BEARDSLEY CREEK SIGN DEDICATION SATURDAY, JULY 28, 2018
ORLEANS COUNTY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION ROBERT BRUNING PROPERTY
GAINES, ORLEANS COUNTY, NY
WELCOME: Al Capurso, President Orleans County Historical Association SPECIAL RECOGNITION AND GRATITUDE
~Robert Bruning, owner of this historic property and our gracious host.
~Jim Bonafini, President Cobblestone Society Board of Trustees for making this and the Proctor Brook sign.
~Steve Hawley, NYS Assemblyman
~Lynne M. Johnson, Chair Orleans County Legislature
~Matt Ballard, Orleans County Historian
~Adrienne Kirby, Gaines Town Historian UNVEILING THE SIGN
PLEASE STAY FOR REFRESHMENTS PROVIDED BY SHIRLEY NIGRO OF ALBION
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS PROPERTY:
It was here in the Spring of 1809 that the Noah and Polly Burgess Family, aided by Gaines’ first settler, Elizabeth Gilbert erected a log cabin by this creek. It was also on this property that Polly Burgess is credited in setting out the first apple orchard in the Town of Gaines. A year later, the Burgess Family moved one mile east and operated a tavern for a number of years. Now, a fine Greek Revival cobblestone home, built by the Burgess Family stands there. The cabin here, thus erected later housed no less than five pioneer families during its lifetime.
There is little doubt the Burgess Family chose this site due to the proximity of the creek, as did the Proctors and Gilberts at their respective locations.
OUR THREE PIONEER CREEKS
Fresh and flowing bodies of water were very important to our pioneer settlers. They provided a source of drinking water for humans and livestock alike, as well as a means to wash clothing and for cooking.
Traveling the historic Ridge Road in Gaines you will encounter a very unique circumstance. There are three creeks or brooks running south to north adjacent to each other, all three named after the pioneer families that settled on their banks. Moving from West to East, just past the Eagle Harbor Road we come to Beardsley Creek; named after the Selah Beardsley Family. He was part of a group of eight men who, in 1810, formed The Union Company. Arriving from Massachusetts, these bachelors assisted each other in the construction of their respective cabins and in the clearing and planting of their lands west of the Oak Orchard Creek. All were successful and prospered.
Next is Proctor Brook, winding its way through the Cobblestone Museum Complex at the intersection of Rts 98 and 104. Named after John Proctor who came from Massachusetts originally in 1810, finally settling near the brook in what is now Childs with his wife Polly Cummings in 1812. There is no one more prominent in the development of Childs and the Ridge Road’s famed cobblestone buildings than Mr. Proctor. Born in 1787, he suffered the tragic loss of three wives and several children to sickness but he himself lived to the age of 81.
Last, but not least, is Gilbert Creek. This stream originates south of Rte. 104, intersects Brown Road as it meanders north and crosses The Ridge where the Gaines Carlton Community Church now stands. It was on this site that Elizabeth Gilbert and her husband (his name not known) settled around 1807, becoming the first settlers of record to occupy land on the Ridge Road between Monroe and Niagara County. Elizabeth suffered the loss of her husband around 1808 of an apparent epileptic seizure. She and her niece, Amy Scott and two children under the age of 10 continued on for another 3-4 years before moving to Canandaiqua presumably due to the threatening War of 1812.
Proctor Brook and Gilbert Creek have similar signs showing their location. Today, we dedicate this third creek sign so that passersby will know a little bit more of the proud pioneer history of the Town of Gaines.