Warners Lake

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY


Warner's Lake refers to the lake and surrounding community in the north central part of the town near East Berne.



  • Mathias Warner Family from Schoharie moved to Beaver Dam by 1765 when Warner's Sawmill was built on the Foxenkill halfway between what are now the hamlet of Berne and East Berne
  • 1765 - the first settlers on Warner’s Lake were Christopher Warner and his brother Johannes, who built a log cabin in 1765 and in 1790 built the original farmhouse. The large hickory trees there were grown from hickory nuts brought from Europe, hence the name Hickory Grove Farm. In 1849 Christopher Warner's son Abram J. built a second farmhouse on the north end of the lake. Both homes are still owned by Warner descendants Warner homes
  • 1899, Henry Binns purchased the whole south end of the lake from Sussana Gallup, widow of Moses Gallup, who was the first to provide a swimming area with picnic tables. Henry Binns eventually built cabins for rent. At this time the farm was known as Binn's Grove, Binn’s Landing or Pine Grove. 1920’s the grove was sold to Mr. Pitcher and it became known as Pitcher’s Camp. Mr. Pitcher then sold his lakefront property to the Roberts family from Ravena, and the property was known as Robert's Grove for the next 28 years. The property changed hands a few more times, to owners George Vunck (1946), John and Teresa Cocca (1950), and Dave and Betty O’Hanlon (1955). The property was finally purchased by Mary and Patricia O’Hanlon in 1987 and is maintained as their private residence.
  • 1906, Mr. George Tompkins built a large home at the north end of the lake on land purchased from the Warner Family. He ran his Lake View Cottage as a boarding house for many years. Mr. Tompkins owned a small covered Steam Launch "The Sarah E." which was brought from New York City to Altamont by train. The launch was then delivered to the cottage by Mr. Warner’s wagon. Mr. Tompkins gave people rides around the lake for 10 cents. In 1950 the property was sold to Karl and Hilde Zwicklbauer and became a popular German-American restaurant. In 1976 the restaurant was purchased by Reinhold and Adelheid Scholz, who sold it to the present owner, John Pleat.
  • early 1900’s, Jay and Lydia Engle built Engle’s Fur Trading Post on the east side of the lake. Jay was a rather eccentric character known for his tall tales and the bear he kept as a pet. This property is now owned by the Osterhouts, who purchased it in 1970.
  • around 1900 until the mid 1970’s a girls’ camp known as Camp Orinsekwa operated on the west shore of the lake. In later years the property expanded to become a co-ed camp known as Orinsekwa-Sonnekwa.
  • In the 1930’s Arthur Warner sold camp lots along the east shore. From 1946-1950 many of the rental camps on the south end were sold to private owners. A large portion of the west shore remains undeveloped.
  • From the 1940’s through the 1970’s, Warner’s Lake was a very popular tourist area with three public beaches, three boat launches and many camps for rent. At present, the lake community is mostly private residences, with only one restaurant and one boat launch remaining.

Learn more about Warner’s Lake and surrounding areas in a book entitled Life Along the Way on Route 43 available at local libraries.

Original source: Willard Osterhout (since modified)

Sections of the lake

Special Events


  • St. Mary's of the Lake, (Don't you just love that name?), the first Catholic Church in the Town, was established in 1916.


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.

Former businesses

Current businesses

  • The Hofbrau Restaurant - serving German specialties in an historic resort on the shore of beautiful Warners Lake at 141 Warners Lake Rd., East Berne; Tel. (518) 872-1016 / 872-9912.
  • Maple Inn - a restaurant in an historic building in East Berne. 64 Main Street, East Berne. Tel. 518-872-9433.



The Warner Family Burying Groundis the burial ground for the Warner family for which the Lake is named.

Photo Gallery

This section is for scenic photos and post cards of the hamlet. Photos of people and families should be posted on biography or family pages.


External Links