George Meserve

Born: 1834

Died: 1905

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 6, 1988, John Duquette

[George Meserve was] the undisputed monarch of all Adirondack stage coach drivers. A slightly exaggerated story of his prowess was circulated in that he could flick a fly off his lead horse's ear with his reins in his left and his whip in his right hand while at full gallup.

Meserve had a remarkable career. During the Civil War he drove baggage wagons for the Union Army and served under Generals McClellan, Burnside, and Hooker. His expertise was noted by General Grant, and he was with the General at the fall of Richmond. After the war Meserve drove stage in Vermont for several years and in 1878 came to Saranac Lake where he joined the stage coach line owned by Fitch O'Brian.

Soon Paul Smith hired him away from Fitch. For the next 12 years he drove the famous six horse stage for the Paul Smith's Hotel. Meserve was both admired and respected by his fellow stage coach drivers. His reputation caught the attention of a prominent person enabling him to wind up his fabulous career as head coachman for Grover Cleveland in Lakewood, N.J. Upon his retirement Meserve moved to Ticonderoga, where he died in 1905 at the age of 71.

See Stagecoaches for the full article.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 23, 1954

In 1886 when the D and H Railroad reached Loon Lake, Paul Smith's yellow coach drawn by six horses, white by day, black by night, met guests. Such legendary stage drivers as George Meserve were on the high driver's seat. It was George Meserve (he drove for Grover Cleveland at one time) who could flick a fly off his leader's ear from his coach seat and who, starting from a standstill in front of the hole, could have all six horses on the gallop before the coach had passed out of sight of the hotel.. Fastest driving time from Loon Lake by coach to Paul Smith's was one hour and 20 minutes!