The Keese Mills School is located in the hamlet of Keese Mills, on the Keese Mills Road. It was built in 1867, the first school in the Town of Brighton. Ann Goodspeed was the first teacher; Melissa Goodspeed, Hattie Clark and Anna M. Scanlin were other early teachers. Enrollment increased steadily so that by 1911 the school was enlarged. By 1890, with four schools in the Town of Brighton, the Keese Mills school was designated as School Number 2.
From an article headlined Keeses Mills school now a hostel, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 5, 1974:
Work was begun July 13 and 14 on a fifth North Country Youth Hostel, in the former Keeses Mills schoolhouse, west of Paul Smith's College, on Lower St. Regis Lake. Fifteen members of Malone's Army Reserve unit, the 310th Field Hospital, worked that Saturday and Sunday to haul away truckloads of debris from the long unused and vandalized school building, and all window frames were taken down and stored pending the fitting of new glass.
Don Anderson of the Malone Rotary Club, Kenneth West of the Paul Smith's College faculty, and Doug Kelley of the Malone Extension Center, said they were very pleased and grateful for the work done by the Reservists. Anderson, West and Kelley are members of a new board for the Keeses Mills Youth Hostel, along with Malone Rotarian Brick Marshall, Gary Alligate of Paul Smith's, Linda Proctor and Lowry Stephenson of the Adirondack Mt. Club, Jake Shuler of BOCES, and Paul Doyle of NCCC's Saranac Lake campus.
Paul Smith's College, which owns the Keeses - Mills schoolhouse, has given permission for its use as a Youth Hostel. The building is surrounded by pines and white birch trees, and is near both the hiking trail up St. Regis Mountain and a series of canoeist lean-tos. The former schoolhouse is across the road from Lower St. Regis Lake, which provides access to the entire Adirondack canoeing chain of lakes and rivers. The completed hostel will accommodate 25 or 30 persons.
The next step in renovating the schoolhouse for use as a hostel will be temporarily boarding up the many windows and doors, to protect against weather damage and vandalism. A workday is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 6, and volunteers are asked to meet at the schoolhouse at 9:30 a.m.