Paul Smith's Electric Light and Power and Railroad Company headquarters from Lake Flower Paul Smith's Electric Light and Power and Railroad Company headquarters. The show windows were used to display the latest electric appliances. Paul Smith's Electric Company from nearby Blood Hill, c. 1930 Paul Smith's Electric Light and Power appliance demonstration, early 1930s; the company sold Westinghouse products. (Reprinted in the "Adirondack Daily Enterprise, 5/12/2007")
Address: 3 Main Street
Old Address: 2 Main Street
Other names: Niagara Mohawk
Year built: 1927
Architect: John Sweeney's name appears on some of the drawings for the building.
The site was first developed by Captain Pliny Miller who, by 1827, had established a dam and a sawmill at a natural waterfall on the Saranac River.
In 1894, the Saranac Lake Electric Company was formed to generate electricity at the site of Miller's sawmill. In 1905, Paul Smith and his two sons formed the Paul Smith's Electric Light and Power Company based at Franklin and Union Falls. In 1907, Smith bought the Saranac Lake company for $125,000 and substantially modified the plant, which at that time was housed in the power house — the rear section of the building.
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. The building is a three-story, Neo-classical steel frame, terra cotta structure with an electric elevator.
After Phelps Smith died in 1937, leaving the bulk of his estate to establish Paul Smiths College, the College owned and operated the power company until 1941 or 1942, when the equipment was scrapped to aid the war effort. The Paul Smiths Power Company merged with Niagara Mohawk in 1966, and NiMo used at least the first floor of the building — otherwise vacant — for its offices until 1986, when the village of Saranac Lake acquired the property. 1