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Democrat & Chronicle Article

Restorative powers flow from Springdale Farm
by Meaghan M. McDermott

Legend has it that Eastman Kodak Co. founder George Eastman used to come to the freshwater springs at Springdale Farm in Victor to partake of the water's purported restorative powers.

At least that's what Springdale Farm proprietor Eileen Cash says. She points to a tiny white shed and a sign that says "spring house."

"We still use the water," she says. "From the springs we pump it to the springhouse, and from there the overflow goes to a trough in the barn. We do have it tested, and you can drink it, but we mostly use it for gardening."

"We" is Cash and her husband, Donald, who purchased Springdale Farm and its 10 acres in 1999. "This whole area was known as Motts Corners," Cash says, naming the Victor farmers who once owned her 1820s homestead and much of the area surrounding Valentown Rd and Cty Rd 9.

Almost immediately after moving to the farmhouse, Eileen Cash started planning out her Vacation Rental. Donald Cash, an operations manager with J Kozel and Son in Chili, did the renovation work, from remodeling the two upstairs bedrooms into the Homestead and Seneca rooms, to installing new windows in the bright living room to give guests a breakfast view of the farm's flower gardens and the spring house.

"I had the layout in my mind from the time we moved in," she says, adding that she knew she'd have to wait until her two children, Timm and Emily, moved out before making any major changes.

"Now, they thanked me for fixing up their rooms for them," she says, laughing. "They said, 'How nice of you, Mom,' and I said, 'It's going to cost you to stay here.'"

Cash, a former buyer for McCurdy's department store and a secretary for the Victor school district since 1991, opened her Vacation Rental in May. "We've been booked every weekend but one since we've opened," she says, readying a vase of red roses for her incoming guests while standing at the granite countertops of her remodeled kitchen.

She bustles up the stairs to tidy the Seneca and Homestead rooms and makes sure there's a small, foil-wrapped chocolate on each pillow. "This experience has been wonderful," she says of running an inn. "I've not had a single complaint from my customers. The most I get is that they might want more towels."

Cash and her husband moved to Victor more than 30 years ago from the Buffalo suburb of Hamburg so Donald could attend Rochester Institute of Technology. The family has moved three times since, but always stayed in Victor.

Eileen Cash says the town has changed quite a bit over the years. "There's been such huge growth in Victor," she says. "It used to be just a tiny little town."

In the cozy cherry-paneled living room at the front of her home, which looks out over the farm's original barns, Cash says her inn and Victor are perfectly situated to serve as a base for sightseeing at more than 50 Finger Lakes wineries and the area's ski resorts, museums, gardens and more.

"We're right next to the first Victor Hiking Association trail and across the street from the Maryfrances Bluebird Haven," she says, with a mischievous laugh. The bluebird haven is a 40-acre park dedicated to preservation of New York's official bird.

"So you can go out the front door or out the back door here and always take a hike."