Irvington Legacies — A Tribute To Agnes Sinko

by The Irvington Historical Society

The Irvington Historical Society and our entire Irvington Community celebrate the life of our friend and Irvington Legacy, Agnes Sinko, who passed away on March 2, 2024.

The following is taken from the Irvington Historical Society’s Legacy Project, which celebrates the lives of long-time residents of the Village.

I was born in 1941. My parents moved to 125 N. Broadway in 1938. My father tracked our house back to 1800. 

My mother liked to swim. We were one of the only families to have a pool in Irvington. The police sponsored a day at the country club pool. Village children were invited, and they had races, and because we were swimmers and since there were seven of us, we won everything. There weren’t any kids in the neighborhood. My mom would take us all around and she made friends with people here. Even if they didn’t have kids, we went along. We used to have tea with the du Pont Irvings. They were the nieces of Washington Irving. He had died, and they inherited his house.  

My brother used to ski down the front steps of our house, turn right down the yard, down more steps, then a hill going down, and then the driveway out to Sunnyside, and all downhill from there. If you walked along the street, you just said hello. You greeted anybody you met on the street. That was the custom, and if you knew their name, you said their name, how are you today, that kind of thing. 

Preparatory school consisted of one row of desks in the 1st and 2nd-grade classroom. I took piano lessons with Ms. Valentine, who was a teacher in the Main Street School, and then we always went to Mrs. Thiele’s bakery. They used to have a Halloween party in the town hall, and they’d have Ted Mack, who had a TV show and who lived here, run a variety show. When my dad was mayor, he did a lot with the budget and the money. He saved enough money to pay for a new firehouse.

My mom ran a preschool for about ten years in our home. She had a quiet room with a painting easel set up, and the noisy room, and they could go in there and sing and do whatever they wanted. They built a jungle gym out of wood, with a slide at one side, with a mattress at the bottom of the slide. She also had swings and a marching band.

I worked as a page in the library, which was then in Town Hall, and later again part time, and then became the director from 1985 to 2005. Building a new library in the old Lord and Burnham building was very exciting to me. Mary Morrissett, who was the head of the library board, was very, very good to work with. She personally raised $200,000 in one night for the new library. 

Yeah, we were wild growing up in Irvington. We could go wherever we wanted. Certain places were our secret gardens, and it didn’t matter whose property you were on. Nobody ever said anything about not being allowed on their property. We didn’t even think about the word property, you know?