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Research Center

Exterior image of the Fenton

The Fenton History Center’s research center, located at 73 Forest Avenue in Jamestown, New York in the historic Hall House, is a fully functioning, handicap accessible reference library that supports historical and genealogical research.

The Research Center has now REOPENED. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM. Masks are required and appointments are strongly encouraged. Appointments can also be made in advance for Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM.  For additional information, or to make an appointment, please call  (716) 664-6256.

Live outside of the area? Visitors from outside of the area are encouraged to call ahead.  Providing family names and topics of interest will allow our researchers to pull helpful references from our collection in advance.

In addition to assisting members and the public in-house, our knowledgeable and friendly staff regularly process Genealogy Requests and Research Requests that are submitted by mail or email. Select the highlighted text above to learn how to file the appropriate inquiry.

Admission vs. Fenton History Center Membership

Paying an admission fee grants one day’s access to the museum and research center.  

Individuals who plan to make multiple visits to the Fenton History Center are encouraged to purchase a  membership, as our members enjoy:

  • Unlimited access to the research center and museum during operational hours
  • Monthly email newsletter
  • Invitations to upcoming events and exhibit debuts
  • An option to join the Fenton Genealogy Support Group at no cost
  • Discounted ticket rates to certain events held by the Fenton History Center

Interested in historical and genealogical research?  So are we.  Follow the highlighted link to learn more about the Fenton Genealogy Support Group and all it has to offer.

Historic Hall House 

Exterior image of the Fenton's Hall House Research Center
Hall House, 73 Forest Avenue in Jamestown, New York

The Hall House was constructed for William Hall in 1846.  Hall, who was a businessman and proprietor, focused on the lumber industry before changing his course to focus solely on textiles.

At one point in his career, he partnered with William Broadhead and Joseph Turner to create Hall, Broadhead, & Turner Textile Mills. The company later changed ownership to Hall & Company, and later was known as, the Jamestown Worsted Mills.

In 2013, the stately, four-pillared, Greek revival home made its formal debut to the public as the Fenton History Center’s fully functioning research center. This location is the home of the Fenton Genealogy Support Group and the current meeting place of the Fenton History Center’s Vets Finding Vets program. This Hall House is handicap accessible and service dog-friendly.

Fenton Mansion 

Reuben Eaton Fenton (1819-1885), U.S. Congressman (1853-1864), New York State Governor (1864-1869) and U.S. Senator (1869-1875), commissioned local Architect Aaron Hall to design and build the Fenton Mansion in 1863.  The handsome, red brick, one family home has served as the local history center in Southern Chautauqua County since 1964 and was formally recognized by the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. 

The mansion is the perfect example of Italian villa style architecture reminiscent of the mid-19th century.  Present day, the museum embraces its original authenticity by featuring a number of period rooms, its mission to preserve of history at the local and national level and through its educational programming and its dedication to veterans.

Located at 67 Washington Street in Jamestown, New York, the Fenton Mansion houses the Fenton History Center’s museum and gift shop.

Digitized Catalog

Research Center Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday

10 AM to 4 PM
Saturdays by appointment.

Please call

(716) 664-6256 

with any additional questions. 

With the support of a local grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Fenton History Center Library is making its 7000+ volume card catalog available to the world via the Internet. The digitized catalog is being expanded every week.


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