Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 27, 1977Ross Park, also known as Brandon Park, is a 27,000-acre private park on Blue Mountain Road, also known as Brandon LLC, owned by Donald and Wilhelmina Du Pont Ross. It was originally part of the William A. Rockefeller, Jr.'s 110,000-acre Bay Pond estate.  It was bought by Donald Ross in 1935 according to Barbara McMartin's The Privately Owned Adirondacks, p.147.

In 1978, Du Pont-Ross donated an easement on the property to the Nature Conservancy that allowed her to claim a huge property-tax break; this led to a court battle with the town of Santa Clara.

In 2012, Phil Brown wrote "The estate has eight homes and more than a dozen other structures, including guest cabins and a fish hatchery, and some forty miles of roads. The terms of the easement will allow the construction of nine additional residences, according to a prospectus prepared by Merrill L. Thomas Inc., a Lake Placid real-estate broker. The easement forbids commercial development but allows timber harvesting." 

Adrian Donaldson was caretaker there for thirty years.

Names mentioned in news about Ross Park:

Kay and Burnman Campbell
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Cook
Mr. & Mrs. Roy Hungerford
Edward Oshier
William Flick

Myrtle Allen

Cecelia Delarm
Irma Kimton
Sandy Joost

Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown Post, December 27, 1951

Park Trapper Collects $385 from Bobcat Take

As the old saying goes, "There is more than one way to skin a cat," Harry Cook, caretaker at Ross Park, near Paul Smiths, takes it literally and cashed-in on 14 bobcats and one wolf, to collect Franklin county bounties of $385 recently at Malone.

Harry, a former resident of Owls Head, the famed "Ice Box" of the state, is well educated in woods lore and knows the habits of these predators. He is one of the leading trappers in the county of these game killers.

Of the 14 bobcats trapped by Cook this fall, several of them still carry signs of freshly killed deer, 10 of them were males. Cook stated that of the last 26 bobcats he had trapped there was only one kitten, indicating that these killers are on a decline in that area. Franklin county pays a bounty of $25 on bobcats and $35 on wolves.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 2, 1963

Rabies Found in Fox Shot Near Paul Smith's

A rabid red fox was shot by Mrs. William Flick at Ross Park at 11 a.m. Tuesday when it tried to get into a pen of beagle hounds at the Flick residence.

Mrs. Flick, an expert marksman, brought the animal down with two shots from a 22 rifle after hearing the dogs yelping in an excited manner.

The fox was a male in "outwardly good condition" according to Mrs. Flick, but the fact that the animal acted so strangely, prompted her husband, an employee of the park, to dress out the fox and have the head sent in for analysis.

Dr. Alton Bouton, Saranac Lake veterinarian handled the matter as an agent for the State Health Department and Dr. Clayton Steward, district health officer received a telephone call Saturday that the fox was rabid…

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 14, 1964

Brook Trout Experiments Lead to Larger Breeds

Eight to twelve pound Brook Trout that jump out of the water to take dry flies stocked in Adirondack ponds - this might be described as the ultimate goal, and a possible one, of a research program being undertaken at the Ross Park.

The research was explained by its director William A. Flick, currently on the staff of Cornell University as a Fishery Biologist. He told of the possibility of stocking the large fish in a talk before the Paul Smiths Fish and Game Club last night.

The strain of huge Brook Trout come from Assinica Lake in Canada; eggs have been brought from the lake to the Ross Park experimental ponds and work is presently going on. Transporting the eggs from isolated regions of Canada is extremely expensive, and research with the fish has just begun so it is not yet known whether it would be possible to successfully introduce such a strain into Adirondack waters…

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 3, 1976

...Another activity at 1 Sunday is the men's softball game between Major's Inn and the College Inn Crawlers. Because the teams are well-matched, if Major's wins, they will play Ross' Park to determine the winner of this threesome. Rick Cassidy reports there have been good turnouts at the games so far; let's keep up the support...

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 15, 1981

...Complaints on the deteriorating condition of several town roads topped the Santa Clara town board agenda last night. Bill Flick of Ross Park wrote to protest that the Bay Pond road from the Brighton town line to the end of the black top of Brandon had not been worked on in six years. It now has heaves, dips and eroding shoulders, according to Flick, who also said that the frame of his car broke while on the road. Flick threatened to encourage the Rosses and Rockefellers to seek lower assessments on their property if the town did not voluntarily form a plan to repair the road. Highway Superintendent Gary Hart agreed that the road was in poor condition...

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 16, 1988

On the beautiful spring day of March 31 the class visited Ross's Park at Paul Smith's. While there, they hiked to the old fashioned sugarhouse and saw the process of gathering sap from maple trees and boiling it down into syrup. The children enjoyed their sweet samples of homemade syrup as well as romping through the Adirondack maple woods checking buckets for sap.  To cap off the day's activities the children stopped in the park's fish hatchery to see trout fingerlings in various stages of development. It was an unforgettable experience for all! Academics are in full swing with division at the top of the list.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 9, 1993

...Follensby Jr. is situated within the Ross Park between Paul Smiths and Bay Pond. There is no doubt but that all three were named for the same person. The Junior appendage does not refer to a son of Follensby Sr. but rather it only alludes to the fact that it is the smallest of the three ponds...

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, September 3, 2001

Logging trucks concern Brighton residents


Enterprise Staff Writer

PAUL SMITHS - Keeses Mills Road is a typical backcountry byway. Its narrow lanes weave alongside the St. Regis River and by old homes built close to the. road. With a speed limit of 35 mph and the river and trail access it provides, the road is shared by outdoorsmen, bicyclists, and residents alike.

Recently, however, Keeses Mills Road, most of which is owned by the town of Brighton, has become trafficked by heavy tractor trailer trucks, as major construction projects at estates off the road have required the hauling of heavy equipment and materials.

And that has residents and Brighton town officials worried about the condition of the road and safety.

In June, LandVest Inc., a forest management company, took on a project at an area called Brandon LLC, known to most as Ross Park, a privately owned,. 27,000-acre plot of land in the town of Santa Clara located at the end of Keeses Mills Road. The company was hired to “improve the forest" on the property, according to LandVest Regional Manager Larry Denis.

Part of that process includes a considerable amount of timber harvesting, or logging, and all of those logs are trucked out of the park via Keeses Mills Road. The project could go on indefinitely, as its scope has not yet been determined, Denis said, leaving residents and Brighton officials left with the prospect of years of heavy trucking on a road that some say was never intended to endure such use. Of chief concern, Brighton Supervisor Christopher Leifheit said, is a bridge located several miles in from state Route 30 on Keeses Mills Road. No one is sure what that bridge's weight limit is, as there is no sign on the bridge, but Leifheit and other officials believe the limit to be at five tons. The logging trucks, according to Paul Mitchell, whose company is doing the actual logging, have a gross weight of 80,000 pounds, putting them well over the five-ton limit of the bridge they cross up to 14 times a day (once out, once back, unloaded), four days a week. “Our primary concern is safety,” Leifheit said. “We're not sure what the capacity of that bridge is, but it's considerably less than the logging trucks. ... One truck is enough to say we might have a dangerous situation.”

Leifheit said he is not singling out the logging trucks. He worries that the bridge may be unsafe for any large vehicle, from a fire truck to a school bus. (continued)

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