Captain Pliny Miller built a sawmill in 1827, erecting the first dam across the Saranac River, at the site of the present dam; this created a large mill pond where logs were gathered each spring for processing. The mill "was of the old English Gate type, which had one saw set in a perpendicular frame." He sold the mill in 1848 to Steve Merchant. In 1910, the mill pond was cleared of stumps and renamed Lake Flower, in honor of New York governor Roswell P. Flower, who provided state funds to clear it of tree stumps.
Frederick J. Seaver, Historical sketches of Franklin county, 1918, p. 377
The only grist mill used to stand below the Miller saw mill, and was built by Ensign Miller [sic], and afterward owned by the Bloods and then by T. N. Spaulding. It was a small affair, and was torn down with the saw mill.
Explanation of the non-existence of considerable mills here [Harrietstown], where the supply of timber was abundant, and the power excellent, would seem to be the remoteness of the place from market, the almost entire lack of local demand for lumber, and the horrible condition of the roads in early times. Logs could be floated down the river to Plattsburgh, but the manufactured product could not be similarly transported, and thus, while lumbering in the vicinity was prosecuted in a large way from as early as 1857 and down to recent years, the only benefit that the locality derived from the operations was confined to the wages paid in winter and early spring.
Franklin Gazette, February 7, 1879
In pursuance of a judgment of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, entered in the office of the Clerk of the County of Franklin on the 18th day of December, 1878, the subscriber, as referee therein, will sell at public auction at the inn of Orlando Blood, in the town of Harrietstown, in said County, on the 12th day of February, 1879, at ten o'clock in the forenoon of that day, the following described land and premises, situated in said County of Franklin, to wit:
All that certain piece or parcel of land known and described as a part of the Saw Mill Lot, situated and being in the town of Harrietstown, Franklin County, and State of New York, being a part of Great Tract No. One, Township Twenty-one, McComb's Purchase, (so called) described as follows, to wit: Commencing in the centre of the highway running to Saranac Lake at a point being the south-east corner of a lot sold by Plinny Miller [sic] to L. S. Green, and running thence north eleven rods over a certain rock in the edge of the river some sixty feet below the Saw Mill to the northeast corner of said lot in the river; thence south sixty-seven degrees cast sixty feet to a point in the river eighteen inches from the north-west corner post of the Saw Mill on the division line between the Saw Mill and Grist Mill; thence south seventeen degrees west through and between said Mills forty-two feet to a point ten feet in front of said Mills; thence south six rods and sixteen inches to the centre of the Highway and running ten feet from the north-east corner of what is called the Mill office; thence west sixty feet to the south-west corner of said Mill Lot, the place of beginning, together with the Grist Mill and the appurtenances thereunto belonging, and the building known as the Mill House and Office thereon standing. Also the exclusive right of the Flume five feet wide under the Saw Mill and use of the water for said Flume sufficient for three run of stone and the machinery connected therewith, being the same premises conveyed, to the party of the first part by C. F. Norton and wife by deed dated March 17, 1876.
Dated Elizabethtown, N. Y.,21st December, 1878.
BYRON POND, Referee. Harry Hale, Attorney for Plaintiff,
Elizabethtown, N. Y.
See also: Lake Flower