Medina Journal-Register — WATERPORT — Brown’s Berry Patch welcomed a crowd of local officials and interested visitors on Saturday as its Bicentennial Peace Garden was officially designated as an Honorary International Peace Garden.
The garden is part of a trail of War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Gardens established to commemorate the significance of the war. The 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden Project is modeled after a program established by the International Peace Garden Foundation in 1990. At that time, Canada honored the United States with the first International Peace Garden, signifying the friendship between the two countries which have shared the longest undefended border in the world since the War of 1812. Annually since 1990, a country is presented with a Peace Garden in recognition of their commitment to fostering world peace. Presently there are 22 International Peace Gardens spanning five continents.
Bob Brown is part of the seventh generation to work the fields at the family farm, which has become Brown’s Berry Patch. His partner is his brother, Eric. Together, with Bob’s wife Deborah and Eric’s son Robert, they can trace their lineage back to one of Orleans County’s first settlers.
Bob Brown said his family included Elijah and Bathshua Brown when the land the farm now sits on was originally purchased from the Holland Land Company in 1803. The couple was from Connecticut, and made their way to Waterport by way of Sodus Bay. Elijah died soon after arrival, and he became the first person to have a marked grave in Orleans County, Bob said.
A few years later, the very young United States entered into the War of 1812. During that time, Bob said his great-great-great-great-grandmother (give or take a great) Bathshua handled a situation that garnered her somewhat legendary status in the area.
“A British frigate docked on Lake Ontario,” Bob said, noting the ship had a rogue leader. “The captain left and was caught by local vigilantes, who who brought him to my grandmother. She gave him three choices: get turned over to authorities, take his chances against three of her sons, or leave.