Next Cambridge: Vermont

Two weeks ago, I sat down to consider where this blog might be going (both literally and figuratively).  Would I really visit 30 Cambridges?  Are there really 30 Cambridges to visit?

I decided that, lacking infinite time, I could only focus on towns/cities/villages that have a Cambridgeness to them, and it turns out that quite a few of the Cambridges that Google found for me don’t meet that basic criterion.  There are place names that no longer have a population living there (three “extinct” or “ghost” towns), six commercial subdivisions or developments called Cambridge that are part of another town, and four administrative areas with limited scope because they’re part of another town.  That leaves a total of 16 Cambridges, including the one I live in and those I’ve already visited.  (Or maybe only 15.  The jury is still out on Pennsylvania.  Does Cambridge Springs count?)

Next, I considered where to go next.  Though it would be ideal to visit a Cambridge further in the center of the country (Ohio or Illinois, for example), I decided that I would complete the New England Cambridges first.  Next week, I’ll be off to Vermont.

And, just as I did in New York, I’ll be visiting two Vermont Cambridges at the same time.  There’s a Village of Cambridge, which is fully included in the Town of Cambridge.  I’ll be meeting with the folks who run the town, but I’ll also explore how the village and the town fit together.

Though Cambridge, VT, with fewer than 3700 residents, could be described as a small town, it has one interesting and major difference from those in NY and Maine: a large employer.  Smugglers’ Notch Ski Resort is in the town (though not the village) and I’m looking forward to learning more about its impact.

Here are the numbers from Vermont, with Massachusetts for comparison.  The comparison data for the four Cambridges I’ve looked at so far can be found here.

Massachusetts Vermont
City/town City Town, which includes a Village of Cambridge
Nickname for residents Cantabridgians ?
Zip code(s) 02138 to 02142 05444
Year Founded 1630 1781
Named for Cambridge University Cambridge University
2010 Census 105,162 3659 (with 236 in the village)
Area (square miles) 7.1 63.7
Population Density/square mile 16,355 57
Median Age 31 36
Population breakdown (percent)
Under 18 13.3 24.4
18 to 24 21.2 7.6
25 to 44 38.6 35.9
45 to 64 17.8 23.6
65 or older 9.2 8.6
Percent White 67 96.5
Median Income $47,979 $44,950
Elevation (feet) 40 758
Miles to an ocean (approximately, as crow flies) 3 147
Distance to Cambridge, MA (Shortest driving distance, in miles) 0 222


Cuing up the second trip

I have a chance to make a very quick trip up to Cambridge, Maine tomorrow, so that’s what I’m going to do.  Compared with Cambridge, NY, Cambridge, ME is a small place indeed.  With a population of only 462, it ranks among the lowest population of the Cambridges.  Here are some numbers for you.  (Thanks, again, to Wikipedia.)  I don’t have much of an itinerary this time, but with one trip behind me, I trust that I’ll figure it out.

Massachusetts New York Maine
City/town City Village Town
Zip code(s) 02138 to 02142 12816 04923
Year Founded 1630 1866 1834
2010 Census 105,162 1870 462
Area (square miles) 7.1 1.7 19.32
Population Density/square mile 16,355 1151 24
Median Age 31 40 48.3
Population breakdown (percent)
      Under 18 13.3 25.7 17.5
      18 to 24 21.2 7.1 5.4
      25 to 44 38.6 24.5 21.6
      45 to 64 17.8 23.0 37.8
      65 or older 9.2 19.8 17.5
Percent White 67 98 (2000) 97.4
Median Income $47,979 $31,164 $28,516
Elevation (feet) 40 496 338
Miles to an ocean (approximately, as bird flies) 3 124 45
Distance to Cambridge, MA (Shortest driving distance, in miles) 0 160 224

Cue up the first road trip

On Monday, I’m heading out for my Cambridge (MA) to Cambridge (NY) road trip.  I’ve been studying up on Cambridge, NY, where I’ll focus on the village, rather than the town of the same name.  (More on that next week, once I figure it all out.)  For now, I started by gathering basic information (thank you, Wikipedia) to guide my conversations when I’m there.

A bird’s-eye view of these numbers could lead to the assumption that the difference between Cambridge, MA and Cambridge, NY is population and there’s not much else to see.  As I’ve read further, though, I’ve come to think there are other key forces at play.  I’m looking forward to chatting with folks there and finding out more.

Massachusetts New York
Type of community or government City Village
Zip code(s) 02138 to 02142 12816
Population from 2010 Census 105,162 1870
Area (square miles) 7.1 1.7
Population density/square mile 16,355 1151
Median age 31 40
Population breakdown (percent)
Under 18 13.3 25.7
18 to 24 21.2 7.1
25 to 44 38.6 24.5
45 to 64 17.8 23.0
65 or older 9.2 19.8
Percent white 67 98 (2000)
Median income $47,979 $31,164
Elevation (feet) 40 496
Miles to an ocean (approximately, as the crow flies) 3 124
Distance to Cambridge, MA (shortest driving distance) 0 160 miles