Ames Mill was built on the Ray Brook by the Daniel Ames family. Ames came to North Elba between 1840 and 1860 and settled his family in the Ray Brook area, where he farmed and lumbered, and built the handsome Greek Revival farmhouse on the Old Military Road, and probably also built the dam at Ames Mill. Ray Brook Road was once called Ames Mill Road.
Daniel Ames made Ray Brook navigable, floating his timber down to the Saranac River and thence to Plattsburgh. 1 The 1902 Saranac Quadrangle, a map in the 1908 Delaware & Hudson Railroad timetable, and other turn-of-the-century maps show a stop named Ames Mill less than a mile north of the Ray Brook Railroad Station. 2 It seems likely that the mill was powered by the brook and that trains stopped to pick up lumber from the Ames establishment. The Ames Mill property was sold in 1902 to the Trustees of the New York State Hospital, who used it to generate electricity. 3
1. Mary MacKenzie, “Inventory.”
2. Michael Kudish, Where Did the Tracks Go in the Central Adirondacks, p. 516.