892 as a part of the twenty house community a German singing group. The park eventually became known as Elka Park and has remained a magical place to escape city life.  In 1932, August P. Munning, my great-great grandfather, bought the house. August grew up poor, a second generation Irish immigrant, but was able to succeed enough in his career to escape the disaster of the Great Depression. Ever since, the house has been in the family. Sometimes it’s packed, sometimes it’s chaotic, but it always seems to work out.  In the same spirit that August P Munning endured the Depression, my family has moved past any difficulties regarding the house. Inevitably, one family in one generation leads to multiple families the next and even more the next. However, we’ve always been able to spend time in the house altogether regardless of how large our family has become. We’ve always been able to find respite and peace in the confines of the Spruce Lawn cottage, offering the much needed tranquility in the midst of a busy city life. 

Place(s): Catskills,Ireland
Year: 1854

– Aidan Gibbons

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more