Sand Lake, New York

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Sand Lake is a town in Rensselaer County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, the town had a population of 7,987. The Capital District Regional Planning Commission indicates it to be 8,336 as of September 2010. The town is in the south-central part of the county. Sand Lake is east of Albany, New York.



The town of Sand Lake was formed from Greenbush and Berlin June 19, 1812. In 1843 a part of Greenbush was taken off, and in 1848 the northern half was set off as a separate town under the name of Poestenkill. Sand Lake is south of the centre of Rensselaer county. It is bounded on the north by Poestenkill, on the east by Berlin, on the south by Nassau and Schodack and on the west by East Greenbush and North Greenbush.

While the surface of the town is undulating in the west, it is quite mountainous in the east, a part of the Petersburgh range extending through that section of the town. Oak hill, near the centre of the town, and Perigo hill, in the northeast corner, rise to a height of about 900 feet (270 m) above the level of the sea. The soil is very fertile in many parts of Sand Lake, especially in the comparatively low land in the eastern portion. Agriculture and grazing have always been carried on with success. In recent years numerous garden farms have been established, the markets of Troy being supplied largely by these in the proper season. Sand Lake strawberries and other berries and small fruits are among the finest produced in Eastern New York. One of the principal characteristics of the town is its numerous small lakes, in which fish of nearly all kinds inhabiting still fresh water abound, and the number of summer guests in all parts of the town is constantly increasing. Sand lake is near the centre of the town, and is the largest body of water lying entirely within the limits of the town. Burden lake and Crooked lake are in the southern part, the former lying partly in the town of Nassau. Glass lake is between Sand lake and Crooked lake. Big Bowman and Little Bowman ponds are close together in the eastern part, and Richard pond is in the northwestern part near Averill Park. The Wynants kill and the Tsatsawassa are the principal streams. The former rises in Crooked lake and flows through Glass lake and Burden lake into the Hudson river at North Greenbush. It also drains Richard pond. The latter drains the eastern part of the town and flows southerly into Nassau. The Wynants kill furnishes one of the finest water powers in eastern New York.

The first permanent settlements in Sand Lake were made in its western part, probably in 1765 or 1766. The earliest inhabitants located in the western part of the town. They were sturdy Dutch farmers who had come from Holland a few years after the settlement of Albany, or who had first located further down the valley of the Hudson. In 1767 there were but two families, as far as is known, residing within the limits of the town. One of these was a family named Adams, residing near the river in the southern part of the town. The other was a family named Brett (or Bradt), who had a home a short distance from that of the Adams family. Which of these was the first to locate within the limits of the town cannot be learned.

A few years after these settlements were made the family of Abram Bristol lived on the west side of Burden lake; and on the opposite side resided the family of Ephraim Quimby. About the same time or a year or two later, certainly before the War of the Revolution, a home was established in the southwestern part of the town, near the farm of Mr. Brett, by Andrew Weatherwax (Andreas Wederwax). Not far from him Philip Carpenter was located. Philip Gardner located about a mile west of the site of Sand Lake village during or immediately after the Revolution. Soon after Abram Frere settled at West Sand Lake, probably in 1790. Near him, and not much later, Jacob Fellows, Nicholas Fellows and Zachariah Fellows built homes and began the cultivation of the land on an extensive scale. The first hotel in that section was kept by Nicholas Fellows. Andreas Baert settled in the closing days of the eighteenth century in the southwestern part of the town, and among his neighbors were John Carmichael, who served in the War of the Revolution; John I. Miller and Stephen Miller.

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