The Town of North East has been farm country since it was first settled by Europeans well before the Revolutionary War. With a variety of valley soils layered on epochs of mountain erosion and more recent glacial till, sections of level land, good rainfall, and numerous year-round spring- and mountain-fed streams, the area lent itself from the start to sizable, productive farmsteads of a hundred or more acres. They were Initially subsistence farms with some local sales of grain, poultry, beef, and pork. The coming of the railroad in the 1850s and the birth of Millerton, a station stop and siding, turned farmers into dairymen who shipped their milk either to New York City or to the Borden condensed-milk plant at the station. So it was for a hundred years or so, until trucks replaced the railroad and the count of local dairy farms fell from three dozen to the present handful. Still, the farmsteads have remained, with empty cow barns but fields sown in feed corn, alfalfa, hay, straw, and lately barley, and some converted painstakingly to organic production.