Copake is a town in Columbia County, United States. New York, United States. The population was 3,615 at the 2010 census. The town derives its name from a lake, which was known to the natives as Cook-pake, or Ack-kook-peek, meaning "Snake Pond." The town borders Taconic State Park.
The Town of Copake is on the south eastern border of the county.
Copake is part of the 1686 Taconic Grant to Robert Livingston for about of good land and of woodland. After it was purchased from the Indians it turned out to be and he established the English style Livingston Manor. The Manor extended well into what is now Massachusetts. The first lease given by Livingston in Copake was for about in 1687 to Matthews Abraham Van Deusen. Because New England claimed ownership west to the Hudson River a border dispute broke out. The Boston Bay Colony laid out three townships west of the Taconic Mountains in 1755. Most of the present Town of Copake was in one of the townships. New settlers were given free and some of Livingston’s tenants refused to pay rent. The border was settled in 1757 by the Lords Commissioners of Trade in London. Farmers west of the border continued to protest, however. In 1844 a rally organized by the Taconic Mutual Association took place in the center of the hamlet. After the rally the arrest of several of the leaders sparked wider protests. Eventually the Anti-Rent Party was formed in New York State and New York instituted land reform. The Anti-Rent Party called for a Homestead Act to develop the western land. It became part of the Republican Party and was important in the election of Lincoln in 1860. The Township of Copake was formed in 1824 by splitting it from the Town of Granger that was renamed Taghkanic. A former early industry was iron mining and smelting. Adjacent to the village of Copake Falls in Taconic State Park is the "Ore Pit", a former iron mine, now a deep swimming pond.
Former residents of note