St. Mary's of the Lake

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY
Post Card from the collection of Willard Osterhout

There were too few Catholics living in Berne before the 20th Century to warrant a church. Catholics had to travel to St. Lucy’s Church in Altamont to attend Mass. About 1910 Dr. Jesse Crounse and others of Altamont built cottages at the lower end of Warners Lake so they could enjoy the summer weekends in the hills. Summer cottages around the lake soon were in abundance. Finally there were enough Catholics in the area that in 1916 a small frame church was built at the intersection of Thacher Park Road and Helderberg Trail. Bishop Cusack dedicated it on Aug. 27, 1916. It was erected in memory of Mary Commerford Flannagan by her parents. St. Mary's of the Lake was only used in the summer months when the people from below the hill filled the cottages and resorts at the lake.

It was closed in 1960 when the St. Bernadette's Catholic Church was opened in the hamlet of Berne. The building was sold to the East Berne Fire Department in 1966. John and Vicki Crosier purchased it next and it became Crosier's Reality.