The official logo of the Sand Lake Historical Society

Past Programs

Sand Lake Historical Society

'Glassblower'; part of the SLHS logo 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003
  • January 10: Sand Lake Show & Tell Returns. Attendees checked their attic, your junk drawer, or that box on the top shelf of your closet and shared it with us, as well as some locally based historical research (a popular Covid at-home pastime!) to share what they’ve discovered so far. View a recording from the live streamoutside link logo
  • Edmonia Lewis US postage stampFebruary 14: East Greenbush Town Historian Bobbie Reno presented a program on Edmonia Lewis, noted American sculptor of mixed African American and Native American heritage, born right here in Rensselaer County. View a recording from the live streamoutside link logo
  • March 14: postponed due to storm
  • April 11: Covid-19 History Project update. We featured the Committee's report, select readings from some of those who submitted their stories, and “personal reflections” from the audience. View a recording from the l ive stream outside link logo
  • May 9: Annual Meeting. Reports, updates and election of new trustees. For three-year terms ending 5/31/2026: Wayland “Bud” Whitney, Bob Katz, Timothy Hoffay. To fill vacant term expiring 5/31/2025: Megan Konikowksi. Also (rescheduled from March), The Rensselaer Glassworks. Phil Bernnard of the National Bottle Museum discussed theRensselaer Glassworks, which was one of Sand Lake’s early industries (and gave us “Glass Lake”).. View a recording from the live streamoutside link logo
  • The January 11 program was postponed!
  • February 8: Abel Brown, pastor and abolitionist: Pastor, Abolitionist, Radical – A Conversation. Elder Abel Brown has been called “the forgotten abolitionist” and “John Brown before John Brown was John Brown.” He was a newspaper publisher, a widely traveled and well-known temperance preacher and anti-slavery speaker, a leader in the radical Liberty Party, principal agent of the Eastern New York Anti-Slavery Society, and a key figure in the Underground Railroad. He has been credited with leading or assisting “over 100” (and reportedly “up to 1,000”) escaped former slaves to freedom. And, for a time in the early 1840s, he was pastor of the Sand Lake Baptist Church. SLHS Trustee Peter Finn shared much more about this remarkable man and his time here in Rensselaer County. View a recording from the live stream outside link logo | View or download a PDF of the slide presentation that accompanied the presentation. [See also related February 2020 program.]
  • March 8: The Kittle Family Murders.The region was shocked in December 1870 when blind 20 year-old Asa Kittle shot both his parents to death. Described by some as a "half idiot," his ability to understand the charges against him was questioned. But Asa was the not the first, nor would he be the last, family member to be involved in a murderous situation in and around West Stephentown. Jill Witbeck Knapp shared Asa's story, along with stories of some of the lawlessness -- with a few Sand Lake residents -- that entangled other members of the family and their impact on the local communities. View a recording from the live-stream outside link logo [In 2018, Jill discussed her nonfiction book, The Time for Redemption, the story of her great-great-grandfather William Witbeck, who was charged with the murder of Rensselaer County Deputy Sheriff Griggs in 1869. SEE: 2018].
  • April 12: Sand Lake Show and Tell II. What’s in your attic, cellar, closet, junk drawer? Old bottles and such from Sand Lake Springs, Village Shop gift boxes, glass slag from Glass Lake, photos, posters and??? It’s part of your history, but it’s also part of Sand Lake’s history! A fun evening with many interesting items and stories. View a recording from the live-stream outside link logo
  • May 10: Sand Lake Historical Society Annual Meeting. We met for coffee and desserts. There was the election of trustees. The Board of Trustees has voted to increase the number of trustees to 15, in anticipation of increased activity as the Society approaches its 50th anniversary in 2024. Members in attendance elected the following trustees: For second three-year terms (through 5/31/25) -- Peter Finn, Ann Winnicki; For initial three-year terms to replace outgoing trustees Sharon Dawes (2nd term), Michael Perry (1st term) and Jacqueline Tremont (2nd term), respectively -- Rebecca Hoffay Klimek, David Neubauer, Cindy Pitts; For initial three-year terms (through 5/31/25) to fill vacancies created by expansion of the Board -- Alisha Clark, Eva Juliette Dacier; To fill remainder of the term of Nancy Perry (one year, through 5/31/23): Christina Codner. The Sand Lake Historical Society wishes to thank Sharon Dawes, Michael Perry, Nancy Perry and Jacqueline Tremont for their service as trustees and officers.
    Outgoing president Jacqueline Tremont looked back at the past year, with its challenges and successes. Bud Whitney and Andy Mace talked about efforts being made to refresh many of the roadside historical markers around the town. Andy also demonstrated various parts of our website, including the link to CatalogIt. Town Historian Bob Moore then demonstrated CatalogIt and its features and showed some of the many collections of both the Town and the Society that trustee Mike Perry has worked so diligently to photograph and catalog!
    Finally, the membership unanimously approved an Honorary Lifetime Membership for Joan Fuess, who has devoted innumerable efforts to the Society as a member, trustee, officer, committee chair and more!
  • Sunday, May 22: An Afternoon with Artist Len Tantillo, another very successful fundraiser!
  • David Bushman and Mark Givens at SLCA June 14, 2022June 14: Authors David Bushman and Mark Givens discussed Hazel Drew and their book Murder at Teal's Pond; Hazel Drew and the Mystery That Inspired Twin Peaks for an enthusiastic crowd of over 100. Our thanks to Sand Lake Center for the Arts for co-sponsoring and hosting this event!
  • September 13: Sand Lake Town Historian Bob Moore presented a History of the Crooked Lake Hotel to a capacity crowd at Town Hall..Using old photos, correspondence and video tour by former owner Al Coons, Bob covered the hotel from stagecoach stop to the Old Daley. Marty and Janice Keary brought us up to date with what is currently the Old Daley on Crooked Lake and talked about some of the history they have uncovered and collected. Audience members also shared Crooked Lake Hotel stories and memories. View a recording from the live-stream. outside link logo
  • October 11: Troy City and Rensselaer County Historian Kathryn Sheehan presented Troy and the Gilded Age, an illustrated lecture on how Troy’s 19th century architecture became an integral backdrop to the Julian Fellows HBO series “The Gilded Age.” Kathryn worked with the location scouts and production designers as well as providing information on how Troy appeared during the Gilded Age and who the major players were in the city at the time (representing “old” and “new” money). She also shared behind the scenes stories from the filming for season one. (This program was held at Sand Lake Center for the Arts.)
  • November 15: "The Land Doesn't Forget" -- Indigenous consultant, historian, and member of the Oneida/Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation Heather Breugl spoke about our earliest inhabitants.[View a recording of this program outside link logo ]
  • December 14: Our Holiday Gathering Potluck Dinner was back, this year at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts, after two years of Covid hiatus. Members brought dishes to share (augmented with some great chicken and tortellini dishes from Mess Hall), and the SLHS Trustees provided beverages and desserts! The theme was a Celebration of Sand Lake History, and the evening featured the premiere performance of a short play, “Christmas Eve at the Knowlson House, 1852.” (If you don’t know why that date is significant to Sand Lake history, it was the night that the Glass Works factory burned!) See pictures of the event!
  • Tuesday, February 9, 7:00 p.m.: Adam Blake, Jr. , Entrepreneur!
    collage of Kenmore Hotel, Adam Blake, Jr. as portrayed by Actor Donal Hyman, and the Averill Park Hotel Adam Blake, Jr. was the adopted son of a former slave who was in the employ of Stephen Van Rensselaer. Despite little formal education, he went on to become one of the most successful businessmen and entrepreneurs of any race in 1800s Albany. He is perhaps best known for his Albany Kenmore Hotel; while Kenmore was being built, Mr. Blake managed the newly reopened Averill Park Hotel in the Town of Sand Lake! Blake was portrayed by Donald Hyman (seen above, between Albany's Kenmore Hotel and the Averill Park Hotel), Albany educator and writer well known for his many performances in the Capital District acting community. View a recording from the live stream.
  • Tuesday, March 9: Sand Lake Show and Tell II; canceled.
  • Tuesday, April 13: What is the Rensselaer Plateau and Is Sand Lake In It? Fred Demay, president of Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, addressed what the Plateau is, where it is, why it is important, how it has changed, what the challenges are and is it worth conserving (yes). View a recording from the live stream
  • Tuesday, May 11: Annual Meeting. Holli Boyd-White was elected to a second three-year term as trustee; and, Linda Henchey, Down on the Farm posterDoug Kelley and David Post were elected trustees for three-year terms to replace outgoing trustees Jane Minotti, Rosemarie Sniezyk and Sue Powers, respectively. Those present also approved an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Society for William Kennedy. Town Historian Bob Moore updated us on various happenings in his office and showed "Sand Lake; Yesterday and Today" depicting in images various local landmarks lost and what replaced them. Following the meeting, the board of trustees met to elect Jacqueline Tremont, President; Holli Boyd-White, Vice President; Peter Finn, Recording Secretary; Ann Winnicki, Corresponding Secretary; and Nancy Perry, Treasurer.
  • Friday, May 21: Down on the Farm, a very successful fundraiser!
  • Tuesday, June 8, 7:00 p.m.: A presentation by Kathy Sheehan. Kathy is a native of Rensselaer County; her ancestors settled in Sand Lake in the 1760s. Currently Troy City and Rensselaer County Historian, she started as an intern in 1987 at the Hart Cluett Museum while a student in the public history program at UAlbany. She has lectured widely on a number of local history topics and has been featured locally and nationally on PBS, the History Channel, and Russian and Japanese television. She is currently finishing work on her publication, Architecture Worth Saving in Rensselaer County; 50 years later. View a recording from the live stream. (Starts around 6:36)
  • August 24: A special showing of Who Killed Hazel Drew; The MURDER that inspired Twin Peaks, with Director John Holser.
  • September 14: Sand Lake Town Historian Bob Moore updated us on Amazing Graves III, which will be presented on October 16th at the Sand Lake Union Cemetery, as well as the latest on the new Hazel Drew book coming out this December. Bob also spoke on Iroquois culture, using original artwork to present the Iroquois creation story. View a recording from the live stream. (Note the problem with lack of sound)
  • October 12:: A lot packed into a very well-attended program at the former Faith Mills / arts letters & numbers on Burden Lake Road. A brief tour, description of how some of the areas were used, video presentation on the Wynantskill, information on al&n, and mention of the upcoming Amazing Grave 3, featuring “The Ladies of Faith Mills” and other portrayals. View a recording of this program
  • Saturday, October 16 & Sunday, October 17 : Amazing Graves 3, Sand Lake Union Cemetery. Details
  • November 9: Sir, what do we do with all the dead? Mortuary practices during the American Civil War. Robert W. Shuey discussed how and why the Civil War marked a major turning point in military mortuary affairs and spurred the Nation into far better caring for its fallen heroes, establishing national cemeteries, and setting the stage for subsequent national days of remembrance such as Memorial and Veterans Day. View a recording from the live stream. (Starts around 15:10)
  • December 14: Our annual Holiday Party was canceled.
  • Mills Bros. circus poster 1965January 14: Sand Lake Show and Tell. What’s in your attic, cellar, closet, or junk drawer? Old milk bottles from Higgins’ Maple Dairy, post cards, Tremont Lumber Co. calendars and related items, glass slag from Glass Lake, photos, posters and more! It’s part of your history, but it’s also part of Sand Lake’s history! One especially notable item, from Mike St. Germain, was a poster from the 1965 Mills Bros. Circus on the grounds of what was then the "Middle School" (click on image to enlarge)! Great memories!
  • February 11: Dr. Jennifer Thompson Burns talked about Black Trojans: The Abolition Campaign of the Free Black Community in Troy, New York Before 1861, with an emphasis on Abel Brown, who briefly served as pastor at the Sand Lake Baptist Church. View or download a PDF of the slide presentation that accomanied Dr. Burns' presentation.
  • March 10: History of Burden Lakes. Connor Kopcho has had an interest in history, having grown up on Burden Lake. He became fascinated in particular with the history of Totem Lodge, started doing research, and one thing led to another. He now has a lot of memorabilia from the Lodge and has expanded his research and love to the surrounding area. The program was a fascinating look at the history of the lake and notable venues on same, particularly Totem Lodge! View a recording from the live stream.
  • NOTE: There were no programs or events April-August 2020.
  • September 8: Dinner (in a box!) and Annual Meeting at Butler Park. Our postponed Annual Meeting finally took place, Butler Park on Gettle Road. Attendees enjoyed food from Arlington House. The Annual Meeting included election of Trustees: Nancy Perry (three-year term; replacing outgoing trustee Joan Fuess), Bud Whitney (three-year term; replacing outgoing trustee Dawn Vink), Jim Powers (2nd three-year term), and Michelle Mosher Schultz (2nd three-year term). Also, in keeping with what has become a bit of a September tradition in SLHS, Town Historian Bob Moore updated us on what’s been happening in and around his office.
  • October 13: Historic Roads & the Shaping of Our Town. Rensselaer County was the interior link between the colonial coastal commerce of New York (via the Hudson River “highway”) and New England. The United States Post Office Department was responsible for establishing post roads and committed to concentrate the mail – both letter communication and newspapers – on the most expeditious route available to passengers. We learned how these roads developed and went in and out of postal favor across the Rensselaer Plateau from the 1790s to the 1860s. Presenters Diane DeBlois and Robert Dalton Harris are partners in the historic document business aGatherin’ – based in West Sand Lake – since 1973 and are specialists in postal history and in ephemera, serving as editors of publications for the national organizations in those two fields. They have written myriad articles on the history of communication and have presented research papers on postal theory at national and international symposia. View a recording from the live stream.
  • November 10: Tuesday, November 10: Presentation by double Purple Heart and Silver and Bronze Star recipient LTC (Ret) John Brownrigg titled the “Four Freedoms We Celebrate on Veterans Day” (based on FDR’s annual message to Congress on January 6, 1941, which later became known as the “Four Freedoms Speech”). Brownrigg also joined fellow area veterans William Glasser, Jr. (USA, 1968-71), Paul Glasser, Jr (Corporal, USMC, 1989-93) and Shari Mantini (Captain, Nurse Corps, USAF, 1986-96) for recollections of their most memorable military experiences. View a recording from the live stream.
  • Bob Shuey in Civil War uniform; click on image to see a larger versionJanuary 8, 2019: New Age of Weaponry in the Civil War. Bob Shuey discussed how the necessities of war created new technology and the transitions to new models of weaponry and demonstrated Civil War weaponry from his own collection. Shuey is well known for his Civil War expertise as a Civil War re-enactor with the 125th Regiment Association and a participant in the Capital District Round Table as well as Da Buffs (Civil War enthusiasts who share their expertise as well as listening to speakers).
  • February 12 program was cancelled due to weather.
  • Tuesday, March 12: Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian Kathy Sheehan presented From Plank Roads to Horse Boat Ferries: Traveling through Rensselaer County in the 19th Century, an illustrated lecture on the many ways people traveled throughout Rensselaer County in the early 19th century. Using maps, letters and photographs from the Rensselaer County Historical Society archives, Kathy explored the early turnpikes, plank roads, covered bridges and the stories of crossing the Hudson River, our main highway to the outside world.
  • Tiffany window at Troy Public Library; click to enlargeTuesday, April 9: Tom Carroll, Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway Senior Scholar, talked about Tiffany windows around the Capital Region. The City of Troy is estimated to have more Tiffany windows per square mile than anywhere else in the world! Tom looked at the life of Louis Comfort Tiffany and discussed the history of his one-of-a-kind, legendary techniques (and those of his studio’s other artisans) that led to great success in the stained glass business.
  • Tuesday, May 14: Our 2019 Annual Meeting was held at the future home of TBA – Tighe’s Bistro Américain. Owner Kevin Tighe graciously entertained us despite being deep in the midst of the nearly two-centuries-old building’s ongoing renovation!
  • Lobster Bake and Dance poster; click to see a larger version
  • Friday, June 7: Lobster Bake and Dance, our 5th Annual Fundraiser, was held at the “Dance Hall” at historic Crystal Cove. The building, almost as old as the park itself, has wonderful views over Crystal Lake in Averill Park, enjoyed by nearly 100 people over dinner, music, and dancing! (There was no regular June meeting.)
  • Tuesday, September 10: Town Historian Bob Moore gave his annual presentation to the Sand Lake Historical Society, including an update on the Hazel Drew murder investigation, news on the completion of John Holser’s film, and other bits of information. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of three oral history interviews, with Bill Middleton, Doris Stacy and Frank Mantha. These interviews were produced by Jim Powers, SLHS Trustee and professional film-maker. The stories speak to the importance of our shared past and history that unites us all.
  • Tuesday, October 8: Michael Barrett, Executive Director of the Hudson-Mohawk Industrial Gateway and the Burden Iron Works Museum in Troy, presented Bells, Bells, Bells: An Enduring Legacy from the Greater Troy Area, 1808-1952. Four of the largest bell manufacturing concerns in the US were clustered in Troy and West Troy (now Watervliet.) Between them they created an estimated 100,000 bells, including several of our nation’s most famous. (A number of those bells can be found in town; from Historical Highlights, Volume 28, No. 2, Winter 2003.)
  • Tuesday, November 12: Eric Durr presented a program on D-Day / Normandy. Of particular interest in his presentation was the emphasis on logistics that enabled U.S. Forces to endure and to succeed in their efforts. Durr has served as Director of Public Affairs for the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs since 2007. Immediately prior was the 171st Annual Meeting of the Sand Lake Association for the Mutual Protection Against Horse Thieves. [More information on SLAMPAHT here!]
  • December 10: Holiday party at Knowlson House, the home of Ron and Barbara Berti. Some 40 members and guests shared covered dishes, trustee-provided desserts and memories of Christmas past. Michell Mosher Schultz and Fred Erickson "re-enacted" the famous letter to the editor and response -- Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus!
  • January 9: Jill Witbeck Knapp discussed her new book The Time for Redemption, a nonfiction work about William Witbeck of East Greenbush. Witbeck, along with two of his sons, was charged with the murder of Deputy Sheriff Willard Griggs during the Anti-Rent Wars in Albany and Rensselaer counties. To this day, Deputy Griggs is the only Rensselaer County Deputy Sheriff to die in the line of duty, and his death is remembered annually by the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department. The incident captivated the Capital District in 1869 and 1870 as documented in over 300 pages of newspaper articles. The unusual legal proceedings associated with the incident led to editorials in the Albany Law Journal regarding pretrial publicity and juror selection, and the lengthy proceedings and trial were cited in legal and judicial histories. The shooting is briefly mentioned in the oft-cited Tin Horns and Calico by Henry Christman. Jill is a board member of the Greenbush Historical Society and a library volunteer at Rensselaer County Historical Society. She also has been involved with several area land conservancies, trusts and preserves.
  • February 13: Where did they go? What happened to our 19th century homes and other buildings? The late Don Carpentier, a unique man, historical expert and long-time friend of SLHS, collected those buildings. Today, 20 of them are permanently “settled” in Eastfield Village in nearby East Nassau. Peter Schaaphok, President of the Historic Eastfield Foundation, updated us on this treasure. The Village is also home to the Annual Series of American Trades and Historic Preservation Workshops and was recently named in Early American Life Magazine in their list of favorite museums and historic places. Mr. Schaaphok was involved in the formation of the foundation in 1979.
  • March 13: inclement weather forced postponement of the scheduled program to...
  • April 10: Ron Hughes discussed his book Who Killed Hazel Drew? at the rescheduled March meeting of the Sand Lake Historical Society. John Holser also presented on his upcoming film.
  • Friday, April 20: We stepped Back to the 1960s at the Old Daley on Crooked Lake! Food, Dancing, a DJ, and a look back at what was happening in Sand Lake, around the country and the world. Photos and more coming soon on this site!
  • May 8: Our Annual Dinner, Meeting and Program was held at Church of the Covenant in Averill Park and catered by the Mess Hall! At the Annual Meeting, we elected four new trustees: Holli Boyd-White, Jim Powers, Drew White and Tedi Toca. Current Board members Jane Minotti, Sue Powers and Rosemarie Sniezyk all were eligible for second terms and were re-elected. After the Meeting, our Program featured Dan Berggren, with a terrific program of traditional and original music of the Adirondacks.
  • Tuesday, June 12: North Greenbush Town Historian Jim Greenfield gave a lecture on the Defreestville and Wynantskill, two hamlets in North Greenbush. Mr. Greenfield will discuss Defreestville and Wynantskill’s naming and growth from the 1600s to the 21st century, the biggest influences in the hamlets’ development, and many other topics and people.
  • Saturday, June 17: The Sand Lake Historical Society took part in the Kiwanis Summerfest with a special self-guided tour and exhibits at SLCA and Town Hall. Please note that copies of the tour are still available!
  • September 11: Heidi Hill, Site Manager for Schuyler Mansion and Crailo State Historic Sites, gave a presentation on Alexander Hamilton, who has reentered popular culture with the production of the musical Hamilton. Hill will tell of young Hamilton's connection with the family of General Philip Schuyler of Albany. Serving as George Washington's aide-de-camp. He first met the Schuyler family in 1777 during a mission to Albany seeking military support from General Horatio Gates. In 1780, Schuyler's daughter Elizabeth met him again, and they began letter writing. Their relationship bloomed rapidly, and they were married at the Schuyler mansion in December of the same year. Their marriage produced eight children and ended in 1804 with Alexander's death from a fatal wound during a duel with Aaron Burr.
  • October 9: Filmmaker John Holser updated us on his Hazel Drew documentary. A preview is scheduled for November 18 at Sand Lake Center for the Arts.Town Historian Bob Moore introduced the new Sand Lake Oral History Project, a collaboration between the Historical Society and the Town Historian’s office to begin October 11. The remainder of the evening was devoted to an interactive power point presentation showing old photos of the hamlets of Sand Lake, West Sand Lake and Averill Park. Audience members shared information and remembrances of Sand Lake, "the way it used to be."
  • Tuesday, November 13: The National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have joined together to promote 2018 as the Year of the Bird, a yearlong celebration. This year also celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty (MBTA). On Tuesday, November 13, Eric Washburn presented “Birds: In your backyard and far away.” He showed slides from his journeys across the United States as well as adventures to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil and Tanzania. Washburn also shared helpful hints on taking pictures of birds. Please note: Immediately preceeding, at 7:00 p.m., the Sand Lake Association for Mutual Protection Against Horse Thieves held their annual meeting in the Courtroom. [More information on SLAMPAHT here!]
  • Tuesday, December 11: Annual Holiday Party / Pot Luck Supper. Shared dishes and memories at the historic Knowlson House, home of Ron and Barbara Berti.
  • January 10: Unfortunately, the membership meeting was canceled due to threat of inclement weather.
  • February 14: we were introduced to Nancy Payne, an author and engaging historical storyteller. Her topic was the history of orphan trains, a little-known phenomenon that occurred from 1854-1929. The orphan trains were begun when the Children's Aid Society was overwhelmed by the 30,000 abandoned children living on the streets in NYC.  Initially, the children arrived in Albany on boats, where they boarded trains heading west. The goal was to move these children to a new life and a home!
  • March 12: Afternoon Tea and Fireside Chat with author William Kennedy. A sold-out crowd of over 125 filled the Great Room of the Old Daley on Crooked Lake Sunday, March 12. SLHS Trustee Jackie Tremont introduced him, noting that [he] is an author, screenwriter, an Irish Catholic, veteran, husband and grandfather and an Averill Parker — born and raised in North Albany. His native city has been the setting of many of his works [including] Pulitzer Prize-winning Ironweed, for which he also wrote the screenplay… He also wrote the screenplay for The Cotton Club. Mr. Kennedy has additionally co-written children's books with his son, Brandon Kennedy… He has been a professor in the English department at SUNY Albany and is founding director of New York State Writers Institute. Kennedy was most engaging, talking about Legs Diamond at length, along with other topics. When asked, he said Billy Phelan's Greatest Game was his favorite book — about his uncle. Asked about the news media today and “fake” news and what he thought, Kennedy said the news today is great (NY Times, Washington Post), much better than when he was a reporter in the 1950s and 1960s! He also offered thought-provoking comments on current events and was most generous in signing copies of his books.
  • April 11: Bob Shuey presented a History of Volunteerism in the Town of Sand Lake. The tradition of volunteerism has been alive and well with the emergency service organizations in the Town of Sand Lake since its earliest years. The West Sand Lake, Averill Park-Sand Lake and Taborton fire companies, and the Sand Lake Ambulance, were organized by groups of neighbors over the years and have evolved into the modern integrated system that it is today.
  • May 9: Our Dinner / Annual meeting at the Church of the Covenant, Averill Park. The business meeting included election of Trustees: Joan Fuess, Bonnie Hellum, Jane Minotti, Mike Perry, Nancy Perry, Michelle Mosher Schultz. Also at this meeting, the winners of the silent auction for the mailboxes, decorated by local artists, were announced. Local historian and Hudson-Mohawk Industrial Gateway Executive Director Michael P. Barrett gave a fascinating lecture: Russell Sage, the Money King. Sage was a politician, financier, railroad executive -- and robber baron -- of the 19th century. Barrett spokk about the founding of Russell Sage College and the interesting role Sage's second wife, Olivia Slocum, played in it.
  • June 13: Genealogy, or the study of family history, has been described as the “fastest-growing hobby in America.” With the popularity of television shows like Who Do You Think You Are?” along with the ease of sharing information via the Internet and the reconnecting of distant relatives using social media, it's no wonder more Americans than ever before are interested in discovering their roots. Professional genealogist Lisa Dougherty offered guidelines for gathering information, conducting effective family interviews, and organizing your research.
  • September 12: Our meeting was held at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts. There was standing room only as over 150 amateur detectives, the local community and Twin Peaks fan came to hear David Bushman from The Paley Center for Media in New York discuss “Who Killed Hazel Drew?” and how her story became the inspiration for the television series. Bushman is coauthor of Twin Peaks FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About a Place Both Wonderful and Strange (2016). The program also featured a preview of local filmmaker John Holser’s documentary film on Hazel Drew's life and death, along with Ron Hughes and his book Who Killed Hazel Drew?
  • Tuesday, October 10: Troy City and Rensselaer County Historian Kathy Sheehan presented Wild Women of Rensselaer County, a program on both local Suffragettes and Anti-Suffragettes. Special guests and pioneers of the Women's Movement included Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who organized the nation's first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848, and Carrie Chapman Catt, a suffrage leader who campaigned for the Nineteenth Amendment. The presentation was sponsored in part by a Humanities New York Action Grant.
  • Tuesday, November 14: Jack Casey discussed his historical novel A Land Beyond the River, which portrays New York State's rise to national preeminence as "The Empire State." Hudson Valley heiress Eleanora Van Rensselaer falls in love with a "real man" from the west, ship captain Daniel Hedges, a smuggler on Lake Erie.  The War of 1812 ends their affair; however, they reconnect and join forces to assist DeWitt Clinton in realizing his vision, a 363-mile canal across NYS (Bicentennial: 1817-2017). As always, Jack enhanced his discussion with a few songs -- canal songs this time.
  • Tuesday, December 12: Our annual Holiday Party hosted once again by Ron and Barbara Neu Berti in their historic and spacious home. Musical entertainment ws provided by the Langleys: Carollynn on mountain dulcimer; and Gene on autoharp.
  • post card of old Dunn Memorial BridgeJanuary 12: “Parker Francis Dunn: A Boy, His Bravery and a Bridge.” More than 35,000 motorists drive over the Dunn Memorial Bridge each weekday, heading to their jobs in Albany or home to the suburbs beyond the City of Rensselaer. It’s a safe bet that few, if any, of these commuters who cross the bridge know anything about the person for whom it is named. Even long-time Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings was stumped when asked about Parker Dunn. Who was Parker Francis Dunn? Where was this young man from? Why is this span over the Hudson River named for him? The presentation included many photos of Parker Dunn from a toddler to a young man and images of the bridge before, during and after construction of each of the two bridges named for Dunn. Speaker Mark Bodnar enlightened us on local history that’s been lost to today’s world, and revealed the life and bravery of a young hero from Albany whose name is only known today in the bridge that bears his name.
  • Solomon Northup protrayed by Clifford Oliver Mealy; Joan Fuess photo Solomon Northup protrayed by Clifford Oliver Mealy; Joan Fuess photo Solomon Northup protrayed by Clifford Oliver Mealy; Joan Fuess photoFebruary 9: Local artist and performer Clifford Oliver Mealy recreated the persona of Solomon Northup, a free African-American New Yorker kidnapped into slavery before the Civil War, whose story was also a 2013 Academy Award-winning motion picture.
  • March 8: Joan Fuess presented Jennie Averill and reflect on the Averills and their influence on Sand Lake: Moscow the Civil War horse, the Averill Park Land Improvement Company, the Troy and New England Railway, Averill Park Hotel, Interlachen Park, Sunset Lodge, Crist Crape's Central Hotel and, last but not least, the family tie to Charles Nalle, the runaway slave. Joan then was joined by several descendants of the Averill Family, who shared additional memories and family artifacts.
  • April 9: Big Band Gala at Crooked Lake!
  • May 10: Our Annual Dinner/Meeting, Zion United Church of Christ in Taborton. After a brief business meeting*, Phyllis Chapman brought to life Susan B. Anthony, covering the great suffragist's early years as a Quaker in Massachusetts and New York, and her collaboration with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She and Stanton became the driving force that led to the eventual extension of the franchise to women after both of their deaths in the early 20th century.
    *Trustees elected to a second three-year term ending 5/31/2019: Anna Church, Dee Erickson; to first three-year term ending 5/31/2019: Sharon Dawes, Wayne Evancoe, Jackie Tremont. The membership also unanimously approved a Lifetime Honorary Membership for Rev. Robert Loesch.
  • June 14: arts letters & numbers is a new arts education organization in Sand Lake. After a brief history of mills on Burden Lake and, specifically, the buildings now occupied by arts letters & numbers, Diane DeBlois introduced Che Perez, who shared information on their new home and to give us insight into their arts program. They are preserving “The House on the Hill” (on Burden Lake Road, formerly Burton’s Golden Years Rest Home, a National Register designee) as well as "The Mill," which is a performance and exhibit / workshop / class space. David Gersten founded the school to provide artist-in-residence opportunities and allow a wide variety of disciplines to cultivate a space that encourages collaborative and individual creation. Eighty students from as far away as Denmark already have taken advantage of the program, and they are pleased to welcome a new student arriving from Africa. Ira Baumgarten, a "neighbor" and board member, also spoke. More information at their web site arts letters & numbers, and you can find them on Facebook facebook icon!
  • September 13: Sand Lake Town Historian Bob Moore gave an update on what has been going on in the Historian’s office this past year and a preview of what’s coming up. The main program was devoted to the Chautauqua movement that began in western N.Y. in 1874. Chautauqua was an adult education movement that was highly popular in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Bob has been going to Chautauqua for 25 years and discussed the life-changing programs the Institution still offers. A short film was part of the program.
  • Author Gloria Waldron Huklecover of 'Souls of the Soil'October 11: Local author and member Gloria Waldron Hukle debuted her 4th historical novel! Souls of the Soil takes place in New York’s Rensselaer, Albany and Saratoga Counties. The novel spans centuries following the lives of two sets of American fathers and their sons—all four of whom share the same DNA. The story was inspired by an actual murder in New York in the year 1756 and driven by the discovery of a small family cemetery plot hundreds of years later. This is the fourth and final of Hukle’s American Waldron Series novels. Check out Gloria's web site for more information on Souls of the Soil and her other books!
  • October 15-16: Amazing Graves; Ghosts of Sand Lake. (SLHS was proud to co-sponsor this event!)
  • Jack Casey speaks at the 11/1/16 meeting. B. Moore photo.November 1: Jack Casey talked about Alexander Hamilton. Mr. Casey has published four novels about New York State, three historical and one political satire. He began a novel about Hamilton in 1982 and was so enamored with Hamilton’s legal and political career that he put the novel aside to enroll in law school himself. Graduating with honors from both Yale University ('72) and Albany Law School ('87), Jack has practiced law in the Capital District for 28 years while also serving in governmental and political positions in both Rensselaer County and the New York State Capitol. With a recently renewed interest in Hamilton's life, Jack has edited his manuscript to embrace only the final two and a half years of Hamilton's life, focusing on the inexplicable tragedy of his death.
  • December 13: the Sand Lake Historical Society will celebrate the holiday season with a party at "Knowlson House" in Sand Lake. Musical entertainment was provided by several members of the Holiday Revue, Saturday, December 10, at Sand Lake Center for the Arts, joining us in song and a sing-along.
  • January 13: Heidi Hill, Historic Site Manager for Ft. Crailo and Schuyler Mansion, entertained and educated us with Sustenance and Style: Dining and Food Ways of the 17th Century Dutch in the Hudson Valley.
  • February 10: Keeping with the theme of Dutch history in New York, Geoff Benton from Fort Crailo gave an exceptional and informative talk entitled Life and Legacy of New Netherlands. The program focused on the discovery of the Hudson River in 1609, through the English takeover of the Dutch colony in 1664 and was followed by a great Q&A period.
  • Denise Wright protrays Louisa May Alcott; with SLHS President "Mac" McEvilly. Click on the picture to see a larger version.March 10: In honor of Women's History Month, our program featured beloved American author Louisa May Alcott. Historical reenactor Denise Wright, a local woman and teacher, presented the program in costume and in character. Denise did an outstanding job and she received a standing ovation. (Click on the picture at right to see a larger version.)
  • Thursday, April 23: The Sand Lake Historical Society, with very generous support from the Averill Park Education Foundation, Sand Lake Kiwanis Club, the Old Daley on Crooked Lake and Spectra Environmental Group, Inc., presented Teddy Roosevelt Revisits Sand Lake at the historic Old Daley on Crooked Lake. Details!
  • May 12: The annual meeting of the Sand Lake Historical Society was held Tuesday, May 12th. Ron and Barbara Neu Berti graciously shared their Sand Lake home for a pot luck dinner. Kathy Sheehan from the Rensselaer County Historical Society was the  guest speaker. Her topic,  Murder And Mayhem in Rensselaer County, was well received by all who attended.

    New trustees were elected for the upcoming year: Joseph Ferrannini (second term, 2018); Kathryn (Katie) Kombat (second term, 2018); Sue Powers (first term, 2018); Brian Morini (first term, 2018): Andrew Mace (first term, 2018); and Rosemarie Sniezyk (first term, 2018). (Joan Fuess chaired the Nominating Committee, with Robert Loesch and Mary Weber.) Following the Annual Meeting, the Trustees met to name officers for 2015-16: Joe Ferrannini, President; Joan Fuess, Vice President; Rosemarie Sniezyk, Corresponding Secretary; Dee Erickson, Recording Secretary; and Barbara Neu, Treasurer.
  • June 9: Dr. Janny Venema, Author and Researcher of the New Netherland Research Center, presented Kiliaen van Rensselaer, Beverwijck and the New Netherland Research Center. Her talk included information from her books, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer (1586-1643): Designing a New World and Beverwijck: A Dutch Village on the American Frontier, 1652-1664. She also covered charity in Beverwijck and the work they are doing at the New Netherland Institute in Albany.
  • September 8: Member and Town Historian Bob Moore updated us on the "Sand Lake: Then and Now" Smartphone app. He also talked about the Averill Park Schools Video Discovery Program (1985-1991) and showed some of the videos produced by the students, including an interview with High School English teacher Tony Butler, a "tour" of the Adirondacks in a sea plane, highlights of a July 4 Big Thunder Day celebration in Hoag's Corners, and the 1989 interview of Al Coons, then the owner of the Crooked Lake Hotel.
  • October 13: Actor, singer, songwriter and lawyer, Jack Casey, discussed The Trial of Bat Shea, a novel he authored based on a real murder in Troy, NY, in 1894. It involves politics, voter fraud, and class conflict. The novel recounts how a saloon thug set out to steal an election, and how a methodical, flag-waving mob then twisted the law to extract the last final measure of revenge -- a life for a life -- in the name of truth and justice.
  • November 10 special event: Teddy Roosevelt “Revisits” Again, at Sand Lake Center for the Arts. You will remember that, in April, Teddy Roosevelt (a.k.a. Joe Wiegand) “revisited” Sand Lake to a sold-out crowd at The Old Daley on Crooked Lake. That April event was shown in its entirety. Also featured was a 1989 interview with Al Coons, then-owner of the Crooked Lake Hotel. Westfield Production Company generously provided the DVDs, which will be for sale for $15 to the general public and $10 for members of the Sand Lake Historical Society.
  • December 8: The annual Christmas party of the Sand Lake Historical Society. Ron and Barbara Neu-Berti graciously shared their magnificent home on Schumann Rd. in Sand Lake.
  • January 14: Kenneth James spoke about his life work to preserve the American Chestnut Tree, growing and experimenting with trees on his Stephentown property.
  • February 11: “Show and Tell About Local Quilts” by local quilters or quilt owners presenting 19th and 20th century quilts owned and/or created in Sand Lake and vicinity.
  • March 11: an overview and history of the “Berkshire Glass Works” was presented by Julie Sloan and William Patriquin. Their book -- The Berkshire Glass Works -- is available.
  • April 8: Phyllis Chapman dba “Vintage Visitors”portrayed “Lucy Larcom: A New England Mill Worker in the 19th Century.” Lucy Larcom, later to become a noted poet and educator, began her working life in a New England textile factory in the 1830s. As a young mill worker, Lucy told of the working and living conditions many young farm girls experienced in the early days of America’s Industrial Revolution, going into the mills hoping to make a better life for themselves.
  • May 13: Our Annual Dinner Meeting and Program was at, and about, the Burden Lake Country Club, with a history of the Burden Lake Country Club by Tom Choquette.
  • June 10: Searching the History of Your House, with David Ernst, FramePro Construction, and Fred Erickson, West Sand Lake homeowner.
  • September 9: Bob Moore, Town of Sand Lake Historian, gave a short preview of the new iPhone app Sand Lake: Then and Now. When you reach a location on the map with a red arrow, click and it will bring up a photo of that location’s past. Click again and text will appear explaining the history. The second part of the program was at video interview of past Sand Lake Town Historian Judy Rowe, conducted by Rensselaer County Historian Kathy Sheehan.
  • October 14: Working at Faith Mills. Bob Loesch spoke on some of the history of the mill, and Rich Castle reminisced about growing up in and about the Mill and about working there. Ian Glasgow of NextAdvance, manufacturer of "Innovative Lab Products for the Life Sciences," spoke about his company, which currently occupies some of the old mill space and also talked briefly about other businesses currently there, including Signature Stones and Worden Safety Products LLC. If you missed the program, you can download a copy of a reprint of articles on Faith Mills from issues of Historical Highlights by Rich Castle (file is approx. 1.7 megs).
  • November 11: Carl Markussen talked about the history of the Methodist Church in West Sand Lake along with related topics including other early churches and early families in West Sand Lake.
  • Unfortunately, our December meeting/holiday party was canceled due to inclement weather.
  • January 8: Jim Bonesteel, president of the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, talked about the “History of the Rensselaer Plateau.”
  • February 12: Mike Esposito presented a review of his book Troy’s Little Italy (Arcadia Publishing, 2009), a story of Italian immigrants escaping abject poverty and coming to Troy.
  • March 12: Mac McEvilly told the story of an Irish Civil War soldier and talked about the important role of the Irish on both sides of the Civil War. Mac, (a Son of Erin in his own right), is the Captain of the re-enactment unit Morgan’s Artillery; on the national scale Mac is a staff officer in the Army of Northern Virginia and a safety official with the National American Artillery Association.
  • April 9: Kathy Arbogast and several friends active with The Mohawk Valley Button Club and the Half Moon Button Club spoke about “Buttons.”
  • Tuesday, May 14, 6:00 p.m., was our Annual Dinner Meeting and Program at Uncle Marty’s Adirondack Grill. Marty Balga spoke about the history of “Uncle Marty’s Adirondack Grill.”
  • June 11: William L. Staats presented "Three Centuries on the Hudson River," about the 1696 Staats family homestead and the 11 generations who have lived there.
  • September 10: “Meet our new Town of Sand Lake Historian.” Bob Moore discussed what he has been working on since his appointment in April 2013. He also took us through the process of creating a simple video documentary that can be a part of your family history. His office hours at the Historian’s Office, located in the back hall of the Sand Lake Town Library, are Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m., and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
  • October 8: Ken Gypson gave a talk on the old Burden Lake Race Track and other "lost" stock car tracks in the area such as Route 66 and Pine Bowl.
  • November 12: "Troy in the Civil War," presented by Michael Barrett. The program provided an overview of the personalities, industries and events that led to the city's prominent role in the prosecution of the war effort. Barrett is the new Executive Director of the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway and the Burden Iron Works Museum in Troy. This was the period of Troy's prominence. There is a tremendous amount of history here: the abolition movement and the Charles Nalle escaped slave incident; the birth of the ironclad ship Monitor; the devastation of The Great Fire of May 1862; the second most destructive draft riot in the nation; and many other events.
  • December 10: Holiday Pot Luck Dinner, at the home of Barbara Neu and Ron Berti.
  • January 10: Marvin Bubie presented his new book Celebrating the Revolutionary War Municipal Seals
  • February 14: Gary Mercer brought his extensive personal collection of bottles spanning several centuries and discussed their history, manufacture and value. He also answered questions about old bottles that audience members brought to the program.
  • March 13: a combined program by the Knickerbocker Mansion and the Fort Crailo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution provided excellent information about the Revolutionary and Colonial period, with a focus on the Sand Lake residents who served in the Revolutionary War. We enjoyed special desserts made from recipes of the period. The program was presented by Barbara Pagoda and Leslie Allen.
  • April 10: Rensselaer County Historian Kathy Sheehan spoke on the 150th anniversary of the Troy Fire of 1862. A major portion of Troy was destroyed May 10, 1862, when a spark from a locomotive started the fire on the wooden covered Green Island bridge with ashes cast as far as Sand Lake.
  • May 8: our Annual Meeting included a look back at the history of the Town in this Bicentennial year, with Mary French and Judy Rowe.
  • May 12: the Society sponsored a Self-Guided House Tour for the Bicentennial Celebration.
  • June 12: History of St. Henry’s Catholic Church, presented at St. Henry’s Church. Introduction by Gloria Waldron Hukle and program by Frank Lukovits, Permanent Deacon.
  • Tuesday, September 11, 6:00 p.m.: Pot Luck Dinner and a final review of 2008-2012 Bicentennial Events, presented by the Town of Sand Lake Bicentennial Planning Committee co-chairpersons Fred Erickson and Nancy W. Davis. Musical selections were provided by Betsy & Steve Fry and Friends.
  • Tuesday, October 9: Scoutmaster Chuck Hacker presented a PowerPoint program on the activities of Averill Park Boy Scout Troop 526, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Sand Lake.
  • Tuesday, November 13: Rev. Dr. Robert Loesch presented “My Family and World War II,” about his father, an Army Air Corps Chaplain during WWII in Europe. The program was a tribute to all Veterans and their families.
  • Tuesday, December 11: Holiday Pot Luck Dinner at Knowlson House. Peg Harbour-Holland presented an “Introduction to Genealogy and Resources of the Capital District Genealogical Society.”
  • January 11: “Local History of Funeral and Burial Customs,” presented by Tim Komdat of Perry-Komdat Funeral Chapel.
  • February 8: (canceled)
  • March 8: Dr. Ed Landing, New York State Paleontologist and Paleontology Curator at the State Museum, spoke on “From tiny to tall: colonizing the land-community evolution and the discovery of Earth’s oldest liverworts and trees from eastern New York.”
  • April 12: Rev. Dr. Robert Loesch presented “The Life and Writing of Edith Wharton (1862-1937) and The Mount, her house and garden at Lenox, MA.”
    May 10: Paul & Mary Liz Stewart gave a presentation on the Underground Railroad.
    June 14: Glenn Hankle, president of Esquatak Historical Society, spoke on the history of banjo and hosted a sing-a-long.
    September 17: the Bicentennial Planning Committee along with the Sand Lake Historical Society  hosted the 4th Bicentennial Dinner; Walter Stock, a musician and historian for East Nassau, performed Civil War era music on an old square piano and added anecdotes
    October 11: Joe Ferrannini of Gravestone Matters gave a program on care and restoration of gravestones.
    November 8: The play “The Sky is Falling,” by Barbara Leavell Smith, was presented at Church of the Covenant United Methodist
    December 13: Dr. George Raneri present a program on the history of Sand Lake School (now for sale); preservation certificate to Fred and Dee Erickson for historical restoration of their home, which was a toll house and tavern on the Albany – Sand Lake Turnpike in West Sand Lake village.
  • January 12: Kay Bradley shared pictures and memories of the “Olde Bradley Amusement Park” on Route 43
  • February 9: Melody Howarth of Mel’s Belles presented her work on doll restoration and professional porcelain repair
  • March 9: John Warren presented his book The Poesten Kill: Waterfalls to Waterworks in the Capital District
  • April 13: John (Mac) McEvilly gave a program on Morgan’s Artillery, a local Civil War reenactment group formed in June 2000
  • May 11: Mike Kelley talked about his role in moving a Dutch farmhouse known as the “Winne House” from the Capital District to (inside) the Metropolitan Museum. Joining him was Bill McMillen, who built all the windows, doors and fireplace molding that needed replacing.
  • June 8: Gloria Waldron Hukle talked about historical research and some of the characters from each of her books revealing the one that was drawn from old Albany life, who was the sole catalyst for all three works now known as the Waldron Series Books: Manhattan Seeds Of The Big Apple (l7th Century New Amsterdam), The Diary Of A Northern Moon (20th Century Adirondacks-North Creek and Lake George) and Threads: An American Tapestry, an early l8th century story of a Provincial Hudson Valley woman, the indomitable Margaret Vandenberg.
  • September 18: a program on the 30 years of service of the Troy and New England Railway, which ran from Albia to Averill Park 1895 – 1925. Ross Sterantino created a model of the trolley built to scale and displayed it on the 4 feet of tracks he built.
  • October 12: meeting at and tour of the West Sand Lake Fire Company “museum.” Dennis Sinnott shared the work done on the old fire house to display “Old Joe,” their first fire apparatus, the hose cart and other historical artifacts.
  • November 9: Dr. John P. Hart, Director of the Research and Collections Division at the New York State Museum, gave a presention on “Maize-Bean-Squash: When and How the ‘Three Sisters’ Came to New York.”
  • December 14: David Pitkin gave an update on his latest book on ghost stories, entitled New England Ghosts and on "Ghost Stories from eastern NY and New England"; Timothy W. Komdat received a Certificate of Appreciation for historical restoration of Perry-Komdat Funeral Chapel and Timothy and Mary Komdat for historical restoration of their residence next door.
  • January 13: David Pitkin spoke about Ghosts of the Northeast, the subject of his book by the same name February 10: Mark Silo gave a presentation with slides about his new book The 115th New York in the Civil War: A Regimental History
  • March 10: Stuart W. Lehman, re-enactor and Museum Educator, portrayed a Colonial Physician, with a hands-on exhibit of the herbs, medicines and implements used in the Revolutionary War period
  • April 14: Warren Broderick presented “Stephen Van Rensselaer's Wilderness: A 200-Year-Old G.I.S” -- detailed and highly accurate 18th century maps and surveys of a private landholding of over 850,000 acres were digitized, and information on corresponding survey lots was data-entered and mapped and analyzed in a Geographic Information System (G.I.S.). As a result, information from 200 years ago on settlement, forest, soils, terrain and hydrology has been studied in conjunction with current G.I.S. data layers.
  • May 12: Michael Barrett presented “The Anti-Rent War of 1839-1869"
  • June 9: Peter Shaver, historic preservation program assistant, presented "Famous and Unusual Gravestones"
  • September 19: picnic in conjunction with the Town Bicentennial Planning Committee’s annual celebration -- Judy Rowe gave a slide presentation of "Rensselaer (Glass House) Village and Glass Lake Glass"; the Town presented a resolution honoring Sand Lake Baptist Church as "oldest public building in the Town of Sand Lake"
  • October 13: Marvin Bubie shared the many municipal seals he has compiled into his book On the Trail of Henry Hudson and Our Dutch Heritage
  • November 10: Walter (Wally) Wheeler, Senior Architectural Historian for Hartgen Archeological Associates, presented a program on 17th century New World Dutch buildings
  • December 8: Kathy Sheehan, Rensselaer County Historian, explored the history of the towns and cities that border the Hudson River from Schodack to Schaghticoke using historic maps, photographs and letters; the Society presented an Award for Restoration and Beautification to the West Sand Lake Fire Company for the excellent job they have undertaken in restoring the old firehouse
  • January 8: an update from Debra and Andy Dorr and Kristen Keough on Slow Jed’s Mud House; Miller Young of Young’s Pharmacy and General Store presented his vision for an "Old Fashioned Hometown Pharmacy" at the former Variety Store/Island Bob’s
  • February 12: cancelled
  • March 11: a program by Girl Scout Troop 181 on their Gold Award effort in restoring the Cotton House
  • April 8: Armorer Jeff Mann
  • May 13: a presentation by Ned Pratt about Tiffany windows in Troy
  • June 10: Oral history with Edith Gundrum, a telephone operator for our first phone company, and Irene Chriss, who is compiling the memories of her life, especially in the Burden Lake area
  • September 9: covered dish picnic -- Town historian Judy Rowe honored Alice Tifft and her late husband Harold Tifft, the town’s first historian; the oral history video of telephone operator Edith Gundrum and Burden Lake memories of Irene Chriss was shown
  • October 14: Rensselaer County Historian Kathy Sheehan gave an illustrated talk centering on historical signs in Rensselaer County titled “On This Site Was…”
  • November 11: Rev. Dr. Robert Loesch spoke on “Writing Your Life Story – Or Another Person’s Life Story”
  • December 9: Robert and Renee Phaneuf and Miller and Stephanie Young were recognized for preserving the Averill Park Variety Store; Ronald Berti and Barbara Neu were recognized for their preservation work with the Knowlson House; David Graham gave a talk on what went into the recreation of Norman Rockwell's painting "The Street Was Never the Same." Mr. Rockwell used the house at 296 Fourth St. in Troy in his painting (the recreation took place in summer 2008)
  • January 9: Allen Fuess discussed and displayed his collection of walking sticks
  • February 13: Geoff Stein of the New York State Museum talked about two generations of the creative Weeber family and their 67-year relationship with the NYS Museum. Christian Weeber was a pioneer auto inventor and builder, and his daughter Marion was a designer
  • March??
  • April 10: Dr. Scott Christianson, award-winning author, reporter, teacher and human rights activist, presented “Sketches of the Underground Railroad in Sand Lake before the Civil War.” Since 1991 he has researched Charles Nalle’s life as a runaway slave who hid out in Sand Lake
  • May 8: Christopher Kilkenny, project director for Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc., spoke on excavations at the State University Construction Fund Archeological Site in downtown Albany during the summer of 1999, which revealed the 1750s stockade, two 300-foot bulkheads that represent the city’s earliest waterfront expansions in the late 18th century, and a variety of 19th-century structures
  • June 19: Dan Holser gave a history of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and speaker to be announced?? a history of the American Legion Sgt. Walter Adams Post Unit 1021 in the Town of Sand Lake
  • September 11: William H. Frueh, Jr. and friends were in costume, with stories and music of Revolutionary War
  • September 20: a narrated presentation and reception for our new book Images of America; Sand Lake Revisited
  • October 9: Trina Mace Learned presented "Post-Katrina New Orleans: A Preservationist’s View of Loss and Recovery
  • November 13: Annmarie Lanesey presented a preview of the documentary, Sittin’ on a Million, which she and Penny Lane have produced on the many faces of Mame Faye, who ran a brothel in Troy from 1905 to 1943
  • December 11: Kathy Sheehan, registrar and historian of the Rensselaer County Historical Society, gave a slide presentation, “From Holly to Bubble Lights” highlighting the evolution of Christmas traditions and decorations
  • January 10: Bob and Renée Phaneuf spoke on their restoration of the old Averill Park Variety Store and its reopening as Island Bob’s General Store; Debra & Andy Dorr and Kristen Fitzgerald spoke about the restoration of the former O’Donnell’s & later Marty Ormsby’s liquor store as it became Slow Jed’s Mud House, a vegetarian coffee house
  • February 14: Dr. Donald Bowman took us on a tour of a Trolley Museum with a colored slide presentation
  • March 11: Bill Massoth presented "Lesser Known Facts of the Revolutionary War"
  • April 8: co-sponsored with the Town of Sand Lake, a presentation by historical artist Len Tantillo
  • May 9: Bob Harris and Diane DeBlois presented “Reinvention of Sand Lake as Daughter of the 20th Century: Industry and Tourism.”
  • June …
  • September 12: Lorraine Dickinson shared the restoration efforts for the Towne Tavern in the hamlet of Sand Lake, which at one time was Bart Warren’s blacksmith shop
  • October 10: director Joan Fuess, the cast and crew of And Then They Came for Me....Remembering the World of Anne Frank! shared their recent learnings of the seven years of the Nazis persecution of the Jews and the history they have learned from the script, film, books and interviews
  • November 14: Donna and Paul Vincent shared their plans for the Crooked Lake House reopening
  • December 12: Marieke Leeverink from Holland spoke about her work/research on Dutch barns.
  • January 11: John Roy, a professor at Hudson Valley Community College, presented Legends of Rensselaer County
  • February 8: Terry Weaver, “architect turned Glass Blower,” shared a video of the intricacies of blowing a glass piece, the tools of glass blowing and pieces that showed his work
  • March 8: cancelled due to weather
  • April 12: Mike Speeranza on Rope Making on the Farm.
  • May 9: Stuart Murray of America’s Song presented The Story of Yankee Doodle
  • June...
  • September 13: a look at the use, misuse and reuse of Civil War artifacts by our resident Civil War buff and reenactor, Bob Shuey
  • October 11: Bill Massoth presented a slide program on the history of the Erie Canal from its inception to the present
  • November 8: an evening of reminiscing with Marion Smauder and Doris Shaver, long-time residents of Sand Lake
  • December 13: Ron Berti told us about the history and their restoration efforts in their historical Knowlson House on Schumann Road
  • January 13: Ross Serantino talked about his hobby, violin making
  • February 19: "Shaker History and Life Styles," by Peter and Jean O’Hare
  • March 9: Karen Kemp shared the art of Ukrainian egg decorating
  • April …
  • May 12: Kathy Sheehan, Rensselaer County Historical Society registrar, presented an illustrated talk with slides and anecdotes, “Did George Washington Sleep Here? Inns of Rensselaer County”-- highlights of adventures travelers often encountered, while traveling in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • June …
  • September 14: Richard Metzger gave a program on his business, Signature Stones, Inc.
  • October …
  • November ...
  • December 14: Violinist Will Welling, with a program of music
  • January 14: Eugene Burns gave a slide program on Meneely Bells (Watervliet foundry)
  • February 11: Historical Video Night; we dusted off our collection and reviewed them to bring you our best selections
  • March 11: Caryn Neidringhaus, a professional fiddler, and her students gave a program on the history of Hudson River fiddling, from its origin in Scotland
  • April …
  • May 13: Heidi Miksch, conservator at the Collections Care Center for New York State Bureau of Historic Sites at Peebles Island Resource Center, presented a before-and-after slide presentation of the challenges done in the glass, ceramics and metal work of the Decorative Arts Conservator.
  • June …
  • September 9: Ron Babcock, on barns and the work he’s done on their restoration
  • October 14: Beverly Mills, with a reenactment of Harriet Tubman, famous for her work in the Underground Railroad
  • November …
  • December 9: Christmas floral program by Barbara Neu

Back to the
Home Page

Contact us

The official logo of the Sand Lake Historical Society
Revised May 23, 2023 -- asm © 2002-2023 Sand Lake Historical Society; all rights reserved.