Lucille Ball: Not the Girl Next Door

Lucille Ball: Not the Girl Next Door

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 out the Timeline of Lucille Ball’s Life & Career and The Many Names of Lucy and Family pages.


Fenton History Center Museum, located at 67 Washington Street in Jamestown, New York

The Fenton History Center also features elegant period rooms, the most notable of which, is the Fenton Drawing Room. Recreated in 1989, it exhibits some of the museums finest artifacts and is the perfect example of Victorian décor. The museum features a number of permanent and rotating exhibits.

Some of the museum’s permanent features include: 

    • Made in Jamestown: How Furnture Built a City (Exhibit)
    • Military Room
    • Evolution of Children’s Toys (Exhibit)
    • Homespun Era (Cellar Dedication)
    • Interactive History of Jamestown, New York (Display)
    • Intersections: The Underground Railroad in Chautauqua County (Exhibit)
    • Fenton Dining Room 
    • Fenton Family Parlor 
    • Jamestown, New York: Industrialization (Stairway Dedication)
    • Lookout Tower 
    • Lucille Ball: Not the Girl Next Door (Room Dedication)
    • Mourning 1800’s-1900’s (Corridor Dedication)
    • Nanny and Children’s Room
    • Swedish Room
    • Victorian Vestibule 
Pictured: Parade on Main Street, Jamestown, New York circa 1920


Pictured: Fenton Family Parlor

Why Not New York? The Road to the 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. November 2017 marks the Centennial of New York State granting women the right to vote. Celebrate New York State’s triumph.

Why Not New York? The Road to the Vote addresses 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 exhibit was on display from June to September 2017 and will be on exhibit again in 2020.

Learn more about the Fenton History Center below:

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Fenton Mansion, located at 67 Washington Street in Jamestown, New York, 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. 

In addition to housing an impressive museum within the family home of Reuben E. Fenton, U.S. Congressman (1853-1864), New York State Governor (1864-1869) and U.S. Senator (1869-1875), the Fenton History Center owns and operates a full functioning research center, located  73 Forest Avenue in the historic Hall House.

The Hall House is situated adjacently from the Fenton Mansion and is accessible by a private redbrick walkway. A private parking lot is available at both locations. 


The Fenton History Center welcomes bus tours and guided tours by appointment (716) 664-6256. However, walk-in visitors are invited to take a self-guided tour of the museum at any time during operational hours, Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM. 

Visitors touring the museum on their own are provided with an informative booklet and a brief overview of the museum prior to their tour. A full selection of books; pieces reminiscent of the Victorian era; mementos of the Fenton Mansion, Jamestown, New York and Chautauqua Lake; keepsakes; and a number of handcrafted items are available for sale within the museum gift shop. 

Educational Programming

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



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

Research Center is open on Saturdays by appointment only. Please call to schedule.


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 before visiting the research center whenever possible and to schedule appointments for detailed studies.  

 Many visitors park in one location to enjoy the brief walk between the museum and research center in the spring, summer, and fall. 

Adult $10

Children  17 and under are free of charge!


 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.

Follow the following link to learn how to become a member:

 Fenton History Center Membership