Rensselaer Lake, also known as Six Mile Water Works, is located on Fuller Road, six miles from downtown Albany. That’s as close as we can come to learning the source of its name.
Six Mile Water Works is under the jurisdiction of the Water Department and is being studied as a potential emergency water supply for the City. Six Mile Water Works was built by the City of Albany in 1851 for use as the City’s first public water supply reservoir. A dam was built where three streams united, covering 40 acres of Pine Barrens. The 200 million gallon reservoir supplied the City with water from 1851 until the mid-1920s. Water was conveyed via a five-foot underground brick conduit to the City’s Bleecker Reservoir, located where Bleecker Stadium now stands.
Remnants of the egg-shaped, four-mile long conduit remain intact today in various sections along its path. So, the next time you are driving along Manning Boulevard between Washington Avenue and Central Avenue, give a thought to the large conduit six feet below, which once provided this City with drinking water.