Plaque unveiled at cobblestone schoolhouse in honor of Al Capurso

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2021 at 9:19 am

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan

GAINES – Chris Capurso, center in back, is shown with family members on Sunday afternoon, when a plaque was unveiled in honor of her late husband Al Capurso at the Gaines Basin cobblestone schoolhouse.

The schoolhouse on Sunday also a celebration of the life for Mr. Capurso, who spearheaded saving the schoolhouse from ruin. Mr. Capurso passed away at age 68 on Feb. 17.

Doug Farley, director of the Cobblestone Museum, speaks about Capurso’s support for local history projects. The cobblestone school on Gaines Basin Road is owned by the Orleans County Historical Association, which Capurso led as president.

The building has been repurposed to serve as a meeting space and display for the Orleans County Historical Association.

The plaque notes Capurso was instrumental in saving the 1832 cobblestone schoolhouse on Gaines Basin Road, the oldest documented cobblestone building in the county.

Capurso led a team that put on a new roof, replaced windows and cleaned out junk and debris from the site. They put in new electric, a new subfloor, restored the trim and repaired the facade. He added a historic marker and flag pole. The building has been given new life as a meeting house and display of schoolhouse artifacts for the Orleans County Historical Association, which Capurso led as president.

These painting by Judy Collins shows Capurso playing his guitar. He performed at many community events, often singing songs he wrote about pioneers.