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Cuba is a friendly, vibrant, and historic community located in beautiful Allegany County, New York. Cuba township is located on the western border of Allegany County, with the Village of Cuba contained within its borders. The Cuba Village is located on I-86, the Southern Tier Expressway at Interchange 28 near NYS routes 305 and 446. Cuba, NY has a rich history in dairy and cheese production and has a major crossroad for transportation systems in the region. For more information on the Town of Cuba, please visit www.cubanewyork.us
Points of interest in and around Cuba:
- Cuba Lake
- Seneca Oil Springs
- Empire City Farms (The Block Barn)
- The Cuba Cheese Museum
- Sprauges Maple Syrup Farms
- The Amish Community
The 445 acre lake is located north of the Village of Cuba, in western Allegany County. The lake has a maximum depth of 46 feet, a mean depth of 20 feet and is drawn down 6 feet - 8 feet in winter. It is a man-made lake at 1,545 feet (471 m) above sea level, Cuba Lake is the highest reservoir in Allegany County. In western New York State, Cuba Lake is the sixth highest reservoir. It was constructed in 1858 at a cost of $150,000, as a reservoir to feed the Genesee Valley Canal. At the time of its construction, Cuba Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world. Cuba Lake provides angling for walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike and several species of panfish. Today, the lake mainly serves as a source of recreation for locals. It is surrounded by some 300+ homes, many of which are year-round dwellings. The road surrounding the lake is about 7 miles in length and very narrow. This year, 2012, the DEC constructed a new boat launch site located off of the West Shore Road near the Rawson Creek Inlet. It now features a new concrete launch ramp with floating docks, a paved entrance road, solar lighting, pathways, and an expanded parking area to accommodate up to 24 vehicles and trailers.
Seneca Oil Springs
Another significant historical landmark in Cuba is The Seneca Oil Spring. The site is located near the spillway end of Cuba Lake on the Seneca Indian Reservation. This is the site of the famed spring described by the Franciscan Missionary Joseph De La Roche D'Allion 1627, the first recorded mention of oil on the North American Continent. The New York State Oil Producers Association sponsored the dedication of a monument at the site in 1927, describing the history of the oil industry in North America. The site is now under the supervision of the County of Allegany.
Empire City Farms
Standing majestically on 102 acres in Cuba is the McKinney Stables of Empire City Farms, more commonly referred to as the “Block Barn.” Nicknamed for its unique concrete construction, this fire-resistant stable measures 347 feet long, fifty feet wide, and is supported by an 8 foot solid concrete foundation. The immense roof is covered in terra-cotta tile manufactured in Alfred, New York. Completed in 1909 and financed by New York City pawnbroker, William Simpson, Jr., the Block Barn was once home to world famous trotters, McKinney and Axworthy. In addition to Mr. Simpson’s passion for breeding and racing horses, he also introduced Shetland ponies to America, electricity to Cuba, and offered printing services through his family paper, the Boulton Press. When Mr. Simpson died in 1916, the farm was sold. Over the years other horses have come and gone, as have their owners. Non-equine related ideas for the barn were entertained such as a nursing home, cheese storage for Borden’s, a jail, a school, a shopping mall, a housing development, and even an ostrich farm! Fortunately, none of these schemes materialized, and today the property is owned by Bonnie Blair, who is an ardent historic preservationist and equine enthusiast. Empire City Farms is grounds for the Annual Cuba Garlic Festival!
The Cuba Cheese Museum
Cheese has been an important part of Western New York State. The earliest settlers made cheese, and by 1869, New York was the number one dairy state in the country. The methods used to produce cheese have changed greatly over the years. It's the goal of the Cuba Cheese Museum to preserve this rich history of cheese making, and its artifacts, so that current and future generations can experience a 'taste' of the past.
Sprague's Maple Farms
Sprague's Maple Farms is well known in our area for its authentic maple products. Just 20 minutes south of Cuba on Rt. 305, Sprague's Maple Farms offers a variety of year-round activities. Nature abounds at the year 'round Pancake House & Restaurant. Your whole family will be amazed at the country landscapes, mountainside views, wild life and activities for every season. Enjoy the generous servings of wholesome down home country cookin'. Follow the woodland trails and step back into time, when you visit the authentic rustic Sugar Shack tucked neatly within the woodland trails. You may also have an opportunity to see how they make maple syrup from start to finish! Please visit their website at www.spraguesmaplefarms.com for more information!
The Amish Community
New York is home to two dozen Amish settlements. The Amish of these varying communities, spread across the state, come from a variety of different backgrounds and follow differing Ordnungs (a set of rules for the Amish). Diversity has implications for life within the Amish society. The closeness of one community’s Ordnung to that of another may dictate whether two Amish groups interact. Old Order Amish use no electricity, no running water and dress in plain clothes of grays and blues. They are known as simple people who live simple lives. Their cooking stoves are powered by propane, kerosene or wood and they use kerosene lamps. They never work on Sundays and rotate church meetings at various homes within their districts. Their children traditionally speak German until they start school at about 6 years of age where they are taught English. They go only until grade 8 then they go to work with their family. They pay school and property taxes and they rise early and work hard without complaining. When a neighbour is unable to work due to an accident or poor health the community pitches in to help. In Western NY, they are well known for their crafty woodworking and home baked goods. When there is a funeral in the Amish community, they are often seen in our Shoppe buying a loaf of Amish Longhorn cheese.