VIP: Al Johnson

Al Johnson joined us as a volunteer in 2022. He started out helping in the Hall House Library with research. His ability to use the City Directories and Sanborn maps is amazing. Since then, he has stepped in wherever and whenever asked. During the January Shutdown he was at the Mansion working on the woodwork. His willingness to be flexible in his assistance is truly appreciated.

Let’s hear a bit about Al in his own words.

I was born in Ridgeway, PA in 1953. When my family moved to Jamestown, I attended Jamestown schools and graduated from Jamestown High School in 1971. I then attended JCC graduating in 1973 and moved on to Fredonia State University.

After school, I worked in the Quality Assurance Field for many years at SKF Bearing Co., Valeo Engine Cooling and General Electric Aircraft Engine Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.

My interest in history began as a child, when I went in to abandoned buildings to see what was there. Sometimes while hiking in the woods, I would find “Ghost Settlements” where a small village was established for a few years and then abandoned because industry ended, usually logging or mining.

I like to use the census books here, as I have tracked down the various places my family has lived. In retirement, I enjoy trout fishing in the Chautauqua Gorge, hiking in the Allegheny Forest, metal detecting, and finding addresses for people who want to know where their ancestors lived.

We look forward to having Al as a volunteer for years to come.

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