Born in New York and educated abroad, Ellen Goin became a very important person in the history of Alpine. In 1911 she married Manuel E. Rionda, head of a wealthy Cuban sugar family. The wedding took place under a large maple tree on the lawn of the Nordhoff (Mr. & Mrs. Charles Nordhoff and family) residence. Two years later the newly weds purchased 12.45 acres “at the edge of the steep rocks” (according to a deed dated February 24, 1913) and named their resultant estate GLEN GOIN.
It eventually consisted of a big residence atop the cliffs, a stone gate house and garage on the east side, a number of smaller stone buildings opposite. During the course of the years they purchased substantial additional property, including the famed river view lookout known as “Miles Point” which was acquired in 1916. Mr. Rionda was a very impressive, dignified and well educated man, always interested in the affairs of the community. He was elected mayor in 1931 and served for 10 terms. He was an official of numerous large sugar combines, a member of the coffee & sugar exchange, and active in U.S. – Cuban relationships. Mayor Rionda was a great horseman and animal lover. His Will made provision for the care of his dogs, and for “their burial on the property at Alpine where my other dogs are buried”. He died on February 8, 1950 at the age of 72 while inspecting his sugar properties, and his widow inherited the bulk of his large estate.Mrs. Rionda converted the outbuildings into attractive rental units, and gradually developed a 30-home colony occupied by young married couples at modest rates, which helped them to get started in life. Some substantial Alpinians of today can trace their marital beginnings to a residence in Glen Goin.
She was always active in youth work and civil affairs and was very well liked in town.
Manuel Enrique Rionda
1877–1950 (m. 1911)
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