Historical marker honoring Gaines pioneer gets fresh look

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 October 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

Here is how the sign looked about two years ago.

GAINES – A historical marker on Ridge Road, next to the Gaines Carlton Community Church, honors pioneer settler Elizabeth Gilbert.

The marker had flaked off paint and was getting hard to read to motorists on Route 104.

Late last month the sign, with a fresh coat of paint, was reinstalled. Melissa Ierlan, president of the Clarendon Historical Society, has been repainting many historical markers in the county. She had help from Matt Ballard, the county historian, with the Gilbert marker.

There is a creek near this sign that last year was officially named “Gilbert Creek” in honor of Gilbert.

Early settlers liked to build log cabins close to a source of water. Mrs. Elizabeth Gilbert and her family chose the north side of Ridge Road, building their home where there was a rise in the land.

The cabin is long gone, but a historical marker notes the pioneering efforts from Mrs. Gilbert, one of the first settlers on the Ridge between Monroe and Niagara counties. Her husband died in 1808, leaving her to raise the children, and tame the nearby wilderness.

Local resident Al Capurso worked on the effort to name “Gilbert Creek” for more than a year, researching the issue and lining up the needed government support.

The creek begins from feeder sources south of Route 104 near Brown Road. It then marries Proctor Brook in Carlton, and then flows into the Oak Orchard River.