Lucille Ball: Not the Girl Next Door Exhibit

This exhibit highlights Lucille Ball’s early years in Jamestown and Celoron, her many trips home throughout her career, and rarely seen photographs that were taken by her friend Marion Strong VanVlack. The photos show a touching, and human aspect of this internationally loved comedienne.

Born on August 6, 1911, at home at 60 Stewart Avenue, Jamestown, New York, Lucille has often reflected upon fond memories spent in this area. Most of Lucille’s childhood was spent in Celoron, New York. Here the excitement of Celoron Park surrounded her, planting seeds for her future career.

Lucille made four notable visits to the area: one in 1933, in 1944 when “Grampa” Hunt died (also tying in a campaign to sell war bonds), in 1946, and in 1956 when her film Forever Darling premiered at Dipson’s Palace Theater. She was scheduled to come again to receive an honorary diploma from Jamestown Community College in 1989, but succumbed on April 26, following heart surgery.

Looking for more about Lucille Ball? Check the Timeline of Lucille Ball’s Life & Career and The Many Names of Lucy and Family pages.

The Fenton History Center also features elegant period rooms, the most notable of which is the Fenton’s Drawing Room.

There are a number of permanent and rotating exhibits. The following list names a few:  

  • Civil War Room
  • Chautauqua Lake Room
  • Intersections: The Underground Railroad in Chautauqua County
  • Nanny and Children’s Room
  • Homespun/Nineteenth Century Exhibit 
  • Swedish Room 
  • Observation tower

Exhibits featured for the summer of 2017 include: Over There: WWI and Jamestown and Why Not New York? The Road to the Vote.

You’re invited: Exhibit Debut: Why Not New York: The Road to the Vote: 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. This event is free and open to the public. Donations are not required but will be graciously accepted.

Learn more about the Fenton History Center below: 

The Fenton Mansion  

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Fenton Mansion is a landmark, lending distinction and elegance to the passing scene. In its continuing mission as the center for education and preservation of a unique local heritage, it is a valuable cultural institution in the city of Jamestown, New York.

The Fenton History Center is housed in the historic, one family home of Governor Reuben E. Fenton. The Fenton History Center also owns and operates its own fully equipped research center, which is located in the historic Hall House located at 73 Forest Avenue. Adjacent from the Fenton Mansion, the research center is fully accessible to the museum by a private driveway and a redbrick walkway. 


The Fenton History Center welcomes bus tours and guided tours by appointment (716) 664-6256. Walk-in visitors can take a self-guided tour of the museum at any time during operational hours (Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM). Visitors are provided with an informative guide booklet.

Educational Programming

Various educational programming is available for businesses, civic groups, private/public students and families.  Offerings are available within the historic Fenton Mansion and through the Fenton History Center’s Moving Museum.  Please contact the Education Director Jennifer Champ to schedule a guided tour or program by phone (716) 664-6256 or by email.

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67 Washington Street, Jamestown, NY 14701


73 Forest Avenue, Jamestown, NY 14701

Museum and Research Center

(716) 664-6256

Monday – Saturday

10 AM – 4 PM

In ordinance with Memorial Day, the Fenton History Center will be closed Monday, May 29th.


Paid admission includes access to the Fenton History Center museum and research center. Those visiting the Fenton History Center are encouraged to visit both locations. Exhibits in the museum are ever-changing and new additions to the research center library are added on a regular basis. *Please call ahead to confirm research center hours prior visiting the Hall House on Saturdays.

The museum and research center are connected by a paved parkway that is shaded by a number of trees. Many visitors enjoy the brief walk and park in one location during the spring, summer, and fall. 

Adult $10

Child (age 6 to 12) $4

Children (age 5 and under) Free Admission

Family Admission (children accompanied by parents) $30

 Individuals, families, students and seniors who plan to visit the Fenton History Center on more than one occasion are encouraged to purchase a Fenton History Center membership.

*Students and seniors receive discounted membership rates.

See the 2017 full calendar of events here:


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