A Bay Village Neighborhood Story: Prutton's Pond
Do you remember Prutton’s Pond on Bradley Road?
On May 9, 1835, Thomas Powell of Olean, New York, came to Dover Township. He purchased 80 acres of Lot #81 from Nehemiah Hubbard on the west side of Bradley Road. On the south end of the property, Thomas built a saw mill on Porter Creek.
Let’s jump ahead 100 years to 1944 when the James Prutton family purchased the property at 632 Bradley Road. The Pruttons owned six-and-a-half acres of Thomas Powell’s original 80 acres. Their frontage was 305 feet on Bradley Road by 1100 feet west on Naigle, having purchased the adjoining fields for back taxes. On the property was a single lath house minus plumbing, Porter Creek and the old foundation from the sawmill and dam.
Jim, Dad Prutton, a farmer at heart, reinforced the dam, dredged the pond, added fish to the “Pot,” planted a fruit orchard and small vineyard west of the creek, and grew a variety of crops every year. The Pruttons raised Cocker Spaniels, chickens, ducks, geese, and had bee hives. In the spring they gathered wild strawberries, asparagus and elderberries.
The creek had mink, muskrat, snapping and painted pond turtles, frogs, blue and black dragonflies, and at least one big carp they could never catch. Jim, an electrical engineer, and Katherine, a teacher in Westlake, had three children: Dorothy, Nancy and Jim. The house was modernized and over the years three additions appeared. They lived there for 53 years.
It was the pond that gathered the neighborhood children to the Prutton house.
In the summer it was all about water sports, like fishing and using the top of an old car for a boat. In the winter the pond was frozen over and everyone ice skated on the pond and up and down the creek. Son Jim remembers his dad taking the farm tractor out on the pond and the ice breaking. He also recalled amping with Noel Chamberlain near the pond by the apple tree and listening to the noisy bull frogs. Noel climbed the Black Willow tree and fell out. Jim was impressed that Noel survived!
Dorothy recalls that the car top used as a boat to pole around the pond was from a 1935 Oldsmobile. She remembers Gersh Barber got permission from her dad to have a skating party on the pond with his classmates.
Over the years many have enjoyed Prutton’s Pond. It is a fond memory for the Prutton family and the Bay children who grew up around the southwest corner. Some of the neighbors who spent time on the pond include John (Butch) and Larry Eungard, Jack Barber, Wayne and Ron Fanta, Noel Chamberlain and many more.
Life happens fast and memory fades. Today, the property at the corner of Naigle and Bradley has been broken up into lots by developers. The back property on the west side of the creek sold first. Today the pond and creek have been covered over and new houses stand where the garden patch once stood.
I am a historian for the Bay Village Historical Society. Member and Past President of the society. Lived in the village since 1936.