The official logo of the Sand Lake Historical Society

Historical Highlights

Preserving and Restoring Markers
in the Town of Sand Lake

Where did the markers go?

The oldest roadside historical marker in the Town of Sand Lake dates from 1938. The remaining dozen or so blue and gold markers date from the 21st century, but some of them are approaching 15-20 year of age and are beginning to show their age!

That 1938 marker is cast iron -- heavy, and prone to rusting over time. After some 80 years, it indeed shows a good bit of that rusting, as you'll see below.

All the other roadside markers are cast aluminum; they are lighter in weight, and aluminum doesn't rust. However, it can corrode, and you'll also see evidence of that on at least one of the "newer" markers.

Members of the Sand Lake Historical Society, with community support, tackled the preservation and restoration of the "neediest" of our markers. Read on... [Click on images to enlarge them]
The markers are back!

The markers have been refinished and reinstalled! Read on...

 

INDEX: Trinity Lutheran

Sand Lake Union Cemetery | Bernhard Uhlein | Glass Lake | Sand Lake Baptist Church| Log Church Site | Burden Lake || Restoration of these six markers

Faith Mills | Town Garage

Post Script


Trinity Lutheran Church

The cast iron marker in front of the former Trinity Lutheran Church (currently West Sand Lake Community Churchopens in a new window) in West Sand Lake dates to 1938, when the (New York) State Education Department erected markers across the State. When the first photo here was taken in the early 2000s, the marker was in good shape, likely having been refinished a time or two since 1938.

The intervening years, though, had not been kind to this marker. Weather and road salt used to keep roads passable in winter, had taken their toll, and the cast iron showrd a fair bit of rust and paint deterioration (second photo below). Fortunately, there appeared to be almost no damage to the lettering and other detail!

Restoration

On 4/18/2022, Brian Hunt from the Town Highway Department assisted SLHS members Mike Perry, Andy Mace and Bud Whitney (not pictured here) in removing one very heavy cast-iron marker from the pole. It was transported to ASC Powder Coating in Rensseleaer for blasting to clean off the old paint and rust. ASC generously donated not only the blasting, but also powder-coating in the base blue!

Historical marker for Trinity Lutheran Church in West Sand Lake.
State Education Department marker from 1938, seen in the early 2000s here.
Lutheran church marker 2022
The same marker in April 2022.

Trinity marker about to be removed from the pole 4/18/2022
Trinity marker about to be removed from the pole 4/18/2022

rusty pole
A very rusty but still solid pole, 4/18/2022
primed pole
The same pole primed for painting, 4/18/2022
pole repainted royal blue
Refinished in Blue, 4/20/2022. NOTE: Older markers tended to be a darker blue, while "modern" ones are this lighter "Royal" blue. As the powder-coated sign is that darker blue, the pole has since been repainted black.

UPDATE: The marker was sandblasted and powder-coated in blue as of 5/7/2022. Our thanks to ASC Powder Coating!
Where did this (Trinity Lutheran) marker go sign
"Where did this marker go?" sign; post repainted black 6/8/2022.

progress on the marker
Progress adding the yellow highlights (it took two coats!), 6/5/2022. Mike Perry is applying the yellow.
progress on the marker; second coat of yellow
More progress adding the yellow highlights; second coat of yellow, 6/6/2022, again applied by Mike Perry.
Bud and Mike wrestle the cast-iron marker into place
6/10/2022: Bud Whitneyand Mike Perry wrestle the refurbished marker into place on the pole. The older cast-iron markers are very heavy!
Mike works to tighten the grub screws holding the sign to the pole
Mike works to tighten the grub screws
holding the sign to the pole!
finished Trinity Lutheran marker
The restored marker in place and with QR code plaque installed!!

Sand Lake Union

The Sand Lake Union Cemetery sign has suffered a fair bit from the elements in its nearly 20 years. Most concerning is some surface pitting and deterioration of "detail" (lettering in particular) due to corrosion. This sign, located at a spot with significant traffic (and, therefore, much salting in winter), appeared to be the "worst" of the modern cast aluminum markers.

Historical marker for Sand Lake Union Cemetery in Sand Lake.
Marker as seen in the early 2000s here.
Sand Lake Union cemetery sign 2022
The same marker in April 2022.
Sand Lake Union sign shows some deterioration of the letering
Closeup of marker in April 2022 showing some pitting in the surface and deterioration of some lettering.
chemical paint stripper at work
Chemical paint stripper at work.
SLU marker stripped of paint
South face of the sign after stripping. Note blue "circle"; this appears to have been a casting flaw repair when first made.

SL Union Cemetery marker on display
Sand Lake Union Cemetery marker on display at Sky High Community Center on Sand Lake Cleanup Day, 5/7/2022. A fortuitous encounter with Bill Sage from Sage Bros. Painting in Troy ultimately resulted in the Society contracting with them to refinish this and five other "needy" markers (detailed below).

On June 27, this and five other signs were delivered to Sage Bros. Painting in Troy, who would blast and refinish the signs! More information below.

temporary sign at SL Union
Temporary sign at Sand Lake Union sign pole, posted May 2022. This pole was repainted "Royal" blue.

 

restored SL Union marker back in place 7/26/22
The restored marker back in place as of July 26, 2022!

Bernhard Uhlein

Thankfully, this sign, being a bit further off the highway than some signs are, seemed to have suffered little more than paint loss. Given that, refinishing was a somewhat simpler matter.

 

Historical marker for Bernhard Uhlein in West Sand Lake.
Marker as seen in the early 2000s here.
Bernard Uhlein sign in 2022
The same marker in April 2022.

Burden Lake

This sign was in fair shape, with much paint loss, but little to no corrosion or other damage. [NOTE: The original of this marker, currently residing at the parking lot of Kay's Pizza after having "gone AWOL" for a number of years, is in good shape!]

 

 

Historical marker for Burden Lake.
Marker as seen in the early 2000s here.
Burden Lake sign
Closeup of marker in April 2022 showing much paint loss.

Glass Lake

This sign was in fair shape, with mostly paint flaking.

 

 

Historical marker for Glass Lake / Glass House.
Marker as seen in the early 2000s here.
Glass Lake sign
Closeup of marker in April 2022 showing mostly paint flaking.

Sand Lake Baptist Church

This sign was in fair shape, with mostly paint flaking.

 

 

Historical marker for Sand Lake Baptist Church.
Marker as seen in 2004.
Sand Lake Baptist Church sign in 2022
Closeup of marker in April 2022 showing mostly paint flaking.

Log Church Site, 1776

This sign was in fair shape, with mostly paint fading and flaking.

Historical marker for Lutheran Church log building in West Sand Lake.
Marker as seen in 2007.
Log Church sign in 2022
Closeup of marker in April 2022 showing mostly
paint fading and flaking.

 

where did the markers go?

Restoration of these six markers

As noted above, a fortuitous encounter with Bill Sage from Sage Bros. Painting in Troy at the Sky High Community Center during Sand Lake Cleanup Day, 5/7/2022, resulted in Sage Bros. contracting to blast and refinish the six markers shown above! During late June, the six markers were removed from their poles and delivered to Sage Bros.

minor repairs to SL Union sign
Minor repairs, including a new setscrew, were made to the Burden Lake sign.
markers loaded in pickup truck
Markers shown here loaded into a pickup truck for delivery on 6/27/2022 to...
markers at Sage Bros.
...Sage Bros. Painting in Troy!
The markers are back! On July 21, 2022, the refinished markers returned to the Town!
restored SLU marker
The restored Sand Lake Union Cemetery marker being unloaded from a pickup truck on 7/22/2022
restored Uhlein marker
The restored Bernhard Uhlein marker headed for temporary storage on 7/22/2022
restored Glass Lake marker
The restored Glass Lake marker being unloaded from a pickup truck on 7/22/2022
restored SL Baptist Church marker
The restored Sand Lake Baptist Church marker being unloaded from a pickup truck on 7/22/2022
restored Burden Lake marker
The restored Burden Lake marker remained in the truck on 7/22/2022 for installation that morning...

restored Uhlein marker with others in storage
...while the rest of the markers were temporarily stored.
affixing Burden Lake marker to the pole
The restored Burden Lake marker being affixed to the pole on 7/22/2022
final touchup of Burden Lake marker
Final touchup on the restored Burden Lake marker 7/22/2022
closeup of Burden Lake marker
Closeup of the restored Burden Lake marker 7/22/2022
restored Burden Lake marker in place
The restored Burden Lake marker in place 7/22/2022
Burden Lake marker before and after
The "forlorn" v. the restored Burden Lake marker

restored Sand Lake Union Cemetery marker in place

The restored Sand Lake Union cemetery marker in place 7/26/2022

Sand Lake Union Cemetery marker before and after
The "forlorn" v. the restored Sand Lake Union Cemetery marker

Faith Mills

This sign is in generally good shape, having been repainted in 2020.

Historical marker for Sand Lake Baptist Church.
Marker as seen in 2005 and still in good shape in 2022, after one repainting in 2020.

Town Garage

This wall-mounted commemorative bronze plaque is generally in good condition for being nearly 90 years old and should respond to a good, careful cleaning!

plaque on former Town Garage  

Post Script

  • If there is a lesson to be learned, it is simply that nothing lasts forever, but simple care can help preserve these markers! The marker at the site of the District No. 1 school house on Sheer Road (erected in 2014) was in good condition, but it was beginning to look a bit faded. Thankfully, a simple cleaning and application of an automotive cleaner/wax has made it look almost as new. Some minor paint touchup will be performed soon, and that marker should look fine for years to come.

    The William G. Pomeroy Foundation, which provides grant funds for roadside markers (such as the Fox Mansion marker erected in 2021), promotes an annual National Historic Marker Dayoutside link logo in April, to "[encourage] individuals and groups of all sizes to help maintain their community’s historic markers and celebrate local history" by simply washing/cleaning markers in their communities. Like our cars, the markers look better without all that acuumulated dirt and grime, and they might last longer, too!
     
  • The Sand Lake Historical Society wishes to thank ASC Powder Coating and Sage Bros. Painting for their work physically restoring the markers; and Joel Uline of the Uline Family, Glass Lake Neighborhood Group, the Burden Lake Association, and the Office of the Sand Lake Town Historian for their generous financial support of this project.

  • If you would like to extend your support to projects such as this, or if you have a suggestion for a possible roadside historical marker, please contact us!

Progress Page

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Marker Page

SLHS glassblower

 

Have any suggestions for historical markers in Sand Lake? If so, please contact us!

The official logo of the Sand Lake Historical SocietyApril 14, 2022; revised November 29, 2022 -- asm. © 2002-2022 Sand Lake Historical Society; all rights reserved.