Broadway, looking north from Berkeley Square, c. 1909; Ayers is at left, the Berkeley House is at right, and Adirondack Hardware is in the center (From Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks: The North Woods City of Health and Opportunity, Mid Winter Carnival, 1909. Courtesy of the Adirondack Research Room, Saranac Lake Free Library) A statement from Ayer's to Wallace Murray dated January 14, 1903. Historic Saranac Lake Collection. 

Ayer's Dry Goods Emporium was located at 10 Broadway in Saranac Lake, the Ayer Block. In an article about the block, Phil Gallos writes:

The first business at the Ayer Block was Ayer's Emporium, a ladies' apparel store that occupied the first and second floors. An old photo shows a very impressive set-up in which the entire width of the second-story facade was floor-to-ceiling display windows. Mrs. Ayer wanted her merchandise to be seen!

After some time, the concern of "Sharon and Toupin" had moved into the ground-floor space and Ayer's Emporium was confined to the upper level. In July, 1913, Mrs. Ayer's children — Grace Ayer Mackey of New York City, Myrtie H. Davenport of Camas, Washington, and Francis Ashton Ayer of Morenci, Arizona — sold the building to William H. Hennessy.

According to a 1903 bill, they sold "Dry Goods, Clothing, Shoes, Crockery, etc., etc.; Wall Papers, Window Shades, Lace Curtains, Gloves, Ribbons, etc."


Malone Farmer, November 8, 1905

Mrs. George Ayer and daughters, of Saranac Lake, who have conducted the big store known as Ayer's Emporium, which was founded some 16 years ago, have retired from business. The "Emporium" has been sold to Sharron & Toupin who will hereafter conduct it. Mr. Sharron is a well-known resident of Plattesburgh and Mr. Toupin is well known in these parts, having clerked in Chateaugay. Mrs. Ayer is one of the best-known business women in Northern New York. She started with a small variety store at Saranac Lake and it has grown to the present proportions. Her husband is a master mechanic and wheelwright of Saranac Lake.

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