‘Every Lake Has a Story as told to Chautauqua County Genealogy

Submitted Photo Anne and Bob Deming were recent guest speakers at the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society in Fredonia on “A History of Bear Lake.”

Bob and Anne Deming, authors of the book “A History of Bear Lake,” were guest speakers at the recent Chautauqua County Genealogical Society meeting held in the Darwin R. Barker Library. Their book, published in 2018, was the culmination of more than a decade of research involving interviews with 12 long-time family members of the Bear Lake area, which lead to their journey of writing the book. Bear Lake is partly in the town of Stockton and partly in the town of Pomfret.

The Demings have been residents of Bear Lake for more than 40 years, and during that time, they have accumulated much history of the area. Deming, himself, even attended a family reunion once to learn of more history. Bear Lake was formed by a glacier and is some 30 feet deep in its deepest part. Weeds were a problem for many years, and Mrs. Deming acquired some grant money to fight the weeds naturally with tiny weasels and tiny moths. “It took some years, but we have seen the change.” said Mrs. Deming. Bear Lake, which acquired its name some years ago when two young boys found bear cubs in a tree, but when the mother bear ambled along, the cubs escaped, and the story told by the boys lead to the name. Old photographs were shown of the Bear Lake hotel, and the Bear Lake weather station. Advisement for the book was given by the late Helen Piersons, town of Stockton historian, Lois Barris, Virginia Barden, and minutes of the association meetings written by the late Chautauqua County Historian Elizabeth Crocker. A wonderful and interesting presentation of research was enjoyed by all.

Gail Dash is the president of the Genealogical Society and welcomed all, with a go-around for all to introduce themselves. Dash said that the annual open house will be held at the Barker Library research room on Tuesday, July 16 from 1 until 8 p.m. Secretary Margaret Ann Curtis read the minutes of the previous meeting, and treasurer Debbie Kotar gave the financial report. Newsletter editor Wayne Leamer of Busti said that the August issue of the newsletter is getting ready for printing. Andrew Kolstee of Jamestown talked about the web page for the genealogical society.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, July 16 at the Darwin R. Barker Library in Fredonia at 6:30 p.m. The genealogical society maintains a reference room for those doing genealogy research. New members and guests are always welcome.