In 1790 Simeon Köhl (1760-†1845) married Luzia Meisser (1763 Davos-†1792 Chur). Luzia Meisser, daughter of Meinrad Meisser (1722-†) and Anna Accola (1722-†), was born in Davos Dorf. Many of her siblings died in their first year of life, and when Luzia was born, only her brother Peter Meisser, younger by 1 year, was still alive. The two siblings grew up in Davos Dorf. Their brother Peter Meisser (1762-†1845) married Urschla Stiffler (1769 Davos-†1821 Pontresina) on 1790, the same year as his sister. Peter, like his sister, may have left Davos before 1790. The date of death of their parents is not known, but it could be that Meinrad and Anna Meisser died before 1790 and therefore their children left Davos.
Why Peter Meisser and his wife emigrated to Pontresina is not known. Possibly there were connections to a branch of the Stiffler family, which had already been resident in Pontresina since 1770.
It is also not known how Luzia Meisser from Davos met her husband in Chur. Often unmarried daughters were placed by their families as servants to wealthy families. Thus Luzia may have come to Chur and met the Chur relative and shoemaker Simeon Köhl.
Although Luzia Meisser and Simeon Köhl had 4 children, this marriage was to end tragically. After 2 children had already died in their first year of life, Luzia also died in Chur at the age of only 29. Her husband Simeon was left alone with two boys. When Peter's youngest brother, Simeon Köhl, also died in 1794, the city authorities probably intervened and placed the 9-year-old under a guardian. Peter was therefore probably taken in by his uncle Peter Meisser in Pontresina. There is no written evidence of this, but Peter Köhl's close connection to Pontresina and his professional career indicate this. Also, at that time there were probably no grandparents or other siblings who could have taken in the boy.
There are also no records of when Peter Köhl left Switzerland. However, it can be assumed that, as was customary at the time, after finishing his schooling he did an apprenticeship as a confectioner with one of the Upper Engadin confectioner families in Germany or in the Russian Empire. Due to the connection to Pontresina, it might have been a confectioner of the Saratz or Robbi family. However, it is certain that Peter Köhl took over the confectionery of the Jenny family in Wilna in 1818 as co-owner and manager. He must have worked in Vilnius several years earlier, must have spoken Russian, and must have been well connected. But here, too, Peter Meisser seems to have held his protective hand over his nephew and was listed in the contracts as the main person responsible.
1: Cudesch da baselgia part scritta cun maschina, Duri Saratz, 2022
65: Davoser Familien H bis W (17. Jh. - 20. Jh.), Hugo Richter, A I 21 c 1/168, Staatsarchiv Graubünden
66: Briefwechsel Köhl - Jenny, Dauerdepositum Familie Saratz, Pontresina, 1820-50, Sign. 14.1.2016, Depot 10, 10a, Schachtel 19
75: Kaufprotokolle Köhl-Jenny, Stadt Chur, 1829, StAC B II 2.0019.095, S38, Nr. 1412
77: Bündner im Russischen Reich, Roman Bühler, 2003 Verein für Bündner Kulturforschung
82: Il cudesch da Johann Jenny a Wilna, Gian-Paul Ganzoni, 1981, Bündnerisches Monatsblatt, S124-146, Band 94
83: Fast ein Volk von Zuckerbäckern, Dolf Kaiser, 2009, S. 18, 46, 58,
84: Chronik Familie Manzinoja, Schenkung Rita Buchli, Erlenbach, 1880, Sign. 20.12.2006, Depot 1, 1f
Furthermore, it is certain that Peter Meisser and his wife lived with his family in Pontresina until his death and were very well connected there. His two daughters both married into local families. It could well be that Peter Meisser supported the wives of the men who were absent abroad, took care of administrative matters and acted as their deputy. There are also indications that Peter Meisser worked as an innkeeper and was active in the local council. After his son Clo Meisser was carried off by an imported epidemic in Wilna in 1813, the Meisser line of men in Pontresina died out with the death of Peter Meisser.
Clo Meisser (1791-†1813) worked for the Jenny family in Vilnius as a confectioner, probably together with his cousin Peter Köhl. However, he died there unexpectedly at the age of only 22. Peter Johann Jenny may also have worked in Vilnius from 1808.
Anna Meisser (1793-†1854, cousin of Peter Köhl) married Peter Johann Jenny (1793-†1876), the son of Johann Jenny, in Pontresina on 1813. After the marriage, Peter Johann Jenny and Peter Köhl were referred to as "cousins". The two were members of the Masonic Lodge in Warsaw and Vilnius and was best and closest friends.
Their daughter Anna Jenny (1824-†1915, granddaughter of Johann Jenny) married Johann (Gian) Saratz (1821-†1900) in Pontresina on 1845. The Saratz family was an important family of confectioners and cafetiers with smaller and larger confectioneries in Antwerp (around 1800), Cambrai (1785-1810), Limoges (1760), La Rochelle (1789-1806, coffee house), Rouen (1850), Sedan (1793-1811) and Tilsit (1830).
Johann (Gian) Saratz returned to Pontresina after business activities abroad. Saratz took advantage of the emerging tourism in the Engadine and in 1865 expanded the hay barn of his house and established the Pension Saratz in it. The manager of the Garni Saratz, as the guesthouse was called, was Gian's eldest son Pepi. From 1873 to 1875, further expansion took place and the Hotel Saratz was founded.
Veronica Meisser (1805-†1848, cousin of Peter Köhl) married in 1830 in Poschiavo the country clerk Elias Andreas Manzinoja (1811-†1887) and had with him 8 children.
The Manzinoja-Meisser family lived in a beautiful old Engadine house in the lower village, attached to the old Hotel Kronenhof. After the death of Elias Manzinoja (1887) the house was sold to the Gredig family of the Kronenhof and was later demolished for the later extension of the hotel. The place where the house stood is today the entrance to the Hotel Kronenhof.
Veronica Meisser-Manzinoja's daughter Victorine Manzinoja (1841-†1885, great-granddaughter of Peter Meisser) married the priest Caspar Mazol Sutter (1842-†1891), citizen of Mathon am Schamserberg, pastor and hotelier in Pontresina.
After Sutter had to resign his pastorate due to illness, he founded the Hotel Languard which was built by the Ragaz company and opened in Pontresina in 1877.
Elias Manzinoja and Veronica Meisser's son, Elias Manzinoja (1844-†1883) married Anna Jenny, a granddaughter of Anna Meisser (1850-†1917) in Pontresina in 1869.
Their daughter Victorina Manzinoja (1877-†1919) worked in Zurich and Lausanne as a governess in first-class hotels. Together with her brothers Elias and Nicolaus, she built the Hotel Schweizerhof in Pontresina from 1904-1906. In 1906 Victorina married Jeremias Buchli from Versam, the foreman of the Hotel Schweizerhof, and together they ran the hotel. Anna Manzinoja-Jenny was also a partner in the general partnership.