Moses Sawyer, age 92Born: October 22, 1848

Died: September 10, 1941

Married: Cora A. Skiff

Children: Mrs. Hardy Sweet, Mrs.  Edward Russell, Mrs. Russell Newell, James Sawyer

Moses Sawyer's House, July 1996
Built c. 1875, on Keese Mill Road

Moses E. Sawyer was a guide at Paul Smith's Hotel.  He is buried in St. John's Cemetery in Paul Smiths.

Potsdam Courier and Freeman, September 17, 1941

Moses E. Sawyer, 92, veteran Adirondack guide, died last Tuesday afternoon at his home after an illness of several years. He was one of the guides of Paul Smiths at the hotel and it was said he could cut cross lots from almost any point without the aid of a compass and find his way home.


Moses Elisha Sawyer. 10/22/1840 - 9/9/41, was born in Canada to Moses Edward Sawyer and Flavin LaMere Blanet.[?] In 1861, Moses emigrated to the Adirondack Mountains of New York and was naturalized as a United States citizen in 1866.

Although he had no formal education when he arrived in Keese’s Mills, Moses became student of Mrs. Paul (Lydia Martin) Smith, who taught him along with her son, Phelps.

Moses' first wife was Kate Hewitt, who was born in 1846 and was the school teacher in the Easy Street School from 1872 to 1873, before she married Moses.

Kate died in 1882. Cora A. Skiff, who was taking care of Kate during a long illness, became Moses second wife in 1987. Moses and Cora had five children.

Besides working at the Paul Smith's Hotel, being the caretaker for Lothrups Camp (where Topridge is now) and opening a country store in the house he built on Keese’s Mills Road (where the McBride's live now), Moses Sawyer was a well-known Adirondack guide. He was a guide for several famous people, including Theodore Roosevelt, president of the United States, and Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, the founder of the Trudeau Sanitarium in Saranac Lake.

Theodore Roosevelt mentioned Moses Sawyer in the books The Deer Family and Outdoor Pastimes of An American Hunter, as well as in his Diaries of Boyhood and Youth (Teddy was 10 years Moses junior). He recalled a story that Moses told during an 1871 hunting trip that young Teddy was on with his father and uncle.

Moses said that he and his hunting companion had been hunting unsuccessfully for a long time when Moses noticed what he thought to be a track of a dog, leading up to a fallen tree. When Moses reached the log, a large animal bounded away, with Moses going after it. When the animal started to go slower, Moses’ companion cried out. "Stop, Mose, stop!" Moses stopped and saw, to his horror, a large panther slowly going off. It had been too astonished at first to think of resistance. Moses said that in another minute he would have been in the clutches of the beast. (from Theodore Roosevelt's Diaries of Boyhood and Youth).

This information was taken from a narrative written by Susan Pacek.


Moses Sawyer by Pat and Tom Willis, photo of display taken 2/2009. Click on the image to enlarge the display.


Brighton History Days have been held one weekend each summer since 1994, sponsored by the Brighton Architectural Heritage Committee.