Group welcomes public to help save former cobblestone schoolhouse

Posted 22 May 2015 at 12:00 am


For those interested in historic preservation, we have a wonderful opportunity to rescue, preserve and restore what could possibly be one of the oldest cobblestone structures in Orleans County.

In the 1820s there existed a log schoolhouse where pioneer children were taught on Gaines Basin Road, north of the canal. This was replaced by a cobblestone schoolhouse in 1832, which was used for the next 112 years.

Countless students passed through its door. Countless teachers dedicated themselves to the mission of child education. Countless town meetings were held there. The building still exists.

Courtesy of Al Capurso – Here is a mockup of a historical marker to go by the cobblestone schoolhouse in Gaines.

It continues to stand strong thanks to the artistry and skill of the cobblestone masons who erected it 183 years ago, and the care of the trustees all those many years. It stands as a tribute to hard-working teachers, children who struggle to learn and parents who value the importance of education.

The Orleans County Historical Association is in the process of acquiring this cobblestone treasure to protect, preserve and restore. We are also working to erect a historical roadside marker to educate passers by as to its historic value and significance.

You can help in a variety of ways. You can attend the “work bees” we will be having to replace windows, repair holes in the flooring, plastering, etc. If you have extra perennial flowers we welcome you to plant them out front of the schoolhouse next to the building. If you have extra lumber to donate we could use it.

A positive mention to your county legislator verbally or in writing would be helpful as we endeavor to dovetail with the County Department of History on this project.

We have lost too many cobblestone buildings through neglect and inaction. Here is a chance to preserve a piece of our history for future generations to enjoy and respect. There will be a meeting of Orleans County Historical Association at the Pullman Memorial Church on Wednesday, June 10, at 7 p.m.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information please call Al Capurso at 590-0763. Please join us.

Thank you,

Al Capurso
Member of Orleans County Historical Association