There is a winding road called Sage Avenue which meanders through Back Lawrence. It crosses a body of water that has been known both as Sage Pond and Dixon Pond. Nearby, the large gray house that occupies a prominent spot overlooking the bay was for many years the vacation home of financier Russell Sage and his second wife, Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage.
Russell Sage, who began his career as a grocer in Troy, New York, was one of the financial powers of the Gilded Age. After holding a series of small public offices, he served in Congress between 1835 and 1857. When he left Washington, D.C., he became a financial broker in New York City and eventually bought a seat on the stock exchange. He was known as a ruthless and manipulative businessman. When he married Olivia Slocum in 1869 after the death of his first wife, it was in part to improve his image.