Situated on American Revolutionary crossroads, the town of Bedford has always enjoyed a unique history. Blending serene beauty and rolling hills with a proximity to New York City, the town became home to men and women who treasured its distinctive qualities. The land was first shared by Americian Indians and settlers and then by patriots and loyalists. Pre- and post-Revolutionary days were dominated by agricultural pursuits, coupled with a role as the northern Westchester County seat. With the coming of the railroad in the late 1840s, new hamlets emerged, farmers moved farther north for cheaper land, and New York City families began purchasing large parcels for their summer residences. Environmentally sensitive zoning policies, guided by its people's love of country life, allowed the town to maintain a balance between home and business areas, keeping it a green oasis. The character of Bedford's town and its people was well described by founding father and prominent resident John Jay in 1812: "Perhaps no place can exhibit a larger proportion of orderly, industrious and well disposed citizens."