Category Archives: 2017 Calendar of Events

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2017 Calendar of Events

Our 2017 calendar of events caters to all ages and interests: 

Over There: WWI and Jamestown Exhibit:  After receiving news that the United States Congress had declared war on April 6, 1917, the City of Jamestown sprang into action. From its school children to its factories, bankers, and laborers to its City leaders – everyone did their bit. The Over There: WWI and Jamestown exhibit takes an intimate look at how WWI impacted the City of Jamestown specifically and gives a brief overview of what drove America to war after its initial reluctancy.

This exhibit features uniforms, American Legion history, letters sent from the battlefield (along with the soldier’s personal effects), artifacts from the War and many local references to Jamestown’ activities and people. The official dedication of this exhibit took place on April 5 at 6 PM on the eve of 100th anniversary of the day that the United States officially entered WWI and will stay on display until September 23rd.

June 14th: 12 PM to 1 PM: 242nd Birthday of the U.S. Army/Flag Day: In addition to recognizing the U.S. Army’s 242nd Birthday and Flag Day (June 14, 2017), Steve Trask who was enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1969 will share his experience and the story of his father’s enlistment with the U.S. Army. 

Trask who’s rank was E-5 (Non Commissioned Officer) completed Special Forces Training in Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, Airborne Training in Ft. Bragg, Texas, Ranger Training in Arizona, Winter Survival Training in Klondike, Alaska and Jungle Training in Panama before he served in Vietnam in 1968, three days before the Tet Offensive.  

June 14th: 6 PM to 7 PM: Why Not New York?: The Road to the Vote Exhibit Debut: Join us for an exhibit debut: Why Not New York: The Road to the Vote on June 14 from 6 PM to 7 PM.

Why Not New York? The Road to the Vote exhibit will address the struggle for equal rights in the 19th and 20th century, and the significant role that Chautauqua County citizens played in the movement for women’s suffrage.

November 2017 will mark the Centennial of New York State granting women the right to vote. New Yorkers played a pivotal role in the struggle for women’s suffrage and equal rights beginning in 1848 in Seneca Falls through the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

This event is free and open to the public. Donations are not required but will be graciously accepted.


Walking Tours of Jamestown 2017



Starting Point:

Jamestown’s Churches

May 27, June 24, July 22, Sept. 2

Fenton History Center 9:45 AM

Jamestown’s Hidden Alleys

July 29

Fenton History Center 9: 45 AM

Historic Downtown Jamestown

June 10, July 8, August 19

Fenton History Center 9: 45 AM

The Lakeview Loop

June 17, July 15, August 12, Sept. 9

Lake View Cemetery Association Office 9:45 AM

Jamestown’s Southside

July 1, August 26

Fenton History Center 9:45 AM

There is a $10 fee for potential members and a $5 fee for Fenton History Center members.  Children up to 18 are free with a paying adult with a limit of two children per paying adult. 

*Please note that the Lakeview Avenue district was added to the list of Historic Places in 2017, this means that the Lakeview Loop walking tour will be in popular demand

Please arrive at the starting points listed below no later than 9:45 AM for a 10 AM start time.


The Fenton History Center offers two educational summer programs for children entering grades 1 through 8: 

Meet Me at the Museum: Fenton History Center 2017 Summer Drop-Off Program for Children 6 t0 10: Make your child’s summer an experience they will never forget! Activities will include: DIY (Do it Yourself) historical crafts, games, seek & find tours & snacks. The cost per day is $10 per child. Registration is required.

Tuesday Afternoons from 2 PM to 3:30 PM June 27, July 11 & 25, and August 8 & 22
Saturday Mornings from 10 AM to 11:30 AM June 24, July 8 & 22, August 12 & 26. and Sept. 9

Call (716) 664-6256 to register your child or visit the Fenton History Center in person (67 Washington Street, Jamestown, NY 14701) Monday through Saturday between 10 AM and 4 PM.

Life During WWI: 2017 Summer Day Camp for Grade Levels 4 to 8: Students in grades 4-8 will learn about the life of a WWI Private and what was happening in Jamestown during the Great War during the week of July 10-14 each day from 1 PM to 4 PM. Limited space, please register early, $125 fee

Make your child’s summer an experience that they will never forget! 

Call (716) 664-6256 to register your child or visit the Fenton History Center in person (67 Washington Street, Jamestown, NY 14701) Monday through Saturday between 10 AM and 4 PM.


July 12th: 12 PM to 1 PM: More than Meets the Eye: The Early Story of Chautauqua: Richard P. Heitzenrater who holds the William Kellon Quick title for Professor of Church History and Wesley Studies at Duke University Divinity School will focus on the instigating features of the initial Camp Meeting that took place from 1871 to 1875 and the actual Assembly that began at Fair Point (1874) on July 12th promptly at 12 PM. 

This talk will define how oil money from Pennsylvania, the spread of railroads and steamboats, recovery from the Civil War, the founding of colleges, religious revivals and squabbles, industrialization, and the publication by Darwin influenced this time period and the region specifically. This story goes much further than the common ideas of J.H. Vincent that were supported by the money of Lewis Miller.

Attendees are encouraged to bring any early photographs they may have pertaining to Chautauqua region to share and discuss directly after the talk.

August 9th: 12 PM to 1 PM: Patrick Tyrrell: Lincoln’s Hero, Scoundrel, or Both?: Michelle Henry, Chautauqua County Historian & Records Manger, will discuss Patrick Tyrrell’s personal life and  life as a Secret Service Agent on August 9th promptly at 12 PM.   

Patrick Tyrrell is credited with thwarting an attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body and was hailed as a hero in Springfield, Illinois, but his early life in Chautauqua County was marred by corruption and personal strife.  Was he a hero or a scoundrel, or perhaps a bit of both?

September 13th: 12 PM to 1 PM: Walnut Grove Archaeology Project: Year 6: Dr. Thomas Greer will discuss the archaeological excavation that has been underway on the grounds of the Fenton History Center and additions to the artifacts that have been collected on September 13 promptly at 12 PM.

Team members of the Walnut Grove Archaeology Project will continue in an area where an early structure associated with the mansion once stood. Dr. Thomas Greer and his colleagues will also be investigating the location of the carriage house and west side house addition.

Interested in participating? Dig days take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer beginning in June.  Excavation may also take place on some Saturdays.  The days that are not spent digging will be spent washing artifacts. Due to the confined space and small scale of the project, the number of participants is limited. If you would like to join us call the Fenton History Center at (716) 664-6256.

October 7th and 14th: The 12th Annual Saints and Sinners Lake View Cemetery Tours:  This tour is just in time to get in spirit for All Hallows Eve, is historically informative, and is an excellent way to become more familiar with the rich history of the City.  Travel by horse-drawn carriage or walk during the day or evening hours and uncover some of over 43,000 personal stories that are hidden within the Lake View Cemetery of Jamestown, New York.  Returning guests would agree that the costumed actors who guide this tour make this experience the total package.

As the tour changes year by year, no two tours will ever be the same. Tours will step off throughout the day/evening from 3 PM to 8 PM. Walking tours: Adult: $10, Youth/Children $2, Fenton History Center Members: $5. Carriage Rides: All seats: $18.  Tickets go on sale on August 1st.

October 11th: 12 PM to 1 PM: The Chautauqua County Historic Structure Database: Michelle Henry, Chautauqua County Historian, and Wendy Straight, Chautauqua County Historical Structures Volunteer, will demonstrate the Historic Structures of Chautauqua County Database and outline the project’s specific goals on October 11th promptly at 12 PM.

Wendy Straight will discuss the projects history and Michelle Henry will cover recent additions from county and museum records. Participants will also learn how to submit material from their own family’s archives.

Persons interested in 19th century maps and homes in Chautauqua County and anyone who is interested in learning how to access maps and information pertaining to homes dated to the 19th century in Chautauqua County online are encouraged to attend this talk. Pictured: Photograph featured in the database of the Residence of Thomas D. Spiking, Charlotte, New York.

October 15th: Mausoleum Tours and More at the Lake View Cemetery:  This guided behind-the-scenes tour of a number of elegant mausoleums and grave-sites in the Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown, New York is almost as popular as the annual Saints and Sinners tour.  The Lake View Cemetery, established in 1859, comes alive as costumed actors tell spirited tails of the individuals and their families who are laid to rest in the grave-sites and mausoleums to be featured.  Guests are served light refreshments directly after the tour.  Tickets: $20. Tickets go on sale on August 1st.