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Paul Smith's Electric Light and Power and Railroad Company Complex (now Saranac Lake Police Headquarters) was originally the site of a sawmill built by Captain Pliny Miller in 1827. In 1985, the Saranac Lake Electric Company bought the property and constructed a power plant. In 1907, Paul Smith bought the Saranac Lake company for $125,000. After Smith's death in 1912, his son, Phelps Smith took over, and in 1927, constructed the present office building directly above the old flume. After Phelps Smith died in 1937, he left the bulk of his estate to establish Paul Smith's College. The College owned and operated the power company until 1941 or 1942, when the equipment was scrapped to aid the war effort. The building was used as an office space until 1986, when the Village of Saranac Lake acquired the property. The Saranac Lake Police Department currently operates from the building (2020).


  • Paul Smith's Electric Light and Power and Railroad Company Complex

Historic Saranac Lake. Paul Smith's Electric Light and Power and Railroad Company Complex, Historic Saranac Lake Local Wiki. Accessed April 6th 2020. https://localwiki.org/hsl/Paul_Smith%27s_Electric_Light_and_Power_and_Railroad_Company_Complex.

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Marc Wanner