The Adams family’s annual summer reunion led to a new cemetery marker at the gravestone of their forebear, a Revolutionary War veteran, farmer and the first white settler to spend the winter in Aurora.
Joel Adams made his way here from Massachusetts with a few others in 1804, but was the only one to stick it out in the cold with his sons.
Later, Joel and his wife Lydia were among the founders of the First Baptist Church, holding services in their house before the church was built.
Seven generations later, members of the Adams family still live on his land in Aurora.
The Adams’ original log cabin no longer exists, though a chicken coop made with the wood still stands.
Then some at a family reunion a few summer’s ago – the Adams clan has been getting together annually since 1935 – worried when they noticed Joel Adams’ old gravestone at Pioneer Cemetery on Oakwood Avenue was fading.
That led local great grandson Jon Adams to begin working with his uncle and Planning Board member Bill Adams. The family wanted to make sure a stone tribute endured.
This summer the family had another stone marker made of granite. Last month it was embedded into the lawn at the Pioneer Cemetery with birth and death dates – 1751 – 1821 – and the phrase, “An original pioneer ...”
The dedication coincided with this year’s reunion gathering of 41. “Everybody was real proud,” said Jon Adams, “because Joel, certainly to us and even the town, he’s kind of an important piece of history.”
Also this week:
• The Toytown Car Show, featuring retro cars and live music, will spread out on Main Street from Center to Olean Sunday August 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Boy Scouts will be there to sell hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries and soda.
• The East Aurora Village Board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at Village Hall, 571 Main Street.
• The Aurora Town Board meets for a work session at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Southside Municipal Center auditorium, 300 Gleed Avenue.