The Adirondack Electric Road was a proposed electric railroad planned by Paul Smith and Wallace Murray in 1901, that would have run from Ausable Forks to Keene Valley; a second line was to run from Ausable Forks to Saranac Lake, a total distance of some 75 miles. The line was never built, though Smith did build a 6.5 mile electric railroad from his hotel to Lake Clear Junction in 1906.
Malone Palladium, March 31, 1901
For a Trolley In the Adirondacks.
A dispatch from Troy, dated March 18th, says: "PAUL SMITH and WALLACE MURRAY have secured options on certain water powers in the Adirondacks, including Franklin Falls, Wellington Notch, Hulls Falls and Saranac Lake, and propose to establish a trolley line in that region. It is planned to run the road from Bloomingdale to Saranac Lake, thence to Lake Placid, eastward to the Keene Valley and down the Ausable Valley to Keesville. Such a route would be more, than thirty miles long. In addition to the road, it is estimated that there is sufficient water power in the rights which have been secured to generate electricity to light the region as well as to operate the cars. While the undertaking presents many difficulties, still there is assurance that as soon as clear titles can be secured steps will be taken to commence operations."
The Malone Palladium, April 11, 1901
Adirondack Electric Road
Paul Smith, of Adirondack fame, and Wallace Murray, formerly proprietor of the Riverside, at Saranac, are the projectors of an electric road which is to run through 75 miles of Adirondack wilderness and open up the region to the summer tourists on a more extensive scale than ever attempted heretofore. It is believed that summer traffic will be turned toward the North Woods in greater volume than has ever been possible during the present regime of stages and tally-hos. The new road will connect at Ausable Forks with the D and H, and at Lake Placid with both the Chateaugay and "narrow gauge" road, and the New York Central.
This will be interesting news to Albany and its vicinity, as the tide of summer travel to the North Woods has increased each year, and an electric road reaching to all points of interests and within a few hours' railroad ride of this city, will greatly stimulate local patronage of the Saranac region.
Work will be began upon the new road very shortly, and by another year it is hoped to have the route completed. The general plan of the road is on the "belt line" principle, of intersecting branches. One branch will run from Ausable Forks to Keene Valley; another from Ausable Forks to Saranac Lake. The first branch will take in the hamlets of Keene, Keene Valley, Keene Center, Upper Jay and Jay, connecting at Ausable Forks with the D and H railroad. The second branch will run from Ausable Forks to Black Brook, to Bloomingdale, to Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. It is planned that there will also be a branch through Wilmington Notch, intersecting at Upper Jay with the road from Keene to Ausable Forks.
Paul Smith and Wallace Murray will have the controlling interest in this Adirondack electric railway, and have already full control of all the water power for the operation of the road. On the west branch of the Ausable, power has been secured at the point known as " The Flume;" on the east branch of the Ausable, at the point known as Hall's Falls, and also control has been secured of the power at Union Falls and Franklin Falls. Certain parts of the road will also be lighted by electricity. The wild mountain streams form a series of little Niagaras, some of the falls being several hundred feet in height, and the power generated at the points designated will be sufficient to run a car at almost any grade. Observation cars will five tourists the same opportunity for viewing the scenery as is now afforded by the stages and tally-hos, while saving them the long and tedious rides. While the road will not disturb the sacred precincts of the camps and cottages, it will run through a territory hard to reach in any other way, and will put within the view of the tourist public some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in America. The 13 or 14 miles through the fastness of Wilmington Notch, which it is proposed that the road shall cover, includes scenic beauty not surpassed in Switzerland. Keene Center is within six miles of Cascade Falls, one of the highest and most famous water falls in the Adirondacks. The line will also pass the new hospital at Ray Brook, and it will make all the famous Adirondack "show places" and popular resorts accessible to the public.
Paul Smith, of "Paul Smith's," and Wallace Murray are men so well known in the Adirondack world as to inspire the belief that any enterprise which they undertake will have ample financial backing and successful completion. —Albany Argus.