WoodArtistry is based on a love for natural wood! This wood appreciation is easily traced back over three generations. The following article entitled "Old Days Around Croghan, N.Y." appeared in the January 1955 issue of The Northeastern Logger and gives a concise early history of this love for wood.
"Joseph Lyndaker came, with his parents, from Alsace Lorraine when he was a boy of eight. His family settled at New Bremen, which is in the Black River Valley of Northern New York.
As Joseph grew to manhood, he purchased a farm near the neighboring village of Croghan. He married and established his home on the new farm, which included both fertile fields and a rather large forest area growing pine, spruce, hemlock and Adirondack hardwoods.
Joseph's children attended the neighboring district school. The boys assisted with work in the fields in summer with work in the woods in the winter. In this way, they became thoroughly familiar with the work of field and woods.
One of the boys in Joseph's growing family was Christian Lyndaker, who is now living in Croghan. Christian was born in 1867 and had the advantage of education in the neighboring school. He also shared with his father, at an early age, in the work of the farm and forest. Upon finishing school, he worked for some years falling and sawing trees and peeling hemlock bark for the nearby tanneries.
As a young man, Christian also purchased a farm near Belfort, which is a short distance from his boyhood home. He married Lena Yousey in 1889 and moved to the farm. Work in the woods in winter supplemented the activities and income from the farm in other seasons of the year.
Mr. Lyndaker became a logging operator in 1901. That year, he began to make a cut of virgin pine in Long Pond area and continued the operation for five years. The pine logs were landed in the Oswegatchie River in winter and driven in the spring to the E.S. Virkler mill at Croghan.
With a desire to handle the tree through the entire process from stump to market, he learned the art of sawing and became a sawyer in the Lehman mill at Croghan where he continued to work for 12 years. Later, he also served as sawyer in the Block factory nearby.
A man of Mr. Lyndaker's energy and interests was not content to spend retirement years in inactivity. He acquired great skill as a builder of custom furniture.
The desk top shown in the picture contains more than 9,000 pieces of wood of more than 40 different species. It was planned and assembled with great care. At the age of 87 he continues to build fine furniture.
Mr. Lyndaker's family consists of five sons: John, Joe, Paul, Ednor and Amos, and one daughter, Mrs. Ruth Widrick, who has a farm near Belfort. John, like his father, served for several years as a logging operator. Unlike his father, he operated in Adirondack hardwoods.
Though 87 years of age, Christian Lyndaker is a good story teller and a very interesting host. As his name indicates, he is a man of fine religious heritage and rich religious faith."
My grandfather Paul, worked a farm and ran a saw mill located on the same property, which his children remember fondly as the homestead. In his retirement years, he sold the farm, built a home with a nice wood shop in the basement and carried on the wood working tradition. Being very young when he passed away, I had never worked with him, nor do I remember watching him. I do, however, have the great pleasure of consulting with Paul's brother, Ednor and a cousin, Norm.
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