Shelley Tool Company behind one of the prize winning floats of the 1920 Winter Carnival. Histoic Saranac Lake collection. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 4, 1915 (Carnival Edition) Charles J. Swain's Doodang, parked in front of 135 Broadway (c. 1911) This is a predecessor of the ice plane described in the article below. Postcard view of the Shelley Tool Company at Winter Carnival time (undated). The back of the card read "Dear Pat, This is a picture of the garage as it looked [at] Carnival. We are all well and hope you are. Isn't this the worst winter anyone ever saw before? I don't think we have had two days that has been above zero this winter. Love from Maude and Jack The original cast concrete block building can still be seen as the back portion of the Saranac Lake Adult Center Address: 136 Broadway

Old Address: 135 Broadway

Other names: Shelley Machine Shop and Garage (1910s and 1920s), Galloway Chevrolet (through 1940), John A. Gallaway Chevrolet, Northland Motors, Latour Fuel Company (1960s), The Moose Hall, Saranac Lake Adult Center

Year built: Between 1908 and 1916 (Sanborn maps)

Other information:

Shelley Tool Company was incorporated by H. B. John, H. Shelley and Nathan Shelley with a capital stock of $10,000. 1 Nathan M. Shelley was killed instantly and his sister-in-law, Mrs. John Shelley, died an hour later of injuries received while tobogganing near the Adolph Lewisohn camp in 1924.

Malone Farmer, December 16, 1914

WANTED—Worn cylinders to be rebored. Broken cylinders and crank cases to be welded. Machine work of all kinds. Our guarantee goes with all work. The Shelley Tool Co Inc. Saranac Lake, N. Y.

Potsdam Courier and Freeman, January 26, 1916



Can Be Used As A Hydroplane In Summer Season.

Motorists and particularly automobile men will be interested in an ice boat built along monoplane lines by the Shelley Tool Company of Saranac Lake, The Adirondack Enterprise gives the following description of it.

The ice aeroplane is built on the lines of a monoplane, but instead of having wheels under it, as are used in starting aeroplanes from the ground it is supplied with a set of light steel sled runners and may be started from the smooth surface of a lake or river. It measures about 16 feet from tip to tip. The chassis is about fifteen feet overall. The wings are made of an especially prepared cloth similar to heavy canvas, ed [???] and varnished, stretched over a steel frame thus forming the plane which is strengthened by the support of eight small steel cables on each side. Between the wings the front of the chassis the engine may be said to be on the wings. The type of engine used is one that is especially designed for aeroplanes. It has two cylinders, has 16 horse power figured at 1200 r.p.m., 1200 revolutions. The gasoline tank is placed near the engine, it is cylindrical in shape with a pointed end— forming less resistance. The gas tank holds about two gallons of gasoline which is enough to travel from 80 to 100 miles.

"Back of the engine and gas tank are the steering wheel and operator's seat. From this seat the angle of the wings can be lowered or raised just as the driver desires to make the machine go higher in the air or fly nearer the ground, and it is expected that the idea will be to fly as close to the ice as possible and at the same time be off the surface enough to avoid cracks, air holes, etc., that have made motor ice-boats in the past extremely dangerous.

The new machine was designed by Jack H. Shelley, treasurer of the Shelley Tool Company, is built along safe and sensible lines and differs widely from anything of a similar nature ever made. In the summer, the sled runners may be taken off and a small boat placed under the machine when flights are made from the surface of the water. From the tips of the wings out runners are suspended which prevent the machine from tipping over before it leaves the ice, the rudders at the rear of the chassis are operated from the driver's seat by the steering wheel.. The ice rudder is a single steel sled runner which responds instantly to the touch of the operator's hand on the wheel and the air rudder is made similar to the wings. The propeller has two blades and is six feed in length, made from strong light, wood with the ends covered with thin sheet copper.

"The ice-aeroplane, if such it may be called, appears similar to the French type of monoplanes. It is, however, lighter in weight and much smaller, but contains enough power to drive it from 75 to 100 miles an hour. The lines in the machine are very graceful. The weight is only five hundred pounds including the operator and if the outcome of the trial spin proves to be as successful as the builders anticipate other similar machines may be constructed and placed on the market."

Tupper Lake Herald, September 18, 1925

Two Junction Men Make Nose-Dive

(From Saranac Lake Enterprise)

Following a nose dive thru the iron railing along the sidewalk at the Shelley Tool Co. garage on Broadway late Monday afternoon, Sept. 7th, two slightly wee waw visitors from Tupper Lake Junction were locked up over night and haled into police court the following morning, Tuesday, Sept. 8th.

The nosedive was taken in the car which Dolf Villneuve was driving, and he and Homer LaPierre went thru the fence and over the bank with the car.

Officers McCarthy, Jones and Jennings responded to a call from the garage and took the pair into custody. Villineuve was given a 10 day sentence for public intoxication, and the sentence was suspended on condition that he pay for repairing the fence. LaPierre was fined $10. Both were arraigned by Police Justice G. A. Utting. (Saranac Lake Enterprise, Sept. 8, 1925)

Plattsburgh daily Press, September 20, 1933


Police throughout Northern and Central New York are searching for a brand new Ford tudor sedan stolen from the showroom of Shelley's garage at Saranac Lake about 1:10 o'clock yesterday morning. Up to a late hour last evening the car had not been located.

The thieves forced their way into the garage and drove the car out of the showroom into the street.

Malone Farmer, April 4, 1934

Hugh Cushman was charged with breaking into and entering the salesroom of the Shelley Tool Company, Inc., at Saranac Lake and stealing a new Ford car out of the window.

Lake Placid News, March 27, 1942


Building ln Saranac Lake May Be Used For Making Tools For Defense

The Northland Motors garage at Saranac Lake may be converted into a machine shop for manufacture of war tools.

Julian J. Reiss of Lake Placid, president of Northland Motors, Inc., and Peter Leferovich, director of the defense trades school at Saranac Lake, disclosed that application for a charter for the new firm would be made in the near future. Exact nature of the type of tools which would be turned out here was not revealed.

The Northland Motors building was built by the Shelley Tool company and is owned by Mr. Reiss. The large area of the lower floor would provide working space for machines where as many as 150 men could work at one time.

Mr. Reiss declared that army ordinance officers have already inspected the site and have given their approval for possible conversion of the garage into a factory.

It has been proposed to manufacture sample orders of tools and submit them to war production authorities for approval. Skilled workmen trained at the local defense school could do a satisfactory job on this work, it is believed.

The project would follow along the lines suggested by Donald Kelson, war production chief, who has advocated the spreading of war production over as large a territory as possible.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 3, 1953

25 Years ago today [July 3, 1928]

Work was being pushed on a large building addition to the automobile sales and service plant of the Shelley Tool Co., at 135 Broadway, dealers in Ford and Lincoln cars.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 16, 1966

Bill McLaughlin writes from Alaska


The train horn signalled starting time and I got aboard the Aurora heading northward towards Talketna [Alaska], a rich gold mining and fur trapping district on the Susitna River. Alice and Sherm Powell operate a Lodge there. In her high school days in Saranac Lake she was Alice Shelley. The Shelley tool Company and Ford and Lincoln Agency were located in the present Latour offices across from the Turner Block.

I haven't seen Alice and Sherm since 1935. They are real Alaskans now and have never returned to Saranac Lake.

Other historic properties



1. Motor Age, July 2, 1914, p. 40