Memory Lane



A Czech Immigrant's Story

Judy Pedneault, President of the Bohemia Historical Society, spoke with us about what it was like growing up in Bohemia, New York. Judy lived with her extended family in her grandparents’ house on Ocean Avenue. Her grandmother, Mary Macik, a Czech immigrant, was just sixteen years old when she arrived alone in the United States to work as a maid. Like many other Czech immigrants who came to New York, she first lived in the Yorkville area of Manhattan. To learn English, she enrolled in night school where she met her future husband, William Emanovsky, also a Czech immigrant. After marrying and starting a family, the Emanovskys moved to Ocean Avenue in Bohemia, New York. In her new rural environment, Mary started a poultry business. It was a family business that even Judy, as a child, helped with. She described how she inspected the eggs for quality by using a technique known as candling. She also helped her grandmother deliver eggs to clients. One of the Emanovsky chicken farm clients was the South Side Sportmen’s Club, which for many years was an exclusive hunting and fishing club in the area now known as the Connetquot River State Park. In addition to running her poultry business, Mary also babysat, cooked and baked for her family. Judy described her grandmother as being a “strong woman,” and after hearing her story, we agreed. Mary Macik Emanovsky, whose spirit of hard work, determination, and commitment is an inspiration, is just one example of the many Czech immigrants who came to Bohemia, New York and contributed so much to the character and development of our community.

Judy Pedneaul Interview