Your Community

Your Community 01.30.20

Happy Birthday Defreestville Fire Department by Jim Greenfield Town Historian

DEFREESTVILLE – The Defreestville Fire Department was formally incorporated in 1945 and is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The push for a fire department in the Defreestville area actually began in the fall of 1944. World War II was coming to an end and the local citizens’ group, the North Greenbush Community Association NGAC), expected this area of town would grow after the war. At this time, Defreestville fire protection was provided by Wynantskill, or perhaps Rensselaer, East Greenbush or Sand Lake.

The NGAC members were well equipped to provide leadership for the new fire department. Jim Gratton was a realtor and active in local politics. Howard Rlobinson owned a car dealership, Cleve Kilmer sold insurance, Charles Nittinger ran Builders Hardware which sold building materials, paints and lumber. Don Lossoe provided oil deliveries, Irwin Austin operated a garage, and Chet Jordan owned and operated Jordan’s Dairy where Berkshire Hathaway is located today.

During the first few months of the department’s formation, a 1936 fuel oil truck was secured. This was converted into a high pressure apparatus carrying 600 gallons of water. Shortly after completion of this truck, a four-wheel drive pumper was obtained from the U.S.Army. The department now had two pieces of equipment but no place to store them. Chet Jordan volunteered the use of one garage stall where the first truck was kept. The second was parked outside in the weather.

The obvious next step was to build a firehouse. This problem was overcome when William Platt, a local resident, gave a 50 ft.lot facing Route 4. enabling the building of the firehouse. It was felt that this wouldn’t be enough space, so with the cooperation of Mr.Platt, the department purchased an additional lot of equal size. In 1946, the foundation for a new firehouse was laid. DFD was “in business”.

The next article will discuss how the department was funded: dances, bazaars and the much remembered field days events.

Utica College Dean’s List Fall 2019

WYNANTSKILL – The following student made the Dean’s List at Utica College with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.4 or more for the Fall 2019 semester. *Madison K. Akots, Health Studies, Nursing, Wynantskill, NY

Bob Moore Will Tell Story of the Crooked Lake Hotel

STEPHENTOWN – Bob Moore, Sand Lake Town Historian, will present a talk on the “Crooked Lake Hotel: From 1800s Tavern to Historic Events Center” on Sunday, February 2. The 2:00 p.m. Stephentown Historical Society meeting will be at the Stephentown Heritage Center, 4 Staples Road (corner of Garfield Road), Stephentown, New York. The program is free and the building is handicapped accessible. For directions, telephone (518) 733-0010.

Built in 1780 as a stagecoach stop on the shore of Crooked Lake in Sand Lake, New York, the original Crooked Lake Hotel building was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 1840, then expanded and remodeled into a small Victorian hotel.

In its heyday, the Crooked Lake House was a gathering spot for the rich, famous and infamous. Big bands entertained for dancing. Teddy Roosevelt and his family visited when he was governor of New York. But business declined after World War II as other kinds of entertainment and travel became popular.

The business closed in 1976, but reopened in 1990 under new ownership. That chapter included extensive remodeling but eventually closed. In 2010, the current owners Gene Coletti, Jim Pettitt and Marty Keary began resurrecting this beautiful treasure with an plan to have an event space for their catering business. The wedding business became very vigorous and soon, Old Daley on Crooked Lake became the number one wedding venue in the area.

If you have memories of dining or dancing at the Crooked Lake House, please share them with us.

News from Averill Park CSD

AVERILL PARK – Congratulations to Kay Tichy for winning the Algonquin Middle School National Geographic Bee! The national competition features questions including geography, civilizations, cultures, physical features, and more.

Varsity boys basketball coach, Dave Pugliese, achieved a career milestone recently, picking up his 200th win on the court. Way to go coach!

Students at Algonquin Middle School stayed after school recently to create blankets and dog and cat toys, which they will donate to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. Great job everyone in finding a creative way to give back to the community!

As always, for the latest news from the District, please visit our website – You can also follow AP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Submitted by Dr. James Franchini, Averill Park CSD Superintendent

Mission: Meeting the needs of and creating opportunities for every student every day. #AP_EveryStudentEveryDay

Hope Approves New Pastor

NORTH GREENBUSH – At a congregational meeting on 1/12/19 Pastor Pamela J. Hoh received unanimous approval to be employed as the permanent pastor at Hope Lutheran Church.

Pastor Hoh is a native of NYC. She and her husband Daniel, reside in Albany. They have two adult children, Joshua and Monica. She attended New York University, receiving a B.A. in Psychology/English and Hunter College, receiving an MS in Guidance and Counseling. Experiencing a call to ministry, she attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, receiving a Master of Divinity in 1994. Pastor Hoh was ordained to the rostered ministry of the ELCA in 1997.

Hope Lutheran Church is located at 470 Winter Street Extension in North Greenbush. Hope has a strong commitment to the community, inside and outside the church. Worship with communion is celebrated every Sunday at 10am. Beyond the front door, Hopes Kitchen provides a free meal to the community on the second Thursday of each month—currently in an ecumenical relationship with Rensselaer Presbyterian Church. Non-perishable food stuffs are collected weekly for Concerns U in Rensselaer, and Doors of Hope, in West Sand Lake. The First Saturday of each month a group heads over to the Northeast Regional Food Bank in Latham.

Pastor Hoh commented, “I am so excited by the opportunity to serve as Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church. Within this congregation we have a thriving community committed to sharing the love of Christ with their neighbors in both word and deed. I look forward to getting to know the surrounding community as well and learning how we can as Hope Lutheran Church share all that we are with others.”

More information can be found at Hope’s Web Site,

East Greenbush CSD Receives Positive Fiscal Stress Score for 7th Straight Year

EAST GREENBUSH – For the seventh straight year, East Greenbush Central School District received a “no designation” fiscal stress score from the New York State Comptroller’s Office last week, indicating a low level of fiscal stress.

The Fiscal Stress Monitoring System was established by the State Comptroller in 2013 as an early warning of fiscal stress in school districts and local governments. It also provides feedback to local leaders, state officials and taxpayers about these fiscal stress conditions to help them prioritize the needs of their community and make decisions.

East Greenbush CSD Approved for NYS Seal of Biliteracy Program

EAST GREENBUSH – Columbia High School students now have the opportunity to earn a Seal of Biliteracy on their diploma, indicating that they are proficient in both English and another language. The Seal of Biliteracy was approved for the East Greenbush Central School District by the New York State Education Department in December.

The intent of participating in this program is to encourage the study of languages in high school, to prepare students with competitive skills in an increasingly globalized society and to set them apart from other applicants when applying to colleges and jobs.

“This is another opportunity for our district’s students that we serve,” said James McHugh, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “Our students that earn the Seal of Biliteracy will receive an additional recognition at the time of their graduation. I applaud the work of our committee that created our district’s NYSSB plan which included the development of our Seal of Biliteracy Handbook that explains the student application process, timeline and requirements.”

It is strongly suggested that any student interested in the Seal of Biliteracy program speak with a school counselor no later than their junior year. Participation in this program is voluntary and no fees other than exam fees will be charged to any Columbia High School student.

Visit for more information.

Girl Scout Cookie Kick Off

Girl Scouts from troop 1474 held a cookie kick off dance party for younger scouts in service unit 136. Selling cookies is much more than a simple fundraiser, it affords girls the opportunity to learn business ethics, goal setting, money management, communication skills and builds self confidence. Troop 1474 was proud to provide a motivational event for the younger girls in their service unit. Pictured in photo Katelynn White, Ava Johnson, Annie Patwell and Brigid Mack.

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