The Town of Poestenkill takes its name from the Poesten kill, one of the most important streams in Rensselaer County. The town is located just south of the center of the county and is bounded on the North by Brunswick and Grafton, East by Berlin, South by Sand Lake and West by North Greenbush. It is one of the smallest and youngest towns in Rensselaer County. It was formed from Sand Lake on March 2, 1848.
Before the Revolutionary War, the first settlers moved into this area from Troy, Greenbush, Massachusetts, Connecticuit, and along the Hudson. Among the first settlers were the families of Lynd, Whyland, and Ives. Many other families began settling this area in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
Poestenkill is not a large town and that coupled with its location, it was not a very important route for stage traffic thus the number of taverns along the way were limited. The earliest tavern in town was owned by Samuel Delamater; later became know as the Blewer tavern, or Union Hall. Later the first floor of the tavern was our local Post Office as well as small store. The second floor is where James A Garfield taught writing as well as dances and gatherings were held there.
The first school was established in 1788 on land donated by Patroon Stephen VanRensselaer and later became know as District 3. There were a total of 8 one-room schools in the Town.
The Town sent many men off to the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War and many others.
The Town is comprised of four hamlets/settlements: Poestenkill, East Poestenkill, Barberville and Ives Corners. Principle industries in town were the shirt and collar factories, a tannery, saw mill, grist mill.
The first organized church was the First Baptist Church and it organized in 1814. Other churches in the western section of town were: St. Mary’s of the Woods, a German Church, a Dutch Reformed church, and the Union Gospel church. In the center of town were the Christian Church of Disciples and the Lutheran Church.