Rider Home, Skerry, New York, ca. 1900
Webster & Early Mills – Brandon
Various Lumber Mills
The number of sawmills that at various times existed in Brandon has been large. All of them except the Reynolds Bros Mill and The Bowen Mill were only small operations.
The Webster Mill
One of the earliest mills was that of Hon. Joseph B. Flanders, of Malone, and ened up being disastrous. Having acquired a large tract by contract in 1866, Mr. Flanders proceeded to build a road in the winter across very difficult country south from Skerry, and also to build a dam and mill in the same season at a point on Deer River where he proposed to operate.
The cost was heavy, and the burden of this initial expense, together with the long haul that had to be made to the railroad, compelled abandonment of the enterprise in 1873. Pretty much everything in and about the mill was stolen or left to rust and decay, and the property was never operated afterward. Webster Brothers subsequently obtained control of the lands, and cut large quantities of bark there for their tannery in Malone. Reynolds Brothers now own the tract.
Other Early Mills
Other mills have been Ira Ewings’s the first built in the town, and owned later by Lyman Weeks; James Skerry’s, later owned by Warren Aldrich, and now by L. C. Bowen; one built by Charles J. Adams of Bangor, three miles south of Skerry, and sold to D. Adolphas Dunn, on whose hands it was twice burned during the year 1885, and after which it was owned by Michael Donahue, and again burned and the site abandoned; one built by Warren Aldrich three miles south of the Adams mill (sold to George Walker, and now torn down); one in the western part of the town, built and operated by William C. Betterly; and the “priest” mill, built by H. Y. Tarbell, and afterward owned by Father Francis of Malone, James Dwyer, David McGivney, McGivney & G. C. Stevens, and finally by McGivney again, during which ]atter ownership it burned, and was not rebuilt. There may also have been earlier mills, but none of them large.
From: CHAPTER VIII BRANDON p.1
History of Brandon, New York
FROM: HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF FRANKLIN COUNTY
AND ITS SEVERAL TOWNS
BY: FREDERICK J. SEAVER
PUBLISHED BY J. B. LYON COMPANY, ALBANY, NY 1918