CUBA HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM
On Genesee Street is located in the renovated Smith Block which was originally constructed before the turn of the Century by one of Cuba’s leading businessmen. The museum features many items relative to Cuba’s past and its relationship to the dairy industry and the cheese business which has always been vital to the economy of the area. A collection of historical research books, genealogies and photographs is housed at the museum as well as the bound volumes of “The Cuba Patriot and Free Press” the village’s own weekly newspaper dating back over a century and a quarter. The museum is open on Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. and by appointment.
SOUTH STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT
Is a four block one quarter mile section of South Street (Route 305) the main north-south route through the village. The street is one of the village’s most prestigious residential areas designated in 1988, when it was added to the State and National Historic Registers, the district consists of 37 residential properties dating from 1840 to 1940 and three churches (First Baptist and Christ Episcopal, 1871 and Our Lady of Angels Roman Catholic, 1926). The district begins at the First Baptist Church and ends at the Conrail underpass at the south end.
“PA” CHARLES INGALLS BIRTHPLACE
Charles Ingalls, father of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the popular “Little House” books was born on a farm in the North Cuba area. Several members of the Ingalls family had settled there prior to 1835, and several brothers all had adjoining farmlands. It is not known exactly where the home is located wherein Charles Ingalls was born. Several homes still standing in the area are known to have been built around that era, and were owned by various members of the Ingalls family. Many descendants of the Landsford Ingalls still reside in the area.
About two miles (3 km) north of the village 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. (Ref.: Digital copy of the US Geological Survey map.) 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. There are many game fish to fish for in the lake including Bass, Walleye, and Northern Pike.
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 (11 km) in length and very narrow.
THE BLOCK BARN
A cement block structure located on Route 305 (South Street) on the southern edge of the village built in 1909 the building is 347 feet long and 50 feet wide because is made of concrete block with poured cement floor and ceilings, it is entirely fireproof. The blocks used in construction were cast at the construction side, and this I believed to be the first block building built in this area. William B. Simpson had the stable built to protect the blood line of his famous stallion “McKinney” whose trotting record was know world wide. It is said that the Czar of Russia once sent some of his mares to Cuba to be bred so that the famous McKinney strain could become part of his stable. The Garlic Festival is held on the grounds in front of the building every year in September.
THE SENECA OIL SPRINGS
Is located near the spillway end of Cuba Lake on the Oil Spring Indian Reservation. This is the site of the famous spring described by the Franciscan Missionary Joseph DeLaRoch D’Allion in 1627, the first recorded mention of oil on the North American Continent In 1927 the New York State Oil Producers Association sponsored the dedication of a monument at the site describing the history of the oil industry in North America. The side is now under the supervision of the County of Allegany and a picnic area is available for those visiting there.