Ida Belle & Charles Greenough Charles & Ida Belle Greenough Born: 12 March 1851 in Oster Okna, Sweden

Died: January 9, 1930

Married: Ida Belle Isham, December 30, 1885, in Brooklyn, New York 1

Children: William, George Greenough

Charles J. Greenough was an early resident of Saranac Lake who came from Sweden. He operated Greenough's Livery, near the Hotel Ampersand, and a sawmill that he later sold to "Agnew and Eaton" some time before 1888. 2 His wife, Ida, was the sister of lawyer Fred Isham, who developed Helen Hill. 3 The Greenoughs first built a cottage near the Hotel Ampersand in 1889. He and his wife built a second house at 215 Broadway in 1895, after returning from living in the south. Charles Greenough served on the Saranac Lake Board of Health in 1916 4, and as village trustee in 1916 and 1917.  As a member or members, Charles J. Greenough and his wife, Ida B. Greenough, were named in the sale of Pontiac Club property to the Saranac Lake Boys' Club, Inc., in 1917.

Unidentified news clipping dated January 10, 1930

Charles Greenough Paid Tribute of Community as Pioneer in Development

Saranac Lake today mourned another of its elder citizens as preparations were made for funeral services on Sunday afternoon for Charles J. Greenough, whose death yesterday morning in a Plattsburgh hospital brought to an end a life of much significance to this Adirondack country.

A recurrence of a heart ailment brought the final illness, and death came peacefully early yesterday with his wife and two sons at his side. The body was brought to Saranac Lake later in the day and reposes in the undertaking parlors of A. Fortune & Co. in Woodruff street, where the funeral is to be held.

The funeral services will be at 3:30 o'clock on Sunday afternoon, Rev. Hiram W. Lyon, pastor of the Presbyterian church, officiating, and will be Masonic. Mr. Greenough was a member of Whiteface Mountain lodge No. 789, F. and A. M., and was a thirty-second degree Mason.

Adventurous traits Handed down by a northland ancestry were apparent throughout the early life of Charles Greenough, who was born in Sweden on March 12, 1851, and came to the United States in 1868. He went to Kansas in the days before that state reached its statehood and there carried mail on horseback over ft trail of fifty miles.

It was in that romantic role that his liking for horses became confirmed through the close association and interdependence of a man and his mount in such an occupation. Later this love of horses was to bring him into a prominent place in the stage coach era of Adirondack travel, and long after automobiles were introduced, he maintained his carriage and teams as his favorite mode of conveyance. Returning east he lived for a time near Malone until the wild country of the Adirondacks called to him, and he appeared in 1871 in the then sparsely settled hamlet of Saranac Lake, important chiefly as the economic center of a hunting paradise.

He suited his life and activities to the times, becoming expert in the trails of the region and working as a guide and in other capacities. He had charge of construction of Pinehurst camp on Lower Saranac lake, and in other ways lent his abilities to early development.

He became owner of the stage coach line from Au Sable Forks to Saranac Lake, maintaining stables of horses for relays at various places and for many years drove one of the coaches. In those times the coach line was the only regular means of travel to Saranac Lake from the outside world as the nearest railroad was at Au Sable Forks.

He was married on December 30, 1885, to Miss Ida Isham of Plattsburgh. Mrs. Greenough and their sons, George of New York City and William of Albany, survive.

As the hamlet of Saranac Lake began to grow and develop towards the thriving cosmopolitan village of today, Charles Greenough knew how to keep pace with changing conditions. He acquired extensive property holdings and assisted in the development.

When the Chateaugay railroad was built, linking this village to the outside world by way of Plattsburgh over the line now owned by Delaware and Hudson, Mr. Greenough was among the first to donate land needed for a right-of-way.

His progressive attitude was apparent again when he joined with others in raising funds to build the village's first sidewalk along Broadway. He built one of the first homes to be wired for electric lights, and was among the first subscribers to the telephone system project.

He found his place in the emerging business community as a flour and feed merchant, establishing in 1888 the business at Broadway and Cedar street which, upon retiring from active business in March, 1922, he sold to D. Cohen and Sons.

He likewise played his part in shaping of the municipal development of the community as a member of the village board. He was elected as trustee in 1916 and served for two years. Previously he had been a member of the board of health.

Retirement from business pursuits did not end his activity as a citizen, and he continued in contact with people and affairs until his last illness brought to an end a career i closely intertwined with the modern career of his adopted home.

Lake Placid News, January 10, 1930


Charles Greenough, one of the pioneers of Saranac Lake, died in the Physicians' hospital at Plattsburg at 12:30 o'clock yesterday morning following a heart attack which he sustained late in December. He was 73 years of age.

Mr. Greenough was born in Sweden and came to the Adirondacks as a young man. He soon became closely identified with the life of his adopted village, Saranac Lake, and took a prominent part in its growth. At one time he owned the land on which the Ampersand hotel stood on Lower Saranac lake and at the time of his death had extensive property holdings in that section.

Mr. Greenough was for several years a trustee of Saranac Lake village. For many years he was engaged in the grain and feed business there.

Surviving are his wife and two sons, William of Albany, and George of New York.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 26, 1971

When the first railroad came to Saranac Lake in 1887, Charles Greenough owned all the land from the corner of Broadway and Ampersand Avenue to Lower Saranac Lake and named Ampersand after he began selling building lots.

Plattsburgh Sentinel, January 20, 1888

—C. H. Greenough returned from New York bringing six horses with him, four of them for J. W. Ehrich, who is coming to pass the rest of the winter in his handsome cottage on Lower Lake, and a good span for himself. The two Misses Ehrich arrived on the train on Saturday.

—It was a mistake of some one that Mr. Greenough has sold the land for the erection of the new hotel. The matter is yet unsettled. The sale was reported and believed, but was only a report.

Plattsburgh Sentinel, February 24, 1888

—C. H. Greenough has just concluded a sale of land on Lower Saranac Lake for $2,500 to Howard Agnew, Edwin Western and Charles Eaton, who intend the coming spring to erect a large hotel, with electric lights, elevators and all modern conveniences, the building to be heated with steam.

Charles & Ida Belle Greenough Plattsburgh Sentinel, November 2, 1888

A sidewalk is being constructed joining the old one at J. Vosburgh's, and going as far as C. H. Greenough's. We understand there is talk of extending it to Hotel Ampersand. There is also sidewalks being built in other parts of the village which will be a great improvement.

Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 7, 1889

—C A. Greenough is about to put up a nice cottage near "Ampersand".

—The new firm of Greenough & Harding are making preparations to have their livery and sales stables open as early as the first of July, when they intend to run a four-horse coach between the station and the "Ampersand". Their first installment of horses, six in number, arrived on Monday.

Plattsburgh Sentinel, August 23, 1889

—The Hotel Ampersand at Saranac Lake is such a decided success that the owners are enlarging their borders. Seven acres comprised the first purchase for a building lot. An addition of two acres was afterward made, and last week the whole of the wild land owned by Charles Greenough was bought, about 195 acres. The consideration for the whole was about $28,000.

Plattsburgh Sentinel, October 25, 1889

—Mr. Charles Greenough is moving into his beautiful cottage near Hotel Ampersand.

February 7, 1890

—C. J. Greenough has rented his elegant new cottage for a few weeks to Geo. E. Dodge of Wall street, New York

Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 16, 1890

—The carpenters are now engaged on a cottage for Charles Greenough, near his present residence.

Plattsburgh Sentinel, October 31, 1890

—Parties who intend to live at Saranac Lake the coming winter are getting located. For the convenience or those people C. J. Greenough & Co. have divided up the Ampersand Livery, part of the horses going to the stables of F. M. Bull and the rest will remain at Greenough's stables. About a dozen horses went to their new quarters to-day.

The Plattsburgh Sentinel, April 3, 1891

—C. J. Greenough has returned from his extensive tour through the South and West, having gone as far in that direction as Montana, visiting thirteen states, exclusive of N. Y. There were thirty-eight in the party which chartered a train, with dining-room car and all the facilities for the round trip. Peach trees in full bloom were among the sights that greeted them on their journey. M. B.

The Plattsburgh Sentinel, May 22, 1891 —The carpenters are now engaged on a cottage for Charles Greenough, near his present residence.

Riverside Cemetery, Plattsburgh

The Plattsburgh Sentinel, March 4, 1892

—Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Greenough, with their little son Willie, left on the train Monday for Alabama, whither Mr. Greenough has gone to take charge of a large milling interest. They will be much missed by their old neighbors, but we wish them happiness and prosperity in the far away place in which they seek a new home. Mr. Greenough sold his livery business to Tuff. LaTour, but retains possession of his cottage property.

The Plattsburgh Sentinel, August 4, 1893

—Charles J. Greenough and family, have returned from Florida, 5 where Mr. Greenough has been engaged in business for the past two years.

The Plattsburgh Sentinel, August 30, 1895

—C. J. Greenough and family are in town, where they intend to remain permanently, and build a cottage on a site near Mace Brown's. Mr. Greenough's health has suffered from his residence in New York, 6 and he finds a change desirable.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, September 19, 1895, quoted in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 9, 1957

The work on Charles Greenough's cottage near A. and St. L.R.R. depot is progressing rapidly.



1. Plattsburgh Sentinel, January 15, 1886
2. Plattsburgh-Sentinel, November 16, 1888
3. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 26, 1971
4. Howard Riley, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 31, 2007, p. A4
5. Mr. Greenough's grandson, Bob Greenough, believes that this should read "Alabama."
6. Mr. Greenough's grandson, Bob Greenough, believes that this should read "Alabama."