Truesdale Lake  

South Salem, New York


Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Lake Truesdale?

Lake Truesdale is located in the Village of South Salem, NY (10590). South Salem is in the Town of Lewisboro in the northeast corner of Westchester County. We are approximately 1 mile from Ridgefield, CT.

How big is the lake?

According to the USGS Map, the lake is just under 1 mile long and about 3/8ths of a mile across at its widest point.

The total area of the lake is 82.3 acres according to the town of Lewisboro tax map #36 where the lake property is listed as Block #10810, lot #8 (owned by the Truesdale Estates Association).

The lake holds approximately 100 million gallons of water (see next FAQ for details and source).”

Where does the water come from?

The sky! Actually, after the water falls from the sky, the lake draws mainly from the Pumping Station Aquifer in Ridgefield, CT.

According to the 2001 Engineering Report executed by Land-Tech Consultants “The portion of this watershed contributing surface runoff to the lake is large (2,380± acres, 963 ha), relative to the size of the lake (83 acres, 33.6 ha) (Figure 1). The majority of this watershed is located to the east of the lake and contains the Pumping Station Swamp. The size of the watershed creates a watershed to lake ratio of 28.7:1. The amount of rainfall draining to the lake was calculated using a runoff value of approximately 55 percent of precipitation (CT DEP 1982), an annual precipitation value of 47.5 inches per year (Soil Survey of Putnam and Westchester Counties, New York, 1994), and 68.6 cm (27 inches) per year of surface lake evaporation. Therefore, the net amount of rainfall that drains to the lake is large, (1.6 billion gallons) annually or an average daily flow of 4 million gallons per day. Thus, on an annual basis, the lake, with a volume of approximately 99,150,000 gallons, shows a moderate turnover rate (hydraulic residence time) of 16.2 times per year or every 22 days.”

See the entire report for more details.

What are some more facts about the lake?

The lake is marked on the USGS map at 501 feet above sea level.

The lake flows into a wetlands area south of Lake Waccabuc and the Twin Lakes. From there it flows into the Waccubuc River and then the Cross River Reservoir.

Can I swim at Truesdale Lake?

If you are a member or guest of one of the associations (TEA or TLPOA) you can swim at the respective beaches.

The TEA beach is on Truesdale Lake Drive. The TLPOA beach is on Gibert Street.

Can I fish on Truesdale Lake?

All property surrounding the lake is private. If you are a resident who is a member of one of the associations or a resident with direct lakefront property, you are allowed to fish on Truesdale Lake. There is no public access or public property around the lake. Access to fishing – even from the Indian Lane dam – is limited to lake association residents. All other access is prohibited by law. In addition to being private, any residents age 16 and older who wish to fish on the lake are required to get a NY State Fishing Permit. See more information about Fishing on Truesdale Lake here.

What types of boats are allowed on the lake?

Canoes, Kayaks, and small sailboats (mostly Sunfish) are the most common. There are also rowboats and a few pedalboats.

Gas-powered vehicles are not allowed to operate on Truesdale Lake. This includes snowmobiles in the winter.

Do I need a permit to use a boat on the lake?

Boats must be registered with the Lake Management Committee. An application must be filled out and submitted detailing the type of boat, any serial number or name on the boat, as well as contact information for the owner of the boat. A blank boat sticker application can be found by clicking the Boat Registration link to the left.

Registration is only allowed for people who are deeded members of either TLPOA, TEA, or own non-affiliated property on the lake.

Boats found on TEA or TLPOA property without stickers are subject to removal and sale.

There is no public access to the lake as all land around the lake — as well as the lake bottom itself — are privately owned. Members of the public at large are not allowed on the lake unless as a guest of a current lake right holder.

Truesdale Lake boating applications are available at this site. If you have questions, you can click on the Contact Us link to the left and we will pass on your request to member volunteer who maintains the boat registry.

How can I find information about Real Estate at Truesdale Lake?

Visit the Real Estate section of the website which includes information and links to the associations and properties with lake rights.

The Real Estate link is here:

Association information:

The TEA link is here:

The TLPOA link is here:

The Vreeland/Lovecross link is here:

The Lake Shore Drive/non-TLPOA property link is here:

If I purchase a house near the lake without lake rights, can I join an association?

No. Only homes that are part of an association subdivision/charter can join that association. There are several homes on Lake Shore Drive right on the lake which are not part of an association, but they have direct lake access and most of these unaffiliated homeowners contribute funds to the upkeep and maintenance of the lake.

Can I purchase lake rights to Truesdale Lake?

Yes — by purchasing property that has rights to join an active association.

There are several properties in the TEA that are not buildable lots but carry lake rights. Read the TEA policy on these properties here.

None of the associations on Truesdale Lake sell permanent lake rights independent of the properties where lake rights are in the deed or master deed. The house must have the lake rights to a specific existing association (TEA, TLPOA, or Vreeland) written in the deed for the house or included as a right inherited from a master (original) deed.

Who made Truesdale Lake?

The Truesdale Lake Property Owners Association (TLPOA), a private and exclusive club with 20 summer time residents, created the 83.3 acre Lake in 1927 by damming a stream and flooding a small pond and surrounding swamp.

The Truesdale Estates Assocation (TEA) was formed in the early 1930s when the land on the west side of Lake Truesdale was purchased from TLPOA.The primary water flow into the Lake comes from the swamp on Pumping Station Road in Ridgefield.

Why are there two associations?

There are actually four distinct groups of homeowners living on Truesdale Lake.

First is the Truesdale Lake Property Owners Association (TLPOA). This is the group that created the lake in 1927. Homes in this association are located primarily on the northwest and northeast portion of the lake.

Membership in the TLPOA is determined by whether or not the home gets its water from the TLPOA common well. Homes in this association are either riparian (lakefront) or close to the lake on adjoining streets. There are approximately 175 homes in the TLPOA.

Second, the Truesdale Estates Association (TEA) was formed in the 1930s. Membership in the TEA is determined by deeded lake rights granted at the time of the original development of five parcels of land in South Salem in the lake area.

The TEA land is not contiguous and not all on the lake. There are TEA houses on the southeast portion of the lake (including Truesdale Lake Drive and Salem Lane) as well as on Lower Salem Lane, Boway, Main Street, and Stewart Road.

The third group of homeowners in the lake community are the unaffiliated Lake Shore Drive homeowners. These nine houses are riparian (lakeside) but are not part of either TLPOA or TEA. They are invited by the TEA to join as summer beach members at a reduced rate.

The fourth group of homeowners are in the Lovecross/Vreeland development association. These houses are located off of Boway and Hoyt Street where the main stream feeds Truesdale Lake. Three houses are on Hoyt Street, all on the East side of the street. Five are on Boway from just south of the stream that feeds the lake and as you head North on Boway. Each of these homes also own 1/8th of the sediment collection pond on the stream. All of these homes have deeded lake access via the paper road at the end of the Hoyt Street cul-de-sac to a small beach and dock. ”

Why don’t the associations merge into one “Truesdale Lake Association”?

Good question! This is how I have come to understand the situation: Mainly because the TLPOA, in addition to being an association, also runs the Truesdale Corporation. This entity supplies water via a common well to the 170 odd households in the TLPOA.

In contrast, all of the TEA, Lake Shore Drive “no-mans land”, and Vreeland properties get their water from individual wells.

The individual charters of the TEA and TLPOA delineate the properties which are on the association rolls. The formation of a single association would logically result in the dissolution of the TEA and TLPOA. Since there are land ownership issues, financial considerations, etc. with any merger, I don\’t see it happening any time soon or ever. The benefit for the associations is just not there.

On the other hand, if residents decide that lake management and upkeep creates a common good throughout the community, it is possible to form a “water/sewer/improvement district” with taxing authority. With this power, it would be possible to issue bonds and undertake major projects such as dam rehabilitation, dredging, and long-term stormwater runoff abatement and cleanup projects.

Even if this happened, some part of the associations would most likely continue in order to run the recreation and utilities.

If you have a comment, better information, or a more thorough understanding of this all, please use the “Contact Us” link on the left side and I will get your note. Be sure to include your email address so I can get in touch if I have any questions.”

Where did the lake get its name?

Two possibilities:

#1) From the old hard copy “Lewisboro Ledger Answer Book” (could not find it on their new site but the Library may have it):


When was the town founded and by whom?

Settlers first appeared in the area now known as Lewisboro around 1720. According to legend, the first men to actually live in the area were William Truesdale and Samuel Tuttle. The men bought land from the Ridgefield Proprietors and headed west over the mountain ridge that separates the two towns. They attempted to tame the wilderness, which proved to be too difficult a task. According to the story, the two were killed by Indians and not a trace was left except the name Truesdale, which now graces a lake in the general vicinity of their land purchases.

#2) It was a family name from the 18th century. I believe they owned the land in the area.


Excerpt: (note reference to Truesdale Lake at bottom)


235. Jesse Truesdell

(Source: Carla Parrish):

Had extended service as an officer in the Westchester Militia. He waschosen 1st Lieut of the Middle Battalion from the northern district ofSalem, the commission issued September 13, 1775 (Council Aptmts, NY Hist.Soc., 1925, 159). Due to “certain non-acceptances” the Chairman of the County reported that Jesse was chosen Captain, November 17, 1775, andrequested early issuance of this commission (Calendar, NY Hist Doc, I,205). In 1777 his company, in Col. Thomas Thomas\’ Regt of Westchestermilitia, consisted of: 1 Capt, 2 Lieut, 1 Bens, 3 Sgts, 1 drummer and 32Pvt, and received £258 16 2 for service at various times between Augustand December 1777 (NY State Lib “Payroll” audited in Philadelphia 1786).On May 28, 1778 he was appointed Captain to command the North Salem Co.He served at various times as a Captain in 3d Regt. and in 4th Regt. under Col. Crane, his name being on the State Treasurer\’s pay books, between March 1779 and November 1781. He was a Major in 2d Regt., April12, 1782. After the war, as “Trusdal” he was appointed First Major, June24, 1786, under LtCol John Hyatt and a successor was announced to his vacancy March 25, 1787 (Council Aptmts 80).

In 1779, with others, he united to form a Congregational Church at Salem and was on the committee “to get preaching” (Hist Westchester Co., ScharfII, 523). On various occasions Rev. Silas Constant, pastor of thePresbyterian Church at Yorktown, NY stayed at Jesse Truesdell’s home. In1790, living in North Salem, his family consisted of six. He was admitted as a freeman in 1805, first taxed in 1813, last in 1815. Hejoined the Danbury Church, June 03, 1810 on recommendation from the Ridgefield Church.

Following the Revolution Jesse Truesdell was a member of a Committee to dispose of properties held by convicted Tories (Westchester Deeds, L290. Also NYGBR LXXI 277). In this manner he acquired the lands of Benjamin Close in North Salem. His home, still standing, is near Truesdale Lake, now in the hands of a real estate corporation.

Who maintains this website?

The website is updated and created from content provided by many in the Truesdale Lake Community. This includes homeowners, associations, beach members, local organizations, and any other interested parties.

The webmaster is Robert Cummings. Robert is a Truesdale Lake resident. If you wish to contact him, please use the “Contact Us” form on the left-hand side of the site.

Thanks for having a look around and please feel free to contribute stories, photos, sounds, video, and time.

How do I participate in the website?

Individuals are free to add items of interest and comment on other posts. In order to do this, you must register at the site.

Once you register let me know (via the Contact Us link) that you would like to be a contributor and I will upgrade your account to enable this.

Registration is free and we do not sell any information to anyone.

Who pays for this?

The web server is owned and operated by Robert Cummings.

The Lake website is hosted for free as a service to the community.

The computer hosting the site is located at the facilities of DreamHost.