The Town of Brighton is in the southwest part of the county and is inside the Adirondack Park.
The first settlers in this area arrived around 1815.
The Town of Brighton was set aside from the Town of Duane Town of Duane in 1858. James M. Wardner was elected its first supervisor. Apollos "Paul" Smith arrived in 1859 and gradually built up a hotel in the community that bears his name. Having become an important Adirondack Hotel, Paul Smith's College was established by his family. The College now uses the land where the hotel once stood along Lower St. Regis Lake. Also around that time James Wardner had a small hotel on Rainbow Lake.
Among the "second round" of settlers in the Town of Brighton after its pioneers Follensby, S. Johnson, the Rice brothers, Amos and Levi; Oliver Keese and Thomas A. Tomlinson; James and Seth Wardner, were the Ricketsons, the Rands, the Dustins, Jute Q. King and his son, Philemon King. They were scattered along the highway from Keese Mill and McColloms to Paul Smiths to Easy Street to the Split Rock Road and to Rainbow Lake and Jones Pond.
The hamlet now-called Gabriels actually originated back when only the Rands, the Ricketsons, the Dustins, the Otis' were settled on farms nearer to the Split Rock Road and Ricketson Brook in the southern part of the town along the boundary with the Town of Harrietstown than where Gabriels is currently situated. It wasn't until the Adirondack & St. Lawrence Railway came in 1892 that Gabriels expanded northward with many settling near the railroad station. The railroad brought the Sister's of Mercy with their tuberculosis sanitorium, it brought Muncil's saw mill. Paul Smith's Hotel immediately started a stage line to the railroad station.
The Brighton Town Hall was designed and built by Benjamin A. Muncil in 1914. Muncil was a talented local builder who also designed and built Marjorie Merriweather Post's Camp Topridge, and White Pine Camp, which was used as a summer White House of US President Calvin Coolidge.