This booklet appears to have been written and compiled in 1995.  In the late '90s or early 2000s, James A. Lamar was given a copy at the Peru Post Office by an elderly ex-Marine named Richard Jones, who was dressed in full regalia; Jones had grown up in Derrick.  LaMar scanned the pages and loaded them onto a Facebook page he created named after the booklet.  I have edited the text lightly and selected the better photos for inclusion here.  --Marc Wanner

An Adirondack Ghost Town

Derrick, New York

By Harold J.Minnie

Derrick, undatedOver many years I have been searching for material to be included in my family's history. My grandparents, Andrew and Virginia (Coulbron) Minnie operated the Derrick House for about fourteen years. It was while looking for material about Derrick, New York that I discovered that there was no book in print, to my knowledge, about Derrick, and very little history at all that has been written about the community or its inhabitants. For that reason, I decided to set down, in print, information about the little town that should be interesting and informative to the descendants of former residents, those who now have camps in the Derrick area, and those interested in Adirondack history.

Derrick was once a very busy little lumbering town. Many have referred to Derrick as "just a lumber camp in the woods." But it was not just a lumber camp. It was a thriving little lumber town that had a church, school, two hotels, and stores, as well as a railroad passing through that supplied the community with most of its needs. In fact, Derrick had a population in the early 1900s that exceeded the winter populations of many present day Adirondack resort communities.

Robert and Janet Ploof, November 1995
Keepers of the Gate on the road to Derrick,
In 1976 I made oral tapes of my interviews with Louis Grenier in Tupper Lake, NY and my aunt, Edith Strack, in Utica, New York. Louis was nearly 90 years of age at the time and Edith was 88. Both had lived in Derrick as children. Edith was married and had four children there.

I made a thorough search on the subject and interviewed all the people that I could find, or had heard about, that might possibly have information on Derrick. It is from these interviews, New York Census reports, and personal notes that I have made over the years from many sources that this little book was made possible. I am very thankful for the information and photographs provided me by Ernie and Rita Jessie of Tupper Lake, Mildred Jessie of Saranac Lake, Daniel Jessie of Tupper Lake, and David and Deanne Manwaring of Pulaski, New York, and especially grateful to Robert and Janet Ploof at the Derrick Gate who allowed me to drive into the former settlement to photograph the area as it is today and kept me up to date on the possibility of new sources of information about Derrick. Thanks also to the many people who gave me bits and pieces of information about Derrick and its former inhabitants.



The mill
Many of the photos in this book were taken from copies of copies, and I was very fortunate and grateful to get them. Other photos are very old and did not copy as well as I would have liked to see them. They are the product of my home P.C. and scanner.
The Author
In 1889 John Hurd, an Adirondack lumber baron, extended his little railroad from Santa Clara to Tupper Lake. At that time the settlers in the area were few and far between. It was this railroad that made possible the early settlement at Blue Pond. (Later called Derrick after a New York & Ottawa Railroad official.) Derrick was especially isolated because of its location away for any rivers or lakes that would make navigation by water to the area possible. Tupper Lake, 12 miles to the south, provided at least some water transportation to get the supplies needed for the very few settlers around its shores.

Andrew Minnie, c 1875,
Proprietor of the Derrick House
Author's collection

Nine years later (1898) Charles A. Turner purchased a large tract of land around the little pond and started a thriving lumber business. Soon the little community boasted of a Catholic church, two hotels: The Derrick House and The Commercial House, a shingle mill, lathe mill, stores, and many houses. The population of Derrick varied based on informer's reports from eight hundred to twenty-eight hundred. The US Census reports of June 1905 reports 514 people living there in that year, and that was probably the peak year of population.

About 1898 Andrew Minnie landed a contract with C. A. Turner to cut Mr. Turner's logs and haul them to the Mill at Derrick. Andrew had previously held contracts in the area, including a large job around Mountain View. He was also a successful hop farmer with two farms in Malone. To give an example of how fortunes were made and lost in the Adirondack lumber business, we can look to the Andrew Minnie story. He was successful. But in one year he lost his lumbering business and his farms in Malone.

Blue Pond House (later the Derrick House) c. 1900 people unknown
Ernest and Rita Jessie collection

His crews cut logs for one summer, fall, and winter that were to be hauled out by "horse and sleigh," on the winter snow and ice roads to the sawmill at Derrick. However, that winter there was very little snow, and that made it impossible to move the logs. The financial loss was devastating. History recounts the stories of lumberjacks going back to their families in Canada without a cent for their year's work. The contractors just did not pay them and explained why. But not Andrew Minnie's crews. He paid them every cent they had coming to them, and they went back to their families with full pay. However, it cost Andrew not only most of his cash, but his farms in Malone as well. Andrew never fully recovered from his financial loss, but he was always thankful that he could send his men back to their families with their pay, because Andrew was really a family person himself, being the father of 13 children, most of whom were raised, at least part of their lives, in Derrick.

After his financial loss, Andrew rented the Derrick House (one of the two hotels in Derrick) from Mr. Turner. He ran this hotel for about 14 years, catering to mill workers, railroad employees, woods workers, and hunters. Hunters shipped out 143 deer carcasses on the New York & Ottawa R.R. in the three-year period of 1904, 05, and 06. (New York State Annual Report of The Forest Fish And Game Commission for the years - 1904, 05, and 06.)

The Minnie family was totally involved in the Derrick House. Virginia, his wife, did the cooking, laundry, and housekeeping with assistance from her daughters. Andrew was helped with the maintenance of the hotel, grounds, garden, wood cutting. etc. by his sons.

In 1903 one of the worst forest fires in Adirondack history raged through the area. Mrs. Edith Strack, one of Andrew's daughters, was there.  At the time she was 15 years old. Edith married Sol Strack in Derrick and had 4 children, all born in Derrick. She left Derrick with her family in 1928. Andrew and family moved to Faust (Tupper Lake) about 1915 where he ran a boarding house for railroad men. Edith gave me an account of the 1903 fire and other information about Derrick, which follows.

Derrick As Edith (Minnie) Strack Saw It

I interviewed Edith at the Genesee Nursing Home on February 15, 1976. She was 87 years old and would be 88 on July 6. I have an oral tape of that interview. Some words were hard to understand from the tape. In some areas her memory was not that good, and I am sure that some times and dates given were a bit off. However, most of her ability to recollect was as sharp as a tack and her sense of humor was fantastic.

The mill at DerrickThis is the way she told it:

"I was 13 when I moved there from a farm in Malone. My father didn't like that so he came there (Derrick) and rented the hotel. He was a contractor you know. He had a good job. He'd give jobs to others to cut all the lumber. My mother was in the hotel for 14 years. The hotel was three stories high, and had about ten rooms on each floor. We lived on the first floor. They had about 60 boarders that worked at the mills. I just loved to live there. Big trees, Big porch, I would just sit there. The pond was Blue Pond, and then there was Little Wolf, Big Wolf, and Bay Pond, no,, Willis Pond. All the people from Brandon came to Derrick because there was no work at all in Brandon for them."

At this point I asked Edith if she remembered Louis Grenier. (I have an oral tape from the interview with Louis on January 31, 1976. Louis was about three months short of his ninetieth birthday at the time. He told me that he remembered Edith well. He said that she had the most beautiful singing voice that he had ever heard in his entire life, and that he just loved to hear her sing in church.) Edith went on to say: "I remember Louis Grenier. We used to sit together in front (in school.) We did geography and spelling together. I was a little younger. Mose (Edith's older brother) ran a lead pencil into Louis' leg one day at school. They had to put a poultice of, maybe I shouldn't say this, but  a poultice of cowshit on it (much laughter here), but that cleared it right up!"

Young ball players in front of the Derrick House, c. 1930
Courtesy of Barbara Chow.
Friar Joseph Hervieus, Derrick 1906
Author's collection
"There was a fire in 1903, or 1904, I think 1903." (This was the forest fire of 1903. It was one of the worst, if not the worst forest fire in recorded history in the Adirondack Mountains.) The 1903 fire was much worse than the 1908 fire. I don't remember much about the 1908 fire, but I do about the first one! But as bad as it was, there was only one house that burnt in Derrick. Let me think.-- I'll tell you whose house it was. It was Johnny Rule's house. They didn't have enough water to put it out. The flames were burning all over the place. The wind was blowing. It was like a hurricane! We were so scared.  You could hear like a loud crackling as the trees burnt and everything. We thought everything was going to burn you know. Ma and Pa were down to Malone. They tried to get back but the bridge was burnt down at Brandon. Everybody rushed to the station (railroad station) with their suitcases and everything but, of course, there was no train. The bridge was burnt down at Brandon. There was no train. People had candles lit and everything. They thought they were going to die. The flames were so high, everybody was getting ready to get in the pond (Blue Pond), I was so scared. The fire stopped up on the Hill. There's a story, I don't know if it's true, but he said prayers, and wherever he went by the fire stopped. That was Father Hervieux. Same one that married me. He had a parish in Piercefield, one in Der  rick, and another in Dannemora. Kate (Edith's older sister) worked for him for 40 years. He was the same one that tutored Mose for the priesthood. Mose went to St. Laurent College in Montreal to become a priest, graduated, and went to Gaspé and taught at the seminary until he was ordained, then came to Plattsburgh to say his first mass in front of the whole family. It was awful nice. He taught school, paid his own way. Money was scarce then. Ma paid his way through Montreal.   Everybody believed that a train was coming to take us out, and everybody rushed to the station. Some had their suitcases and everything. There was no train. The bridge was burnt down to Brandon. There was no trains coming or nothing. They had candles lit and everything else. People were kneeling on the ground praying. Someone said, “Where's Leo!” (her youngest brother who was six years old at the time) “Where's Leo!” And then someone said, "Don't worry I have him." The man was carrying little Leo, he had this little sailors suit on at the time. Poor little Leo, he had pneumonia at the time. And I remember my younger sister, she had her cat, this black cat, she was hugging it, and she was so scared. Then it started to rain, and the rain put the fire out.

Howard Strack, age six
Author's collection
"About two hundred families lived in Derrick in 1903. The saw mill ran day and night, It was something to see, We had two farms. We had a big farm and a smaller farm of twenty-five acres, and this is where we had our house. The other was one hundred and fifty acres. We had a hop farm in Malone. My father was a rich man at one time you know. You know where he lost his money? In the woods in Derrick. They went bankruptcy. There was no snow. They couldn't draw the logs out one winter, and everybody lost all their money. And my father lost his farm. Excepting the home with the twenty-five acres,, that was in my mother's name, and he couldn't sell it. That was a lovely place, so nice, big trees, big porch. The farm was about a mile from Malone. I went to school at Malone, at the convent there, St. Joseph's Academy, that's where I graduated eighth grade. They lost their money because they couldn't get the logs out. People were working, but they couldn't get any money, it was awful! My father had to sell the farm and give them money so people wouldn't starve. Isn't that an awful thing! And some people had big families, I don't remember of Pa at Mountain View (this was the site of the logging operation where Andrew became quite prosperous), that was such a long time ago, Leo was sick with pneumonia at the time of the 1903 fire, Lucille, Earl, Leona, and Howard were all born in Derrick."

"My niece, Ruby, used to work for the Rockefeller's at Bay Pond. I used to go down there myself. I used to know Rock when he was young.  Oh yes, Nelson Rockefeller... Oh yes!

One time I was in a contest to win a gold watch. It would go to the one who got the most donations for a little church to be built in Derrick. One day I was down to the station house. The fellows said, 'Why don't you ask Mr. Rockefeller in the wheelchair over there for a donation? And if he doesn't give you any money we'll all pitch in and give you ten dollars. So, I said to myself, go on you won't lose anything you're nice looking-- He'll give you something. So I went over and told him I would give him a little book and we wanted to build a little church, I says, in Derrick, and I'm in a contest to win a gold watch and I'm asking everybody for a donation. So, he took a twenty-dollar bill and gave it to me. So I said, Boys, you won't have to give me a nickel-- Look what I've got! Boy! It's the biggest donation I ever got-- twenty dollars! 'Well', somebody said, 'Why the stingy old thing. You'd think he would give you a hundred.'

The tracks through Derrick"So Ruby was working there (Rockefeller's Bay Pond)  and you ought to see the cottages. I went through those cottages-- they'd have someone come to clean the place you know — And they had white satin mattresses, white satin mattresses. Yes!

And old Rockefeller's wife, the old lady, she had... [one side of tape ended here at one-half hour, and some of Edith's story was lost.]

"Earl was my first child. He was born Christmas Day, 1905. He had a tumor back of his head. He was a station agent at Derrick.

“One day he came to my house and said, 'I've got to go to work.' He asked for an aspirin. He said. 'I don't feel good, so I'm going home.' He was married about six months before this. They were keeping house in Derrick. When the men were going to work, they found Earl on the ground and brought him to the house. They then put him on a hand car and brought him to the hospital in Tupper Lake. He lived two days. He never came to. He had an X-ray, and they found the tumor."

"Philmore was a station agent. Both Phil and Leo (her brothers) were at Thendara.

“The doctor at Derrick was Doctor Bigelow.  “He brought Earl into the world. “There were about twenty families left in Derrick when we left in 1928.

“They worked in the woods all over in different places. There was a saw mill there, and a place that made shingles. Trains came four times a day, 7 AM, 11 AM, 3 PM, and 9 PM. We shopped in Tupper Lake, but there were two stores in Derrick. One was Cal Prairie's."

New York & Ottawa station, Derrick, c. 1930
Ernest and Rita Jessie collection
"There were trains in Derrick in 1928 when my family left. Ma and Pa left a long time before we did. They moved to the Murray House in Tupper Lake Junction. It was a boarding house for railroad men. They rented it from Mr.  ?" [tape unclear here] (The 1915 New York State, Franklin County Census Report for 1915 lists the Minnie family maintaining a boarding house on Washington Street.) "Howard (her son) will be 63 or 64 on March 1 (1976). “Earl was born in 1905. Howard was born in 1912. We had a horse named Peanut. There was another hotel in Derrick in 1902 or 1910, “The Commercial House."

"I remember there was a man that almost lost a finger in the mill, and they brought him to the hotel here. Mose was the one who fixed his finger. He was bleeding to death. He (Mose) put it together, and they brought him to the doctor. The doctor said, ‘Who did this?' They said, 'A young man at the mill' The doctor said, 'It was perfect, I couldn't do any better.'

At this point in the interview Edith seemed to be getting tired, and the conversation turned to small talk that was not recorded. This was the last time I saw and talked to Edith.

Not much was happening in Derrick when Edith Strack left there. Her family was one of the last families to live there. Railroad service stopped at Derrick in 1937, and the rails were picked up. At the time there were very few people living there. Then there were none, and Derrick joined the ranks of many other Adirondack ghost towns.

Derrick as Louis Grenier Saw It

This material was taken from an oral tape that I made with Louis at his home in Tupper Lake, NY on January 31, 1976 He was 89 years of age at the time and would be 90 in April.

Commercial House, c. 1910
Friar Hervieux, left. Also in photo are Roy, Che;;is, Leona Larock and E (?) King
Author’s collection
"I was born in Forest, NY (near Ellenburg Depot) on April 22, 1886. I was brought up in Brandon and lived about one and a half miles from the village. We moved to the village in 1898 after Rockefeller bought up all the land around there and drove everybody out. My stepfather hadn't made any payments on the place. so he borrowed the money to buy it. He went to Rockefeller and counted out the money to him, but he wouldn't take it. We had to move to Brandon. That was quite a village in those days. There were charcoal kilns there. They used hardwood cut in four foot lengths. Most of the wood was cut by axes. My stepbrother and I would go up to the kilns to get chips that we used for firewood. Brandon had about five stores at its peak. The post office was in a store owned by Mr. O'Donell. Rockefeller drove us out of there too. Outside your yard, you couldn't hunt or fish, or even pick berries-- he wouldn't allow it. In a short time he bought everyone out for a modest amount. Only a couple of people stayed on."

Going  to Long Pond to catch a mess of Brook Trout
Derrick House – Leo, Andrew and Mose Minnie, Henry Close and George Campbell, 1905

"We moved to Derrick in 1899. There were lumber camps there. I knew Mose and Andrew Minnie there. I remember that Andrew had a lumber camp between Derrick and Floodwood. LaPort had a job there, and Young had a camp there too. There were many beautiful pines in there. Andrew had a job with Turner who had a large sawmill in Derrick. His mill people worked two shifts. The mill turned out about fourteen million board feet of lumber a season. Turner had a run-in with the railroad people in Derrick (New York and Ottawa) and because of this difficulty he hauled all his lumber to Floodwood. He built a plank road four mile long to do this, and he had about 20 teams of the most beautiful horses that anybody would ever want to see that pulled the wagons and sleighs. The roads were made in the winter and they had a large sprinkler that they watered the roads with to make them ice."

"Mr. Forkey and Mr. Feinberg had a shingle mill at Black Rapids between Derrick and Brandon.  A Mr. Rockwood had a shingle mill near Spring Cove, west of the railroad station."

"There were two hotels in Derrick. One was Jim Hunt's and the other was Andrew Minnie's. I remember some of the picnics we went to. They put four or five long tables in front of Minnie's Hotel, and Mrs. Louis LaBarge would make ragout. And she was the only one that could make it the right way. It was delicious! A lot of people would come up from Tupper Lake on the train for that picnic just to get the ragout. 

I remember the Minnies well. Besides Andrew and the Mrs. there was Edith, Harry, Mose, Philmore, and Leo. Edith was a singer. She used to sing in the church choir and in the school plays. I never heard never, even to this day, anyone who could sing as beautiful as she could. Oh, she was wonderful. My stepbrother, Cal (Calvin Prairie), accompanied her on the organ. He never took lessons. He played the violin, made women's and men's clothing, and he could do just about anything. Yes, Cal could crochet, knit, cook anything. Edith went with him for a while, but they broke up. She married Sol Strack. She was Sol's second wife."

No. 759 arriving at Derrick from Tupper Lake c. 1905
Author’s collection

"There was one church in Derrick then, the Catholic Church. I remember Leo in 1907, he was about 10 years old. (Exactly!) Phil was a telegrapher at the station in Thendara. I worked for the railroad then, and he was there."

"I was at Derrick from 1899 to 1912. After a while I worked as a log scaler and made about forty-five dollars a month. Lumberjacks in those days were getting about thirty dollars a month. Some woods workers were getting sixteen dollars a month. The highest paid man in Derrick was the saw filer, he was an expert and made seven dollars a day. There were hardly any expenses. You could build your house and Mr. Turner never charged any rent, so it was free, as well as water, fuel, and, of course, there was no expense for electricity or phone because there wasn't any. It was a great place to live."

"I was there during the forest fire of 1903. The bridge at Brandon burned down. It was terrible. Women were screaming and everything. I knew one woman who hadn't been to church for years, and she promised to make novenas, have big masses and little masses said, and all kinds of promises to God if the fire would stop. The fire finally burned itself out There were big dry brush piles around the village that burned. The fire burned all around the town, but I don't remember any houses that burned except maybe one."

"Derrick had the most beautiful sunsets that I ever saw in my life

We had one church there, it was Catholic. We used to go to Tupper Lake to shop. The round trip fare was seventy-five cents. Between the trains you had about an hour to shop. So you left Derrick about twelve o'clock and were back about two o'clock."

"There was a Dr. Bigelow at Derrick for a while, and later, a Dr. Fleming. Other doctors came up on a hand car in emergencies. I use to help pump the hand car that brought them, me and five other young men. Bob Selfridge, the section foreman, used to lend the car to us to use for the trip. Sometimes two round trips would be made in a day forty-eight miles total. That's a lot of pumping on the handles of a hand car! The doctors were Dr. Morgan and Dr. Austin."

"The school teachers at Derrick were Mary McCoy and Miss Feinberg. One day three good sized boys decided they were going to do what they wanted to do in Mary's classroom. She decided differently and threw one boy out the door. The others quickly came into line, and there was never any trouble like that again."

"The marsh at Derrick is about seven miles long, and in the winter they would ice a road with the big sprinkler and make good roads that would support the thirteen cords of pulpwood piled high on the sleighs. That was enough to fill a boxcar. I remember beautiful moonlight walks across that frozen bog with Father Hervieux and Father Mose Minnie. Fr. Hervieux was the pastor at Derrick and later at St. Alphonsus church in Tupper Lake

"I remember one winter the lumberjacks going back to their homes in Canada without a cent in their pockets for their years work. The Jobbers went broke. But Andrew Minnie paid off his crew. It cost him everything he had. That's when he went into the Derrick House business."

Adirondack News, Saturday May 2, 1903  [This was part of the booklet]



New York & Ottawa station, Derrick, c. 1925
Ernest and Rita Jessie collection
The case of Henry W. Gays, as receiver of the New York & Ottawa R.R. Co. against Charles H. Turner, in which a temporary injunction was secured restraining the removal of cattle guards and fencing at the point where Mr. Turner's lumber teams have been crossing the track of said railroad at Derrick, was heard by Judge Kellogg at his chambers in Ogdensburg on Monday of last week.

The Ogdensburg "Journal" says of the controversy: "The question at issue involves the right of the railroad to construct a fence and cattle guards at a crossing in Derrick, a small lumber camp in the Adirondacks, and so the right of Mr. Turner to drive his lumber teams along the railroad tracks in order to effect a crossing.

The controversy first arose over a difference between the parties on the freight rates charged by the N.Y. & O. to haul Mr. Turner's lumber over its line from Derrick. Failing to reach a settlement, Mr. Turner had his lumber drawn to another point and hauled by another railroad.

The country about Derrick abounds in hills and at one side of the crossing in question there is a steep embankment ranging from 25 to 100 feet in height. In order to get around this hill the lumber had to be hauled about 400 feet alongside the track. The railroad resists this right and claims that Mr. Turner is trespassing. Mr. Turner's lawyer however, insists that, as the track can only be crossed in this way in order to obviate the hill, the route traversed by the teams forms a public highway. Mr. Gays caused to be constructed a fence and cattle guards at the crossing on the grounds that cattle and horses had strayed upon the track at that point and had been killed; and on the witness stand he told of the front wheels of a locomotive being derailed by striking a cow. The fence and guards prevented the lumber teams from freely crossing and they were torn down by the lumbermen. Mr. Gays thereupon secured a temporary injunction restraining Mr. Turner disturbing new guards and fencing that were erected, pending settlement of the matter in the courts. Suits for damages were also commenced in the courts." Several witnesses were examined after which an adjournment was taken until next week.

Franklin County Forum, Saranac Lake, N.Y. January 5, 1906


The first serious wreck on the New York & Ottawa Line since it was opened 15 years ago occurred half way between Bay Pond and Derrick Thursday morning when the train from Ottawa due to arrive at Tupper Lake at 12:30 p.m. left the track on account of the spreading of the rails.

The engine remained on the track, but the tender broke away and, with the combination express and passenger coaches, piled up in the ditch and were smashed almost to kindling wood. The train carried many passengers, most of whom were more or less injured, one, it is feared fatally. Conductor Lyons, of the wrecked train, although badly injured, sent a message to Bay Pond at once for help, and a special engine from Tupper Lake Junction, with Dr. P. J. Barrette aboard, was sent down at once. The injured were removed to their homes or to Tupper Lake. The scene after the incident was harrowing, the screams of the injured who were buried in the wreckage being pitiful to hear. The train was in charge of James Lyon, conductor; Ed LeBoeuf, engineer, and Louis Bedore and Frank Allen, fireman and brakeman. Following are the names of the injured: John C. Finnegan, Standard Oil Co. agent, Malone; C.F. Brush of Moira; Fred Martineau, Tupper Lake Junction; Edward Farrell, commercial traveler, of Plattsburgh; Meyer Newman, liquor agent, Tupper Lake; Frank Allen, express messenger, Ottawa; Louis Bedore, trainman; Orin Cook of St. Regis Falls, head and back crushed, not expected to live; Felix Rebidor, Ottawa; Mr. and Mrs. Descharnes of Ottawa; James Lyons, conductor, Ottawa; and Joseph W. Alfred of Tupper Lake, Hotel Altamont proprietor.


Derrick Miscellaneous


Joseph Jessie, 1918
Ernest and Rita Jessie collection

  • John Hurd's Northern Adirondack Railroad began construction in Moira in 1883. In 1884. it continued to Santa Clara (named after Hurd's wife, and where he lived), then to Brandon in 1886, and finally to Derrick and Tupper Lake in 1889. Joseph Jessie worked on the construction of this railroad and later moved to Derrick from Brandon.
  • Hurd and his associates bought about 60,000 acres of timbered land in Franklin County before building his railroad there. They also bought the mills at St. Regis Falls. Very soon after he bought his partners out and was the sole owner
  • Hurd's crews cut along the wilderness railroad on each side of the tracks for hundreds of feet from Santa Clara through to Tupper Lake. In Tupper Lake he built a super huge sawmill that was responsible for turning the place into a boom-town.
  • Derrick was named for S.W. Derrick, general superintendent of the New York & Ottawa Railroad.
  • Derrick was also known as Willis Pond, as well as Blue Pond.
  • Sometime before the railroad went through in 1889, Felix Trombley found iron ore deposits at a site about four miles south of Derrick. It was known as Iron Mountain. Little became of this, and little, if any, ore was mined and shipped. At a later date, Brooklyn Cooperage built a railroad spur to the area for the timber.
  • Charles Turner's sawmill ran two shifts a day from 1896 - 1910.
  • Charles L. Whitney had logging operations in the area from 1912 - 1925.
  • In 1913 Charles H. Elliot of Potkam opened a hardwood mangle rolls mill. The mill produced about two carloads of rolls a week, which were shipped abroad. The mill ran for two years before moving to Tupper Lake.
  • Oval Dish logged the area from 1917 to about 1920.
  • In 1923 and 1924 Sisson and White of Potsdam cut pulp in the area and shipped it to the St. Regis paper mill in Deferiet.
  • Edith Strack said that there was a sawmill and a shingle factory in Derrick in 1925.
  • For a short period there was a baking powder plant in Derrick.
  • The Northern Adirondack Railroad became the Northern New York Railroad, then the New York & Ottawa Railroad, followed by the New York Central Railroad in 1906.
  • The engines on the New York & Ottawa were the 4-4-0s.
  • Railroad service stopped between Moira and Tupper Lake in 1937, and the last passenger train left Derrick on May 6, 1937. The rails and ties were picked up the same year as far as Helena.