Geography and Demographics
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 58.5 square miles.
- Here is a current map from MapQuest.
- The Manuscripts and Special Collections unit of the New York State Library owns an extensive collection of land records covering the Rensselaerwyck Manor, an area that once included large portions of Albany and Rensselaer counties. The Rensselaerwyck Manor Papers at the NYS Library has a partial index of some of the tenants and the lots they leased. There is much more information available at the Library itself.
Like all of the Albany hill towns, Westerlo is known for its natural beauty: pastoral rural countryside, rolling hills, meandering creeks, waterfalls, forest land.
- Westerlo visitor attractions and facilities including farms, farm activities, natural reserves, trails, historic buildings and cemeteries.
- Proposals for town of Westerlo, farmers and businesses to enhance visitor experiences.
Upcoming events are listed on the following pages:
- Upcoming events for visitors who want to know what is coming up when they "Head for the Hills."
- Upcoming Events of Special Interest to Hill Town Residents
The Town of Westerlo Then and Now booklet was distributed in 1976 and contains information on the hamlets of Westerlo including some history and historic homes and businesses.
Westerlo Military History
We are trying to create a list of men and women who served in the military. If you know someone who served, please add their name to the list. If you know more about any of them, if would be a fitting tribute to them if you would also create a biography of them.
Click the links below for information on Westerlo during a particular war.
- Westerlo during the Revolutionary War
- Westerlo during the War of 1812
- Westerlo during the Civil War
- Westerlo during World War I
- Westerlo during World War II
- Westerlo during the Korean Conflict
- Westerlo during the Vietnam War
- - Current Farms - Westerlo Farms, Natural Areas, and Outdoor Recreation has a listing of current farms.
- - Historical Farms - The farms are in order by Van Rensselaer Great Lot number which tells approximately (and often precisely) which grid on Beers 1866 map of Westerlo the farm is located. The lot numbers were assigned by Wm. Cockburn when he made his 1787 survey map of the Hilltowns. It is based on a grid a half mile across. This made the typical lot 1/4 square mile (160 acres). The number of the grid is the same as the number of the lot for vacant land. The lots of the squatters who were already there at the time of the survey are irregular in shape and cross grid boundaries.
The purpose of this site is to tell the story of each farm from the first homesteader to the present. Pictures may be used provided you have authority to post them.
Tell the story of each historic home, when it was built, who lived there, additions, remodeling. Organized by Lot number. Pictures may be used provided you have authority to post them.
Family History and Stories
Unlike the chapters in the proposed books on family history that will be written by individual researchers, the data in this section will be entered by anyone who knows something about the family. Within each section entries are organized alphabetically. Add links to the farms where your ancestors lived, and links to the homes they lived in. Pictures are encouraged.
Family history - Focus on the family units that lived in the town, telling where they came from, what they did while here, when and why they left, and where they went.
Biographies - Over the past two hundred plus years countless people have made Westerlo their home. One of the best part of Helderberg Hilltowns is the ability to view and enter biographies of it's citizens from the past. Please join us in expanding this section by creating a biography that is not already written or adding to one that is already posted. Below you will find a link to biographies thus far for Westerlo. To view all Biographies for the hilltowns click on 'Biographies' on the main menu.
Stories - Family stories
Genealogy - The genealogy of many early Westerlo families can be found in the Hilltowns Genealogy posted on the Berne Historical Project site. Here are additional genealogical charts organized by last name then first name:
Family Photo Albums
Historic Businesses - This section will have the history of each business beginning from its establishment, through various ownerships and name changes. Pictures may be used provided you have authority to post them.
Hotels, Inns, Taverns, and Resorts:
Sawmills and Feedmills:
- Westerlo Farms, Natural Areas, and Outdoor Recreation has a listing of current farms and businesses including suggested places to eat and to stay.
Tells the major events in the history of each church. Past:
- South Westerlo Baptist Church (1891) - SURNAMES OF MEMBERS: Bryan, Mabey, Porter, Wicks (very incomplete list due to loss of records).
- Reformed Church - First church in town. Organized 1793. NYS 143, E. of Westerlo
- First Baptist Church of Westerlo - Route 143, Westerlo, NY 12193; Tel. (518) 797-3927. Website of the First Baptist Church of Westerlo
- Westerlo Reformed Church - SR 143, Westerlo, NY 12193; Tel. (518) 797-3742
- South Westerlo Congregational Christian Church - CR 403 & 405, South Westerlo, NY 12083; Tel. (518) 966-5094
- Dormansville United Methodist Church - Rte. 312, Dormansville, NY 12055; (518) 756-2812
An inventory of Westerlo Cemeteries, compiled by the late Larry Jackson, lists 66 cemeteries and small family burial grounds. Many of the burial grounds no longer exist, having been moved to the Indian Fields Cemetery in Alcove to make way for the construction of the Basic Reservioir.
The Westerlo Public Library has binders of nearly complete cemetery records transcribed from existing tombstones by the late Thurman Bishop, Jr., former Town Historian (earlier cemetery records were lost in a fire).
- Temperance Society - Organized in School House near Chesterville in 1828; Deacon Holmes presided. NYS 143, at Westerlo.]
Communities and locations
- Bramans Corners - an intersection at the north town line.
- Chesterville - an early name for the hamlet of Westerlo.
- Dormansville - a hamlet near the east town line.
- Ford Corners - an intersection north of the hamlet of Westerlo.
- Lambs Corners - a hamlet in the southwest part of the town.
- Newry - a hamlet at the south town line.
- Snyder's Corners - a crossroads in northwest of Westerlo village.
- South Westerlo - a hamlet near the south town line. It was formerly known as Smith's Mills.
- Thayer's Corners - is a hamlet south of the hamlet of Westerlo. It was formerly known as Westerlo Center.
- hamlet of Westerlo - largest hamlet in the town of Westerlo, is near the center of the town. It was formerly known as Chesterville.
This section is for scenic photos and post cards of the Town.
- Photos of people and families should be posted on biography or family pages.
- Photos of the hamlets should be posted under the hamlets.
- Berne Historical Project has genealogy of Hilltown families including Westerlo