“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Madrid in St. Lawrence County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Madrid Historic Businesses

Madrid Historic Businesses Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
1. Madrid Historic Businesses Marker
Inscription.  (1)Saw Mill, (2)Grist Mill, (3)Woolen Mill, (4)Pants Factory, (5)Fly and Insect Destroyer Factory, Source: (6)Laundry.
Since its early settlement, Madrid has been a center for business and industry. This area in particular was home to a number of businesses.

Saw and Grist Mills- The first grist and saw mills were built by Seth Roberts and Mr. Clark in 1803. The original mills were destroyed by fire in 1814 while owned by Jarah Meach. Timothy Reed later purchased the property and built a grist and saw mill under onw roof. The property burnt down in 1856 while owned by Hiram Horton. The following year the stone grist mill seen in the photo was built opposite the saw mill. The mills underwent several changes in ownership and operation throughout the years. The grist mill remained in operation until 1948. The saw mill in the photo burned down for the last time in 1950.

Woolen Mill- As early as 1823, Captain Jesse Goss was running a cloth-dressing mill at this location. The mill remained in the Goss family until the 1860's, at which time it was operated by Mr. Adolphus Vansickler. The mill
Southward on NY 345 Bridge over Grass River image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
2. Southward on NY 345 Bridge over Grass River
Marker is at the right at a viewing area with benches.
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used water power to generate electricity for their heated irons. When the river was low there was insufficient power to run the irons. (Madrid Herald, Pub. September 1909) In the early 1900's the building housed the Madrid Electric Light Company which became incorporated in 1912. In later years, the building was abandoned and remained vacant until torm down.
Pants Factory- Previously a cloth-making mill built by Alfred Goss in 1833, this building became the property of the Madrid Woolen Mills in 1893. The Madrid Woolen Mills was a stock company organized for the manufacture of cloth and pants. It was operated by 30 employees and turned out 100 pairs of pants a day. The factory closed its doors in 1916, but was reopened four years later by an Ogdensburg business to manufacture nurse's uniforms and hospital gowns.
Fly and Insect Destroyed Factory- In 1905 the F. Williams Manufacturing Company, of Morrisburg, Ontario "bought the Nelson W. Pike store building on the Brooklyn side" to produce and distribute Dr. Williams Fly and Insect Destroyer, a product well known & widely used by the local farmers for domestic and agrarian pests. (Madrid Herald, Pub. 1905)
Laundry- John A. Andrew began a laundry business after moving to Madrid in 1894. In 1903 a gasoline tank exploded, injuring Mr. & Mrs. Andrew and burning down the laundry and three
South End of Bridge to Viewing Area with Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
3. South End of Bridge to Viewing Area with Markers
The closer marker is the Madrid Historic Businesses marker; the farther is the Madrid Stone Bridge marker.
other buildings. "Lockwood's carriage shop and the pants factory adjoining were saved only by the most heroic work on the part of volunteers." (Massena Observer, Pub. July, 16 1903) The laundry remained in operation until John Andrew's death in 1937.

Ruth Goodrow, shown here at age 20, was born in December 1873. Later in life she reflects on her childhood in Madrid.
A personal account of life in Madrid: "At the south end of the bridge was the woolen mill, a big gray stone structure with a wide flight of wooden steps leading to a platform before the double doors of the main rooms. When I was crossing the bridge on my way to and from school I could hear the klang, klang of the looms, an ominous sound to me.

Across from the woolen mill was the tannery owned and run by one of the numerous John Fishers roundabout. This was one Baptist John. On the northeast end of the bridge stood the gristmill. The sight of the huge stones, which, powered by water wheels, moved round and round with a steady, majestic rhythm and ground the flour, fascinated me. The boys were interested in every step of the process by means of which the wheat or corn left the binds and became flour or corn meal. It was the atmosphere that intrigued me - and the miller. He was a friendly, kindly man named Smith and he looked, as I thought, as a miller should.

Across from the gristmill
Madrid Markers and Grass River Dam image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
4. Madrid Markers and Grass River Dam
was the sawmill, run by John Meeker in my day. How I loved the delightful fragrance of the sawdust and the piles of freshly cut lumber! And the deep toned music of the big saw which cut off the edgings. These edgings made cheap but good stove wood and my brothers used to bring them home on their sled and saw them into proper lengths for the kitchen stove."
~Ruth Gordon Keenan

All photos not cited are courtesy of Madrid Town Historians. Madrid map by E. A. Dayton, Dec. 1852. Source:

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1803.
Location. 44° 44.806′ N, 75° 7.828′ W. Marker is in Madrid, New York, in St. Lawrence County. Marker is on Bridge Street (New York State Route 345) 0.1 miles north of River Road, on the right when traveling south. Marker is by the south end of the bridge, west side of the road, at a viewing area. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1855 State Highway 345, Madrid NY 13660, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Madrid Stone Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Dedicated in Honor and in Memory of the Brave Men and Women of Madrid (approx. 0.2 miles away); United Church of Madrid (approx. Ό mile away); First Presbyterian Church of Dailey Ridge
Madrid Markers and the Stone Bridge (NY 345) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
5. Madrid Markers and the Stone Bridge (NY 345)
(approx. 3.3 miles away); Pulpwood Grinding Wheel (approx. 6.7 miles away); In Memory of Those Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice (approx. 6.7 miles away); Train Wreck (approx. 7.6 miles away); Potsdam Raquette River Walk (approx. 8.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madrid.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 9, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 305 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 9, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 8, 2022