Welcome to the Town of Brighton, friends! We’re not enough of a place to really have postcards, and we like it that way. However, a friend and I had a super nice drive around the back roads on Saturday, and I hope you enjoy the photos. And who knows? Maybe you’ll pick up a little Adirondack/Franklin County history along the way.
Would you believe that Keese Mills Road was names for Mr. Keese and his mill? What? Is it that obvious? Two Mr. Keeses, in fact. Brothers. They built a saw mill on the St. Regis River, near (my favorite) Black Pond. Local lore and several-generation natives tell me that the wood for all our old houses in the village came from the mill. Water’s still running as of January!
I’m sure this thing has a proper name, but I usually just call it a Tree Eater. It’s able to cut and pick up an entire mature tree, and limb it to boot. I’m supposing this thing belongs to the DEC. It was parked in the DEC parking lot/trailhead just before Black Pond.
Down a little road with a historically-big name is the entrance to White Pine Camp, which served as Calvin Coolidge’s Summer White House during the Summer of 1926. Built by a Mr. Archibald White in the early 1920s, it includes the owners home, a dining hall, boathouses, cabins, an indoor tennis court, bowling alleys, and a teahouse on the water. It was later owned by the heirs to the Sears-Roebuck fortune.
Stony Wold was a tuberculosis sanatorium built in 1900. It closed in 1955 and the property was bought by the local diocese of the Catholic Church in 1958, to serve as a Boys’ Camp. It was operated by the “White Fathers,” a group of medical missionaries originally from France, known for their white robes. In 1962 the Camp was turned over to the Franciscan Friars, who used it a Seminary while the Saranac Lake facility was being built. By the 1970s, most of the buildings had been razed by New York State. Only this chapel remains. Fun Fact – The Tiffany windows now grace a stairwell at the New-York Historical Society at Central Park West and 77th Street in Manhattan … and I’ve seen ’em.
And finally, a favorite road for many reasons. This is Kushqua Mud Pond Road, a far sight from what it looks like during the Summer months – this is just down the road from where my favorite canoe launch place is.
Love Franklin County, Saranac Lake, and Adirondack history? I recommend http://www.hsl.wikispot.org/.