Education Programs

Fenton History Center Educational Programs are an excellent way to enrich your classroom and inspire your students. Our programs utilize local artifacts, documents and photographs to promote the student’s understanding of the concepts that align with state standards. When possible, the programs employ interactive, multi-sensory activities.

While it is preferable for students to visit the Fenton History Center, time and budget constraints do not always allow classes to visit in person. The Moving Museum brings the Fenton’s Educational Programming into the classroom. Any of our programs can be part of the Moving Museum.

For information about scheduling an educational program or Moving Museum program, contact us by phone at 716-664-6256, or email

We are open to ideas for moving our programs online. If you are looking for virtual tours, please contact us. 



Meets NYS Social Studies curriculum requirements for local history in the Fourth Grade Standards 1, 3, 4
Concepts/themes – change, culture, places and regions, environment and society, identity, citizenship and civic life, human systems
Grade 4
6 units of instruction
1 & 1 1/2 hour sessions over a two week period
In school and at Museum
Not available month of December
Fee – $300.00 per class

The environment and time in which a person lives shapes their daily life, experiences, tastes, habits and chores. Daily life and experiences are also shaped by gender, culture, race and socioeconomic background. By exploring the lives and stories of diverse individuals from Jamestown’s past, students make vivid comparisons to their own lives. The Local Lore Comes Alive program incorporates interactive demonstrations, theatrical performances, reproduction costumes, historical characters, video and role-playing activities. The students will “become” a real person from Jamestown’s past and will receive facsimiles of primary documents, a biographical sketch and a photograph of that person. The program also includes visits to the museum for The Age of Homespun and Victorian Sampler tours. As the culminating activity, students will wear reproduction clothing and perform skits depicting life in early Jamestown.


Standards – 1, 3, 4
1.5 units of instruction
Concepts/themes – places and regions, change, environment and society
90 minutes
At Museum
Fee – $75 per class

The Homespun-era provides an in-depth study of a self-sufficient economy in a time before Jamestown had electricity, refrigeration and supermarkets. Students tour the Farmer’s Workshop, Ice Harvesting, Kitchen, and Spinning/Weaving exhibits at the museum. Farming implements, cooking utensils, carpentry tools, and washing and ironing tools are highlighted. The artifacts and exhibits provide a visual and tactile supplement to classroom discussion.


Standards – 1, 3
1.5 units of instruction
Concepts/themes – identity, culture, change
90 minutes
At Museum
Fee – $75.00 per class

The Victorian Era was a time of growth and change in Jamestown. Factories opened, people moved into the city to be closer to jobs and businesses, and many large, fancy homes were built. These concepts are introduced by Museum Educators through a tour of the Fenton Mansion’s Victorian-era period rooms, including the Renaissance Revival Drawing Room, the Family Parlor and Nanny’s Room exhibit. The elaborateness of the period is demonstrated through the study of artifacts such as clothing, furnishings and decorative arts.Programs are available during the school year, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Standards – 1, 2, 3
1 unit of instruction
Concepts/themes – change, geography, political systems, diversity, government
1 class period / 40 minutes
In School
Fee – $50.00 per class

Chautauqua County represented the end of a long and treacherous journey for many fugitive slaves, as well as the promise of a life of freedom. Students will learn about the significant role our area played in the Underground Railroad system by studying the lives of local citizens who risked fines, punishment and imprisonment to assist “runaway slaves” in reaching the Lake Erie shoreline. Maps and artifacts will be used to trace the secret routes used and learn about the methods employed to avoid detection.