Born: c. 1838

Died: July 12, 1908

Married: yes

Children: two daughters and two sons

Patrick A. Ducey was a lumberman. He ran a logging operation in the town of Brandon that ended in 1890, and in 1898, sold 25,000 acres surrounding Bay Pond, including the hamlet of Brandon, to William G. Rockefeller.

Malone Palladium, July 16, 1908

Death of Patrick A. Ducey.

Though it could hardly be a surprise to the friends who have known for a long time past that he was suffering from an incurable malady, the announcement of the death of PATRICK A. DUCEY, at his home in Detroit, Mich., on Sunday last, yet comes as a shock, and occasions sincere regret wherever Mr. DUCEY was known.

The deceased was self-made without the fault of "worshipping his maker." He was genuine in every fibre—a thorough man, of business, scorning everything that was mean or unfair, keen and shrewd, venturesome and untiringly energetic, and generous to a fault.

He came to Franklin county from Muskegon, Mich., twenty-odd years ago, to operate an extensive lumber plant in the town of Santa Clara, and while the timber held out on his tract made his home at Brandon, Moira and Malone— winning many friends and commanding everybody's respect and confidence. Since his business here was closed out he has been actively engaged in lumbering and in mining enterprises on the Pacific coast, in the South and in Mexico. Mr. Ducey was seventy years of age, and is survived by a wife, two daughters and two sons. His estate is probably a large one.

Malone Palladium, May 30, 1889

The owners of camp sites around St. Regis Lake have caused an injunction to be served against PATRICK DUCKY to prevent him from raising or lowering the water of the lake by means of a dam at the outlet (Keese's mill). They claim that the result of such work would be detrimental, to public health. It is understood that the State board of health have matter under advisement. Mr. DUCEY has large lumber interests in the vicinity and desires to subserve them by the proposed improvement. The result will be watched with interest by both lumbermen and sportsmen, each from their own standpoint. -- Plattsburgh Republican .

Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 9, 1888

The Adirondack News says that a route for the extension of the Northern Adirondack R. R. from Brandon to Bay Pond—a distance of about three miles—is to be at once laid out with a view to the building of the line this season. Bay Pond lies in the direct line which the extension to Tupper's Lake, planned for 1889, will follow, and in its vicinity are some fine tracts of timber owned by the Ducey & Backus Lumber Co. This company expects to make a large cut of pine there, and would have no way of getting the logs to its mill unless this extension should be constructed.

Alfred L. Donaldson, A History of the Adirondacks, New York: The Century Co., 1921 (reprinted by Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, NY, 1992)


When Hurd ran his road to Brandon in 1886, there was already a settlement there. It had been built up as a lumber hamlet by Patrick A. Ducey, a wealthy lumberman from Michigan, who came to the place about 1881. He bought some 30,000 of the surrounding acres, put up the best-equipped mill these woods had ever seen, and began feeding it about 125,000 feet of lumber a day. He was the first, it is said, to fell trees in the Adirondacks by sawing instead of chopping. He was altogether a hustling, far-sighted, shrewd-witted business man—an Irishman of the best type, jovial, big-hearted, and honest. Many of his workmen wished to buy lots from him and build in Brandon, but he always advised them not to. He told them frankly that the land in the flat and barren village would be worthless the moment he finished lumbering and moved away. This happened around 1890. He carried on extensive and successful operations in other parts of the country for a while, and finally died in Detroit, Mich., in 1903.

Before leaving the Adirondacks he tried to induce Paul Smith to buy his holdings. He offered them at $1.50 an acre, and was more than willing to take a long-time note in payment. It was a rare opportunity for Paul, for these lands adjoined his own, but he felt land-poor at the time and let the chance slip, much to his subsequent regret.

A little later Mr. William Rockefeller appeared upon the scene, looking for a few acres on which to build a quiet home in the woods. He heard of the Pat Ducey tract and eventually bought it. About three miles south of Brandon is a charming lake called Bay Pond. Here Mr. Rockefeller decided to build. It seemed a very beautiful, quiet, and secluded spot.