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The Grist Mill - 29 Maple Street, Potsdam, NY

29 Maple Street, Potsdam, NY

By: Mimi Van Deusen

Original structure has been demolished.

Address: 29 Maple Street, Potsdam, NY
Constructed Date: 1835
Constructed By: David Mathews
Commissioned By: John C. Clarkson
Stone Style: Coursed ashlar
Demolished Date: 1973

Brief History

The mill was ordered built by John C. Clarkson and the work done under the direction of David Mathews, grandfather of A.H. Morgan of the Morgan's Men's Shop, Mr. Morgan had the original contract in his possession. The contract signed Dec 22, 1829 stated Mr. Mathews had approximately 3 months to built the mill and would be paid in cash, stock, and merchandise for it.

The mill was built of stone and had a slate roof. Its interior was constructed of heavy pine timbers. Sturdy oak pieces form the joist for the pine floors of the 4-story building.

The mill was once run by Aaron M. Deming then Robert Wood who later operated it and under him is when the roller flour mill was added to the old stone grinding facilities.

It was purchased by William Tozer and Dewitt, Osborne, father of the late Carson P. Osborne in 1900. They operated it for several years.

Next the mill was operated by Mr. Tozer, Edson Perkins, and Kimball J. Snell. Mr. Tozer sold his interests in the firm and entered the employ of Mr. Perkins, Mr Snell, and Congressman Bertrand H. Snell, who bought an interest in the business.

In 1920 the mill was purchased by the Potsdam Feed & Coal company. Fred M. McIntyre of this firm stated the mill had the first water power rights on the river. The company operated the mill until February 1923. The building caught fire and the upper story was badly burned. The damages of the fire, combined with keen business competition forced abandonment of the mill. The mill was sold to Elliott Hardwood company and the power rights to the Niagara Hudson. The mill was then sold to Max Sverdlow who used it as a storehouse (as of August 1938).

(SOURCE for all information above under History: Potsdam Herald- Recorder- August 19, 1938: "109 Year old Grist Mill Still in Good Condition") 

The grist mill property was owned by the Breckenridge Oil Co. with Frank W. Riggs as the company's president. (SOURCE: Courier & Freeman, April 12, 1972)

Several articles state the mill's sandstone walls were in remarkable condition, considering they had been untouched for 137+ years.

Reason for Demolition:

The mill was torn down in 1973.

Present Day

Today as of April 2013, the Thai Cuisine Restaurant is located at 29 Maple Street.


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