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White Creek New York
Despite shifts in population, the town of White Creek is still the predominantly rural area that it was 100 years ago.
Agriculture, which has played a key role in the town's past, continues to make its contribution to the town's well-being today. Dairy farming is the primary form of agriculture, but corn, chicken and sheep production are also noticeable elements of the agricultural makeup of the town.
The family farm still is thriving in White Creek today, keeping alive the spirit and lifestyle of the area's first settlers. While several small farms have ceased operations in the past 30 years, much of that land has been absorbed by the remaining family farms that have expanded.
Two-thirds of the Village of Cambridge is within the boundaries of White Creek, and the village has traditionally contained the primary employers in the area. The Asgrow seed house, formerly one of the area's main employers, was located in the village. It closed its doors in 1976, but the site was acquired by the Cambridge Industrial Corporation (CIG) in 1978, which broke the large complex into small sections that have attracted new businesses to the town, now called Varak Park.
There has also been a resurgence of retail businesses in the village of Cambridge in the past several years with new stores opening on Main Street.
White Creek New York also has experienced an influx of new people over the past decade, many of them being retirees attracted by the beauty and friendliness of the area. The area's sizeable artistic community has drawn another new segment of people to the area. Sculptors, painters, writers, musicians, potters, photographers, weavers and many other fine artists have come to participate in the area's Valley Artisans's Market - a cooperative created to help various artists and artisans sell their creations.
The Artisan's Market gallery is located on Main Street in Cambridge in Hubbard Hall, itself the subject of much activity. Hubbard Hall is a 107-year old opera house which is being restored by Hubbard Hall Projects, Inc., a non-profit agency created to restore the building to its original condition. With a stage upstairs and a coffee house in the basement, Hubbard Hall is a center for many different types of entertainment including folk music, dramatic performances, mime and sing-alongs.
Hubbard Hall is only one of many historic buildings and districts located within White Creek. Two historic districts have been formed within the town. One is along Main street in Cambridge that includes Hubbard Hall and the Hotel Cambridge (the home of pie a la mode).
The second is in the hamlet of White Creek in the southeastern corner of the township and includes the Jermain Methodist Church and Community Hall and the John and Mary Allen homestead. The Aliens are considered the first settlers of White Creek and a monument, first erected in 1936, has been re-erected in the Quaker Cemetery on Meeting House Road where they are buried.
There are 10 churches in White Creek, including St. Luke's Episcopal Church, St. Luke's Place, in the Village of Cambridge. Built in 1867, the building has Tiffany stained glass windows and interior decorations added during renovations in 1906. Also in the town are the Embury Methodist Church, the United Presbyterian Church, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Church of the Open Bible, the Cambridge Baptist Church, the Gospel Lighthouse Church, the Monks of New Skete and the Nuns of New Skete, both of the Orthodox Church in America.
There are several civic and social groups in town. Among them are the American Legion, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Lion's, the Free and Accepted Masons, the United Methodist Women, the Hospital Auxiliary, the Women's National Farm and Garden Association, Cambridge Historical Society and many others.
White Creek citizens for years have taken an interest in creating facilities and activities for organized recreation, especially for the area's youngsters. The village of Cambridge is the home of the Youth Commission which provides activities for youngsters in the towns of White Creek, Cambridge and Jackson. The Recreation Commission in the hamlet of White Creek has a broader mandate, providing facilities such as a softball field and a skating rink for all town residents.
White Creek will continue to be a rural town, with a slower pace of living. And its residents will continue to enjoy the friendlier values that go with it.