Long Island's Hidden Past: Loughlin Vineyard

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Just a mile from the Great South Bay, in the hamlet of Sayville, hidden away in John E. Roosevelt's historical estate Meadow Croft, lies Loughlin Vineyard. News 12 Long Island's Danielle Campbell and Brian Endres tell the history of how this South Shore vineyard was the dream of a World War ll soldier who liberated France.

It's World War II, Barney Loughlin, an 18-year-old from Sayville, is drafted into the 36th Infantry. Their mission - to liberate France. When he marched down a small village in France a little girl presented him with a bottle of wine in front of her father's house. This is the moment that Loughlin's family says proves he lived a charmed life. 

Unlike thousands of other young men, Loughlin safely returned home, bringing with him the nightmare images of war, but also the hope he found in the vineyards of the French countryside.

In 1984, the hope and peace of the French vineyards became a reality in Sayville - Loughlin planted his very own vineyard with his family's help.

"He had a passion for grape growing, he had a passion for tilling the land and going back to nature," says daughter Beth Loughlin.

Barney Loughlin's charmed life began at Meadow Croft, the summer estate of John E. Roosevelt. His parents worked for the Roosevelt family - his mother was their nanny and his father was the caretaker. 

The vineyard, planted on land his parents bought from the Roosevelt's behind Meadow Croft is now considered a hidden gem. Loughlin passed away last year. His family has promised to keep his piece of paradise the way he liked it. 

Beth Loughlin says her father was told by other Long Island vineyard owners he would never be able to grow grapes in Sayville, so of course he had to prove them wrong.

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