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Westerlo Town

Westerlo Town Hall is located at 671 County Route 401, Westerlo NY 12193; phone: 518‑797‑3111.

Beginnings

Westerlo was formed from Coeymans and Rensselaerville in 1815 as the 7th town erected in the county. It was named in honor of Reverend Eilardus Westerlo, who came from Holland in 1760 and was pastor of the Reformed Dutch church at Albany.

In the very early days the asheries were a prominent industry and served as an incentive for clearing much of the dense wilderness. Trees were felled, burned and the ashes gathered and taken to the ashery and sold or exchanged for family supplies.

The first mills were erected by Lobdell and Baker in 1795, and were situated on Basic Creek. About 1812 a Mr. Jenks had a carding mill on Basic Creek, below Chesterville. When it burned down, another was built by George Wiltsey and operated by Drum & Possom, who later converted it into a turning shop and finally into a grist mill.

The grist and saw mills of William A. Dickson & Son were on the Hannakrois Creek near Dormansville. Saw mills were numerous; Darius Lockwood on Wolf Creek; Samuel Snyder on Eight Mile Creek; and Henry A. Ford on Basic Creek, the latter having been built in 1870.

It is not possible to ascertain who the first settlers were within the present limits of Westerlo, or when they came, but it was certainly sometime before the Revolution that men pushed into the wilderness and commenced building homes for themselves here.

  1. Amasa J. Parker, editor, Landmarks of Albany County New York, D. Mason & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, 1897.
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