Historical Association will dedicate sign for creek in Gaines
By Al Capurso, President of the Orleans County Historical Association
“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 4, No. 28
GAINES – Creeks, steams, brooks and springs 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, that to my knowledge, does not exist anywhere else in the area. 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 Levi Beardsley family who settled in Carlton in 1827. Born in Connecticut in 1777, Mr. Beardsley died on his homestead in 1867, aged 90 years.
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. Perhaps 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 Canandaigua presumably due to the threatening War of 1812.
On Saturday, July 28th at 2 p.m. all are welcome to attend the unveiling of the Beardsley Creek Sign created by Jim Bonafini, Cobblestone Society Board President. Dignitaries will speak and refreshments will be served. The site is on Ridge Road, just west of Gaines Corners (Gaines Basin Road) at the cobblestone home of Robert Bruning (Anderson Cobblestone).