SWANTON — Retired from Swanton Lumber for a few months now, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Root, 86, still comes in most days to open the mail and chat with employees at the hardware store.

On Monday, Root swiveled in her desk chair to face Gordon Winters, the owner of Swanton Lumber, and share a few laughs while remembering her history with the company: a whopping 68 years.

She began working for the Winters in 1949, when Gordon’s grandfather, for whom Gordon is named, opened a wholesale lumber business. “Liz came about the first day, right Liz?” said Gordon.

Root had just graduated from St. Anne’s Academy in Swanton. “He said he called the nuns to ask for a nice, smart lady,” said Gordon.

In the beginning, “it was just he and I,” said Root. “I guess the reason I got it was I spoke French, and in Canada, I mean, you had to know a bit of French to buy stuff.”

To read more of Elizabeth’s story, pick up a copy of Thursday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.