Notes from the Director – June 2023

Calling all gardeners! We have formed the Fenton Garden Club and will be working on the flower beds at Hall House and the mansion, but our biggest project is the Blue Star Memorial Garden. The Fenton History Center was awarded a Community Service Grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for our Blue Star Memorial Garden. The garden will have five areas representing each branch of service; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy. Each garden area will have its own color scheme and will incorporate native plants and will be edged in deer resistant bushes. The bench that we collected plastic for will also be part of this garden. We will need help, so, if you can lend some muscle to our garden project please call 716-664-6256 or email

The Fenton History Center was also awarded a grant from the Reg and Betty Lenna Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for a new exterior door and cement ramp at the Hall House Research Center. We are excited to have a “real” door that can be locked and unlocked from the outside and a ramp that will give everyone access to the Research Center that is safe! Construction will begin June 9th and will continue through the month of June and possibly July. Until the cement ramp is completed, everyone will have to use the door facing the parking lot, which does have a step up. We are very appreciative of these two grant awards from CRCF.

We are in gear for our Roaring 20s themed Gala on July 29th. Invitations will be in the mail in the next couple of weeks, but you don’t need an invitation to come! “Tickets” can be purchased online at, by phone or sending a check with your RSVP. We guarantee that this will be the party of the year! Delicious food will be served (drinks included), dancing and entertainment, raffle baskets, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, Tea Leaf Readings, and Poker and Black Jack in our Speak Easy will make for a fun filled evening. We will have Reuben Bucks available for use at the Speak Easy and your winnings can be used to purchase tickets for the Barrel of Booze (Shhhh! Don’t let anyone know about that).

To help celebrate our 60th Anniversary as a Historical Society we will be putting together a time capsule to be opened in 2063, our 100th Anniversary. To be part of our time capsule you can contribute $10 along with a business card or letter to be placed in the capsule. Here is the question; what will Jamestown and the Fenton History Center be like in 2063? Drop your business cards and letters off at the Fenton History Center, Monday – Saturday, 10 – 4.
Don’t forget about our June Lecture Series: Wednesday, June 14th, 1:00 pm, Underground Chautauqua: Three Freedom Trails, Documentary and Q&A with Wendy Straight and Friday, June 16th, 6:00 pm, Songs of Slavery and Emancipation, Documentary and Music presented by Mat Callahan. Both programs are free and open to all in the FHC Mansion Dining Room. Also, on Saturday, June 24th at 10:00 am is the Southside Walking Tour with Tom Greer. ($5 members, $10 non-members, register online).

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