How a local family farm has beaten the odds for over 200 years.
By Brian P.J. Cronin
Photographed by Steven Steele Cawman
Two highways are central to the story of the Clarke family: one made of dirt, one made of water.
In 1812 the Milton Turnpike opened in Ulster County. Although it was the beginning of the 19th century, the road had the same effect as the new highways of the late 20th century: any business off the beaten path suffered. Farms went up for sale, and in 1817 Nathaniel Clarke moved up from Cornwall to purchase a few hundred acres of farmland and build a house on top of a ridge known as Mount Prospect. As Steve Clarke, Nathaniel’s great-great-great-great grandson describes it, there would have been some fruit, some livestock and various smithies. Nothing too big. “It was just about self-sufficiency,” explains Steve while sitting on the back porch of the house Nathaniel Clarke built 201 years ago, on a road now called Clarke’s Lane.
To read more of this story you will need to purchase a subscription plan. If you choose the "PREMIUM" subscription you will have access to all five digital issues of Organic Hudson Valley. If you choose a "SINGLE Issue" you will have access to that specific issue you chose. Click here!