Brandon was a logging hamlet in the late 1800s about four miles northwest of Keese Mills on what is now the Blue Mountain Road (formerly the Brandon Road). In 1886, John Hurd completed his rail line (the Northern Adirondack Railroad) from Moira south to Brandon, known then as Paul Smith's Station.
The logging operation, conducted by Patrick A. Ducey, ended in 1890, and in 1898, William G. Rockefeller bought 25,000 acres surrounding Bay Pond, including the hamlet of Brandon. Rockefeller waged a public legal battle to drive off the last remaining residents, especially Joe Perrin and Civil War veteran, Oliver Lamora. See Bay Pond for a more complete story.
Brandon is in the Town of Santa Clara. Brandon is also the name of a town north of the Town of Santa Clara. The Town of Santa Clara was split off from the Town of Brandon in 1888, by "the operations of John Hurd and business associates of Patrick A. Ducey and partners, of the Santa Clara Lumber Company and of Macfarlane & Ross within the limits of the town having caused two small hamlets (Santa Clara and Brandon) to spring up." 1
- Barbara McMartin, The Privately Owned Adirondacks, Lake View Press, Canada Lake, NY, 2004, p. 103
- Seaver, Frederick J., Historical Sketches of Franklin County, Albany, NY: J. B. Lyon Co., 1918, Chapter XX
Malone Palladium, December 16, 1886
A post-office has been established at Brandon, (otherwise known as Paul Smith's Station), Franklin county, and H. G. BAKER is its postmaster.
The Sun, March 29, 1888
THE Buck Mountain House at Brandon (Paul Smith's Station) was entirely destroyed by fire on Sunday morning, 11th inst It is said that had it not been for a little pet dog that belonged to the family, which gave the first alarm, all the inmates would have been consumed in the flames. The loss is estimated at $4,000, with an insurance of $2,700.
Malone Palladium, May 18, 1893
A fire last Friday at the village called both Brandon and Paul Smith's Station, on the N. A. R. R., destroyed two dwelling houses and a store owned by JOSEPH GILMET, a dwelling owned by PETER VINCENT and two other residences occupied by poor laboring men whose names we fail to learn. But for a sudden shift in the wind while the fire was at its height, it is believed that the entire village would have been destroyed. The fire is reported to have originated from Mrs. GILMET using kerosene in kindling a fire in the stove of her kitchen. The experience ought to be an admonition to servants and housewives generally.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, August 4, 1893
Paul Smith's Station Robbed of $150 in Cash and Tickets--The Robber Takes to the Woods.
Paul Smith's station on the Northern Adirondack railroad was entered at noon Wednesday by a stranger, who asked for a ticket to New York. As soon as the agent opened the cash drawer, he was seized and robbed of $150 in cash and tickets. The robber then started north through the woods.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, April 22, 1910
MUST NOT CLOSE BRANDON STATION
DESERVED VILLAGE IS ENTITLED TO SOME CONVENIENCES
To Discontinue Railroad Station Would Be to Drive the Few Families Left From Their Homes.
The New York and Ottawa railroad must continue to maintain its station at Brandon, Franklin county although only four families are served by it. Efforts by William Rockefeller to secure the abandonment of the station which is in the heart of his Adirondack preserve, have proved unsuccessful, the public service commission refusing to give its approval to the application of the company for permission to close up the station.
Brandon 20 years ago was a village of considerable size. It now consists of a few families of a total population of between 20 and 25. The nearest railroad station to the north of Brandon is Madawaska, four miles distant, and to the south, Bay Pond, 3.7 miles distant. There is no connection by highway between Brandon and and the station at Bay Pond can only be reached by a private road leading across premises owned by William Rockefeller. At the entrance to this private road there is a sign posted saying "Private road. no admittance." There is no access to the station except over this private road. It further appears that William Rockefeller, the owner of the private road, has obtained an injunction against Oliver Lamora, one of the residents of Brandon, forbidding him to go over the property of William Rockefeller, which of course includes his private road.
The total passenger receipts for passengers in and out of Brandon for the year ended Nov. 30, 1909, were $454.84. Passenger trains were stopped at the station 530 times and a total of 954 passengers were handled in and out. Freight revenues from Jan. 13 to Nov. 5, 1909, were only $41.84.
The commission, in an opinion written by Chairman Stevens, says that so far as the people of Brandon are concerned the discontinuance of a flag station at this point would occasion them very serious inconvenience and they have a right to the facilities of this railroad as from time to time they may desire.
1. Seaver, Frederick J., Historical Sketches of Franklin County, Albany, NY: J. B. Lyon Co., 1918, Chapter XX