Last updated: 1/18/2012
Jamestown, New York
Street Address
Fenton History Center-Museum & library
67 Washington St.
Jamestown, NY 14701
Mailing Address
67 Washington St.
Jamestown, NY 14701
Adults: $5.00
CHildren: 4-12 years old $4.00
Under 4 Free
Joni Blackman, Director

The Fenton History Center - Museum & Library is a local history museum and research library that concentrates on southern Chautauqua County NY and Jamestown NY. The museum & library are housed in the 1863 Italianate Villa style home of former NYS Governor Reuben E. Fenton (1865-1869). The house was also the last office of the Grand ARmy of the Republic (GAR), the military veterans agency that oversaw the Civil War soldiers. THe museum represents the Victorian era, settlement times and local history through period rooms (both restored and recreated) and many different exhibits. The Jamestown area has a rich history in politics, industry and transportation. The local history library is also a rich resource for genealogy research. The library holds over 7,000 volumes and the archive has over 700 manuscripts. The Fenton is currently finishing up a $150,000 federal grant to provide Internet access to the library's card catalog. Expansion of the facility is on the horizon, as well as some additional staff and programming. This will all be firmed up in the strategic planning process.


The Fenton Historical Society began in 1963 out of the threat of urban renewal and the placement of a 4 lane state road through the Fenton Mansion. The mansion was and is owned by the City of Jamestown. It was a war memorial and meeting place for the many veterans groups starting in 1919 when the city acquired the mansion. A concerned group of citizens rallied the city to save the building from destruction in 1963 and the Society became a NYS Chartered institution in 1964. It has since grown a collection of over 50,000 artifacts, 10,000 photographs and a 7,000 volume library with a 700+ manuscripts archive. The membership of 400, staff of 13 and volunteers provide educational services to over 12,000 students, 3,500 onsite visitors, and 12,000 website visitors.

Artifact Collections

THe artifact collections range from day-to-day objects to the Gov.'s chair with the NYS seal in the upper left corner. The collection has over 50,000 pieces that show the diverse industry (furniture, manufacturing, tools, voting machines, cars) of the area. Transportation by train, steamboat, trolly cars and bicycle are well represented in the collection. The tourism industry dating back to 1875 is evident in the many items that supported the grand hotels and other tourist interests of Chautauqua Lake. Chautauqua Institution is on the northern shores of the lake.

Research Collections

The research collections concentrate on the local history and genealogy. The local history special collections include print materials and manuscripts that are personal and industrial in nature. There are microforms and electonic CDs. The genealogy materals support the adjacent geographical areas and the common migration routes to and from JAmestown and Chautauqua County. The collections have a large amount of Swedish genealogy.

Educational Programs

Please see our website for a full listing of our education programming.


Board of Trustees 12 2005 will see a new Strategic planning process that will most likely last through September.


Access: General Public, Students, Scholars

Appointment required: No


  • Newsletter 3 times per year
  • Annual Report
  • This information, including business hours, addresses and contact information is provided for general reference purposes only. No representation is made or warranty is given as to its content or the reliability thereof. User assumes all risk of use. Stories USA, Inc. and its content suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Please call ahead to verify the dates, the location and directions.
    Dallas, Texas

    Johnny World Products is a family owned and operated business based in Cleveland, Ohio. We began operations in 2018 with a focus on bringing original design products to consumers who have the same daily problems as we do in our family. Since inception, every product that we sell has been our own design and has been exclusively manufactured by us. We are not “re-sellers”.

    Saturday, March 5 - Tuesday, March 8, 2022 — Richmond, Virginia
    Virginia Association of Museums Annual Conference 2022
    Richmond, Virginia
    Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Wednesday, March 16 - Friday, March 18, 2022 — Kingsport, Tennessee
    Tennessee Association of Museums 2022 Annual Conference
    Kingsport, Tennessee
    Tuesday, March 22 - Friday, March 25, 2022 — Waco, Texas
    Texas Association of Museums 2022 - Growing Together: Tackling The Challenges Of Today & Tomorrow
    Waco, Texas
    Thursday, April 7 - Saturday, April 9, 2022 — Point Pleasant, West Virginia
    West Virginia Association of Museums 2022 Conference
    Point Pleasant, West Virginia
    Sunday, April 24 - Tuesday, April 26, 2022 — Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    PA Museums’ 2022 Conference
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    Sunday, May 15 - Saturday, May 28, 2022 — Statesboro, Georgia
    Center of Excellence Tick Workshop 2022
    Statesboro, Georgia
    Monday, May 16 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    InterActivity 2022: Play The Long Game -Association of Children's Museums
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Thursday, May 19 - Sunday, May 22, 2022 — Slinger, Wisconsin
    2022 Fire Museum Seminar
    Slinger, Wisconsin
    Sunday, June 19 - Wednesday, June 22, 2022 — Golden, Colorado
    2022 Country School Association of America Conference
    Golden, Colorado
    Thursday, June 23 - Tuesday, June 28, 2022 — Tacoma, Washington
    Tacoma, Washington
    Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 5, 2022 — Owings Mills, Maryland
    Owings Mills, Maryland
    Wednesday, September 14 - Saturday, September 17, 2022 — Buffalo, New York
    American Association for State and Local History 2022 On-site and Virual Conferences
    Buffalo, New York