I received an email from Geoffrey Harding, who was interested in
the spring at Cold Springs Cemetery. He is researching a tale of
the transportation of prisoners to Fort Niagara by Native Americans. I passed onto him what I knew.
Hartland town historian Norm Lajoie also asked about the spring at
the corner of Cold Springs and Chestnut Ridge Roads. This area is the
center of much early local history and many speculative tales; it does
need more investigation. Ann Marie Linnabery wrote an excellent
overview of the Cold Springs area for “Niagara Discoveries” in the
November 15, 2014, edition of the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal,
which can be accessed at www.lockportjournal.com.
One thing to be noted is that both roads, which were once early
paths, have been rerouted, and deep depressions have been filled in
so the locations may not be the same as in earlier times.
In my search for the spring, I saw water running out of the south
bank of the cemetery on the southeast corner behind the remains of
the DeSales school buildings that were razed in 1965.
In 2012, Craig
Kerrison, the Cold Springs Cemetery supervisor, said, “When the
cemetery was expanded to the east, the stream was diverted into an
underground pipe, the remnants of which can be seen in a couple of
places.” Kerrison indicated that the spring and its stream at one time
ran through the cemetery, and because of flooding problems it was
piped underground. It now runs under the length of the cemetery
and exits near the railroad tracks to the north. As the cemetery
employees go about their work, they sometimes run into it.
Kerrison also pointed out the close springs in the golf course, and
it has been mentioned that in earlier times they may have also been
part of the story. In a recent discussion with Linda Lee, a trustee of
the cemetery board who is very knowledgeable about its history, it
became clear that there could have been several springs along this
Recently, working with Clifford Starke from the nearby Lockport
Country Club, we discovered many springs throughout the
country club golf course.. Starke is very knowledgeable about the property; he
wrote an excellent history for a club publication. An early postcard
of the club shows a spring house near the road (Route 31) with a
stream running down the hill, and a pump house basin that was
reportedly used by travelers on Route 31.