Ray Brook Post Office in the old New York Central station on Ray Brook Road. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 7, 1971

The first known post office in Ray Brook was in a building known as Harder Cottage on New York Route 86 near the present New York State Police Troop B headquarters. The postmaster was Merle Harder.

In 1913 the post office moved to the New York Central train station on the old Ray Brook Road. The postmaster at the time of the move was Dr. Robert Lundy, a doctor at the state TB hospital. Patients were used as mail clerks.

On December 9, 1928, just a few days before Christmas, the Post Office and train station burned to the ground, destroying a large number of Christmas parcels as well as all the letter mail in the P.O. In those days and until I believe the 1940s all special delivery letters with addresses up to one mile from the P.O. were delivered. Other than that, mail has always only been delivered to P.O. boxes or General Delivery in the Post Office.

After the fire the P.O. was moved to a room in the Ray Brook State T. B. Hospital until a new train station could be built. From 1929 until 1975 the P.O. remained in the new train station even though the train ceased to operate in the 1960s. By 1975 the building was quite run down and the P.O. was moved to a trailer on the now Camp Adirondack Minimum Security Correctional Facility grounds. In 1978 with the coming of the Olympics and the development of several state agency offices in the area, the P.O. moved to a new permanent location in a former motel on Rt. 86. [It is still there in 2010.]

Source: Copy of an undated letter apparently from the Ray Brook Postmaster [name illegible] to a couple inquiring about Ray Brook Post Office history. He states that the information was obtained from some elderly natives of this area.

Note: Regarding the Harder Cottage, it was a common early pattern in this area for the postmaster to be a prominent citizen with a well-located house in which a separate wing functioned as the post office, often with a separate front door. See Lake Placid-North Elba Historic Survey.

See other Post Offices also.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 7, 1971

Future Uncertain for Ray Book P.O.

By BILL McLAUGHLIN

One might wonder how it feels to be a Federal employee working in a building maintained by a bankrupt railroad and servicing a state hospital which is booked for immediate closing under the critical New York budget cutback.

"Not as bad as it seems" according to Irene Bruso, who handles a good volume of mail every day at the small station building but who wonders, as everybody does at Ray Brook, just what the outcome of it all will be.

The station is badly in need of exterior painting as most buildings owned by Penn Central are at present in the Adirondack Division, but a bankrupt railroad is a dead horse in the economic picture which is gloomy enough up here as it is.

The postmistress said their overall mail volume at Ray Brook is on the upswing but not through the hospital outlet. She said that the post office services a fairly large residential area along with the New York State Tuberculosis Hospital residential employees and patients.

She said that the only major change in her situation might be the eventual relocating of the Post office to another building and she would much prefer to remain where she is. The building overlooks a small pond that supplies the hospital power house turbines in a most peaceful setting with woods and mountains close around and wildlife right at her fingertips.

The freight still comes by fairly often and it is never really lonely. Considerable traffic passes by on the way to the picnic grounds, the powerhouse and the dam and brook where fishermen find solace occasional trout at this time of year.


Postmasters:

RAY BROOK POST OFFICE, ESSEX COUNTY, NEW YORK
(Originally established as RAYBROOK)
NAME TITLE DATE APPOINTED
Duncan Cameron Postmaster 04/04/1881
Discontinued on June 20, 1887;mail to Lake Placid Reestablished on August 3, 1887
Duncan Cameron Postmaster 08/03/1887
Byron A. Cameron Postmaster 07/17/1901
Merle L. Harder Postmaster 01/16/1908
Changed to RAY BROOK on February 25, 1908
Merle L. Harder Postmaster 02/25/1908
Albert N. Garvin Postmaster 01/26/1910
Robert A. Lundy Postmaster 12/09/1913
Merle L. Harder Postmaster 03/13/1915
Robert A. Lundy Postmaster 04/27/1916
James P. Boyd Acting Postmaster 07/31/1944
James P. Boyd Postmaster 07/24/1947
Mrs. Lottie D. Moon Acting Postmaster 05/12/1961
Mrs. Elizabeth I. Bruso Acting Postmaster 03/20/1964
Mrs. Elizabeth I. Bruso Postmaster 04/23/1964
Sylvia R. Watson Officer-ln-Charge 11/15/1976
Doris E. Ryan Officer-ln-Charge 03/18/1977
Gary J. Foster Postmaster 06/18/1977
Faith Walton Officer-ln-Charge 04/03/1981
Nicholas Mitchell Postmaster 07/11/1981
Ann T. LaFave Officer-ln-Charge 05/30/1986
Daniel Reyome Postmaster 08/30/1986
Celia Stephenson Officer-ln-Charge 01/15/1988
Albert E. Stunzi Postmaster 04/23/1988
United States Postal Service May 14, 1991