By Captain Franklin Ellis205
The people of Greenport are mostly engaged in farming. For this a large portion of the town is finely adapted. The valleys are fertile and productive, and the hill-sides are largely tillable or capable of excellent pasturage. There is very little waste land in town. The soil is clayey along the river, and a sandy, gravelly loam in the interior. All the productions common to this section of country are raised, and farmers have a convenient market in the city of Hudson, or by easy shipment down the river.
Considerable attention was given at one time to sheep husbandry. During the era of fine-wool speculation, 1812 to 1820, a large and valuable flock--some stating it at 600--was introduced and kept on what was afterwards the Wiswall farm, on Mount Merino, and the eminence takes its name from that fact. We have obtained no very complete information as to this noted flock,--its introduction or its dispersion.
The productions of the town of Greenport are shown by the following facts from the reports of the census of 1875. There was produced in 1874, of buckwheat, 1560 bushels; Indian corn, 8136; oats, 16,922; rye, 14,279; winter wheat, only 35; beans, 90; potatoes, 19,914; apples, 23,415 bushels, and 403 barrels of cider; grapes, 11,400 pounds. There were upon the farms 432 head of horses, 14 mules, and $2650 worth of poultry, and the value of the eggs sold was $1085. There were 211 head of cattle other than milch-cows, and 541 of the latter. The butter made in families was 26,671 pounds, and the milk sold was 99,675 gallons. There were in the town, June 1, 1875, sheep shorn to the number of 274, the clip weighting 1181 pounds, and there were raised 131 lambs. There were 541 head of swine, and the number slaughtered in the fall of 1874 was 432, weighting 81, 085 pounds. There were 1677 acres in pasture and 5099 mowed. The value of the farms was estimated at $1,588,780, and the farm buildings, other than dwellings, at $229,110; livestock, $100,575; tools and implements, $111,183, and fertilizers purchased to the amount of $3064. The gross sales for 1874 from the farms are stated at $11,183,--showing an income of about five and a half per cent upon the capital. To which must be added that portion of the family support that comes directly from the farms,--but the expense of hired labor, which is not taken into account, must be deducted.
A portion of the people of Greenport, living adjacent to the corporate limits, are engaged in business within that city.
The other principal business interest of Greenport, other than farming, may be stated as the marble quarry, and yet that has never been developed extensively enough to become a leading industry.