Keese Mills (also Keeses Mills and Keeses Mill) is a hamlet three miles west of Paul Smiths. It is named for a sawmill that was located on the Keese Mill dam on the Saint Regis River. Keese Mills Road, which starts at Paul Smiths, is the only road in the hamlet; it passes through the hamlet of Otisville, and provides access to Black Pond and Long Pond, trails to Saint Regis and Jenkins Mountains, the Saint Regis Esker Trail, and the middle branch of the Saint Regis River. After about six miles, it becomes the Blue Mountain Road.
The earliest settlers were Oliver Keese and Thomas A. Tomlinson who built a sawmill there in 1851. 1 The mill was managed by Tom O'Neil. Other settlers followed, including Joshua Otis, John Hall, Henry Hobart, John Redwood, Irving Jacques, Joseph Newell, John Jenkins, and George Skiff.
Jamieson, Paul and Morris, Donald, Adirondack Canoe Waters, North Flow, Lake George, NY: Adirondack Mountain Club, 1987. ISBN 0-935272-43-7.
History of Clinton and Franklin counties, New York by Duane Hamilton Hurd, p. 504
In what in now the town of Brighton the first settlement was made by Oliver Keese and Thomas A. Tomlinson, of Keeseville, in the spring of 1851, according to the recollection of Daniel Redwood, one of the oldest survivors of Keese & Tomlinson's employees. Here they built a dam and mill, at the rapids below the outlet of Follensby's Pond, 3 and embarked in the lumber business. Quite a settlement sprang up at this point, and there are now about 15 families in the vicinity, who live chiefly by farming, the mill having gone to decay, not so much from lack of lumber, as in consequence of the heavy expense of hauling logs up hill, and the long distance from market, about fifty miles.