Jamestown, New York
Main Street, 1914 postcard
|Nickname(s): The Pearl City|
|Incorporated (city)||April 19, 1886|
|• Mayor||Samuel Teresi (D)|
|• Common Council|
|• Total||9.1 sq mi (23.5 km2)|
|• Land||9.0 sq mi (22.94 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.217 km2)|
|Elevation||1,378 ft (420 m)|
|Population (Census 2010)|
|• Density||3,534.6/sq mi (1,364.3/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||14701, 14702|
|GNIS feature ID||0953925|
Jamestown is a city in southern Chautauqua County, New York, in the United States. The population was 31,146 at the 2010 census. Situated between Lake Erie to the northwest and the Allegheny National Forest to the south, Jamestown is the largest population center in the county. Nearby Chautauqua Lake is a fresh water resource enjoyed by fishermen, boaters and naturalists. Chautauqua Institution is approximately 17 miles away, offering music, theater, educational classes and lectures for nine weeks during the summer.
Notable people from the Jamestown area include comedienne Lucille Ball; Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson; naturalist Roger Tory Peterson; and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Products developed in Jamestown include the crescent wrench and automatic voting machines.
Jamestown was once called the "Furniture Capital of the World" where people visited from all over the country to attend furniture expositions at the Furniture Mart, a building that still stands in the city and currently houses offices for a variety of companies.
- 1 History
- 2 Gallery
- 3 Climate
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Government
- 6 Culture
- 7 Major employers
- 8 Education
- 9 Transportation
- 10 Radio stations
- 11 Notable people
- 12 References
- 13 Sources
- 14 Bibliography
- 15 Further reading
- 16 External links
Jamestown is named after James Prendergast, an early Chautauqua County settler. His family purchased 3,500 acres (14 km2) in 1806, in the area now known as Chautauqua County. James Prendergast explored the area that is now Jamestown. Prendergast saw the area to be valuable, and so he purchased 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of land in the area in 1808. In the fall of 1809, Prendergast and an employee, John Blowers built a log cabin, which became the first building in Jamestown. Another log cabin as well as mills and a dam were built on the Chadakoin River later on. In 1855, Nightwatch was created for the purpose of looking out for fires.
Jamestown was incorporated into a village in 1827 and incorporated into a city on April 19, 1886. Oscar F. Price was elected as the first mayor of the city on April 13, 1886. James Murray was appointed to be the first Chief of Police and would lead a force of six police officers.
In 1887, Jamestown Electric Light and Power Company, Art Metal, and WCA Hospital were established. In 1888, Jamestown Woolen Spinning Co. established; cornerstone of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church laid. In 1889, the American Aristotype Co. was established. The first electric trolley car in Jamestown made its appearance in 1890. In 1891, a fire destroyed the Old Homestead Hotel at Third and Pine Streets and four people died. James Prendergast Library and the Municipal Light Plant were established the same year.
In 1892, Chautauqua Worsted mills was formed. In 1893, Jamestown Veneer Works was started by Nathan Wilson and Jamestown's first ice cream company started making Collins Ice Cream. In 1895, the cornerstone of City Hall was laid and the City Council decided to lay no more wooden sidewalks. Eleazer Green is elected mayor the same year. In 1896, Empire Worsted Mills was formed. In 1898, Chautauqua Towel Mills was opened. In 1899, Henry H. Cooper was elected mayor. In 1900, Tinkham Brothers established their business, the Furniture Index was published, and the Hall Textile Corporation was formed. In 1903, Jamestown purchased a water system and the J.P. Danielson Tool Co. was organized. In 1906, James L. Weeks was elected mayor. In 1907, the Crescent Tool Company was started by Karl Peterson and Charles F. Falldine. In 1908, Samuel A. Carlson was elected mayor. Music Study Club and Jamestown Symphony Orchestra began the same year.
In 1910, the excavation began for construction of Jamestown General Hospital, which still stands in the present day. In 1911, the Norden Club was started. On August 6, actress Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown. The first plane to ever fly over Jamestown occurred on September 28, 1911. The Norden Clubhouse was completed in 1914. On April 8, 1917, Company E left for guard duty. The Emerson Glass Company started the same year. In 1918, Jamestown Corp. formed to make airplane propellers. A steam ship, the City of Pittsburgh sank at Boatlanding, also in 1918. On July 7, 1918, the death of Ira Lou Spring marked the first Jamestown man to die in France during World War I.
In 1921, the Zonta Club was organized. In 1925, the Hotel Samuels was sold. In that same year, the Scottish Rite Temple was formally opened and taxpayers voted a $350,000 bond issue for the Third Street Bridge. The following year, Third Street Bridge was completed and it still stands today. In 1927, Jamestown celebrated the centennial of its incorporation as a village. Lars Larson was elected mayor the same year. In 1930, Samuel A. Carlson served as mayor once again. In 1931, a fire destroyed the old Martyn Factory. Also, the city purchases Niagara, Lockport and Ontario Power Company.
In 1932, the ground was broken for the new armory, the Erie Railroad station was dedicated, and the Community Chest was permanently formed. In 1933, Elk Furniture Company was sold. Also, Milton Carlson and Frederick Larson took over Jamestown Airport. The board of education assumed title to school forest. Also in 1933, city councilman Leon F. Roberts was elected mayor. In 1934, Jamestown Airport Corp. offered an airport to the city and the city secured the old armory as a relief center. As part of The New Deal, ground was broken for a new high school, which provided jobs during the Great Depression.
In 1935, the Board of Education opened the new industrial arts building and City Council approved $314,000 airport for North Main Street site. In November, Jamestown High School was formally dedicated. In 1937, the Temple Hesed Abraham was dedicated and the Alfred Collegiate Extension Center opened with 80 students. In 1938, Harry C. Erickson became mayor and Jamestown General Hospital's maternity annex opened. In 1939, twelve local plans surveyed by the government to produce supplies in wartime. Also, the city's new airport formally dedicated.
In 1940, the PONY league baseball began and Co. E was inducted into federal service. In 1941, Jamestown Municipal Stadium was dedicated and Samuel A. Stroth was elected mayor. In 1942, East Second Street widening was ordered and flames destroyed the old state armory. In 1945, Jamestown was hit by a tornado. In 1946, Dr. Carlyle C. Ring was named superintendent of schools. C.C. Ring Elementary School presently stands, in his honor. In 1950, Jamestown Community College was opened.
In 1951, Stanley A. Weeks was elected mayor and the addition to the municipal power plant was opened. In 1954, Samuel A. Stroth was elected mayor and Allegheny Airlines began east-west flight via Jamestown. In 1955, Carl F. Sanford was elected mayor. In 1956, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz visited Jamestown. In 1957, a $400,000 runway improvement to Jamestown Municipal Airport was added. In 1958, a new sewage disposal plant was opened, Buffalo Street pumping station was modernized, and a new wing opened at Jamestown General Hospital. In 1959, Jamestown's new post office was started. In 1960, Jamestown celebrated the sesquicentennial of first house erected here. That same year, Mohawk Airlines started to serve Jamestown.
In 1961, Jamestown Community College moved into new Falconer Street campus and William D. Whitehead was elected mayor. In 1963, the City's first parking ramp opened at Main and Second Streets and Frederick H. Dunn elected mayor. Additionally, Grandin Mills on Allen Street was destroyed by fire and singer Natalie Merchant was born in Jamestown. In 1964, the Washington Street Bridge was completed. In 1967, an addition to Jamestown High School was completed. Also, Jamestown Community College opened a new Science and Engineering Building. In that same year, Charles B. Magnuson was elected mayor. In 1968, an addition to the James Prendergast Free Library was completed. In 1969, the Cherry Street parking ramp was opened, Rail service to Jamestown discontinued by Erie-Lackawanna Railway, Stanley N. Lundine was elected mayor, and the New Gustavus Adolphus Children's Home opened. In 1970, the Final approval was granted for the Brooklyn Square Urban Renewal Project.
Throughout the 1970s, homes in Brooklyn Square were relocated as well as many stores and shops. A second Urban Renewal Project was proposed in 2006, and the project began in 2007. Jamestown has hosted thirteen Babe Ruth World Series since 1980, and hosted the 13-Year-Old Babe Ruth World Series in 2008. The James Prendergast Library has regularly ranked in the top ten in the nation among those that service populations of 25,000-49,999, according to HAPLR, with a peak ranking of fourth in 2004.
|Climate data for Jamestown, New York|
|Average high °F (°C)||31.9
|Average low °F (°C)||14.5
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.94
|Snowfall inches (cm)||25.7
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||17.3||13.1||13.1||12.5||11.5||11.9||11.2||10.7||10.3||12.2||13.2||16.2||153.2|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||11.8||8.9||5.7||1.3||0||0||0||0||0||.3||3.1||9.1||40.3|
As of the census of 2000, there were 31,730 people, 13,558 households, and 7,904 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,534.6 inhabitants per square mile (1,364.3/km2). There were 15,027 housing units at an average density of 1,673.9 per square mile (646.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.52% White, 3.39% African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.8% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.94% of the population. 19.7% were of Italian, 18.1% Swedish, 12.8% German, 9.0% Irish, 8.7% English and 5.5% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 13,558 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.7% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,837, and the median income for a family was $33,675. Males had a median income of $30,003 versus $20,039 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,316. About 15.8% of families and 19.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.1% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.
The executive branch consists of a mayor elected to 4-year terms without term limits, and the heads of the departments, most of them appointed by the mayor.
|This section's factual accuracy is disputed. (March 2008)|
This section lists the mayors of Jamestown, New York.
|#||Mayor name||Took office||Left office||Political party|
|1||Oscar F. Price||April 13, 1886||May 7, 1894|
|2||Eleazer Green||May 7, 1894||April 11, 1898|
|3||Henry H. Cooper||April 11, 1898||1900|
|4||J. Emil Johnson||1900||1906|
|5||James L. Weeks||1906||1908|
|6||Samuel A. Carlson||1908||1928||Republican|
|8||Samuel A. Carlson||1930||1934||Republican|
|9||Leon F. Roberts||1934||1938|
|10||Harry C. Erickson||1938||1941|
|11||Samuel A. Stroth||1941||1951|
|12||Stanley A. Weeks||1951||1954|
|13||Samuel A. Stroth||1954||1955|
|14||Carl F. Sanford||1955||1961|
|15||William D. Whitehead||1961||1963|
|16||Frederick H. Dunn||1963||1967|
|17||Charles B. Magnuson||1967||1969||Republican|
|18||Stanley Nelson Lundine||1969||1976||Democratic|
|19||Steven B. Carlson||1976||1990|
|20||Donald W. Ahlstrom||1990||1992|
|21||Carolyn Gifford Seymour||1992||1994|
|22||Richard A. Kimball, Jr.||1994||2000||Republican|
The legislative body of Jamestown consists of nine council members, who are elected every two years without any term limits. Six council members represent each of the city's 6 wards, and three additional council members are known as councilmembers-at-large, representing the entire city. The table below outlines the current members of the Jamestown City Council.
|Gregory P. Rabb (D)||At-Large, Council President|
|Kimberly A. Ecklund (R)||At-Large|
|George S. Spitale (D)||At-Large|
|Stephen Szwejbka (D)||Ward I|
|Anthony Dolce (R)||Ward II|
|Michael A. Taylor (D)||2005||Ward III|
|Vince DeJoy (D)||Ward VI|
|Maria B. Jones (D)||Ward V|
|Paul D. Whitford (D)||Ward VI|
- The Fenton History Center is named for former resident Reuben Fenton, the 25th Governor of New York.
- The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center is dedicated to the city's best-known daughter, Lucille Ball, and held a ceremony in honor of what would have been Ball's 100th birthday in August 2011.
- The Robert H. Jackson Center was built to preserve the life and legacy of Robert H. Jackson.
- The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History continues the legacy of Roger Tory Peterson by promoting the teaching and study of nature, and to thereby create knowledge of and appreciation and responsibility for the natural world.
- The Lucile M. Wright Air Museum located at 300 North Main Street in downtown Jamestown. http://www.lucilemwrightairmuseum.org/
- The Jamestown Gateway Train Station located at 211-217 West Second Street in downtown Jamestown
Jamestown is the current home of the Jamestown Chiefs, a semi-pro football team in the Northeastern Football Alliance.
Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena is a 1,900 seat ice arena in the city. Among the teams that have played in the arena as primary tenants included the Jamestown Ironmen of the North American Hockey League, the Jamestown Jets of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League, the minor professional Jamestown Vikings of the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League and the Jamestown Titans of the North Eastern Hockey League.
Jamestown High School's boys and girls basketball teams have both won numerous Sectional and Division titles, with the basketball team winning back to back Section VI titles in 2009–10, 2010–11 while reaching the NYSPHSAA Class AA State Championship in 2011. The High School football team has been to four New York State Championships, losing in 1993, and winning in 1994, 1995, and 2000
The first Jamesway store opened in Jamestown. It later relocated to Chautauqua Mall.
The Jamestown area has a few large manufacturing plants that are major employers in this region. These include Bush Industries (makers of ready-to-assemble furniture), Cummins Inc. (manufacturer of diesel engines; the heavy duty engine plant is located in the Town of Busti, just west of Jamestown, but still called the Jamestown Engine Plant or JEP), SKF AeroEngine (formerly MRC Bearings), TitanX Engine Cooling Inc., Jamestown Container Companies (corrugated container manufacturer) and Truck-Lite (makers of truck lighting systems) "Blackstone" (makers of sheet metal). Chain stores have opened in recent years in the surrounding area, including Walmart, KMart, Wegmans, Sam's Club, CVS, and Rite Aid.
"The Connection" an outsource phone call center has become a major employer on the corner of Second and Washington Streets in Jamestown housed in the Furniture Mart building, and headquartered out of Minnesota.
WCA Hospital (Women's Christian Association) was founded May 23, 1885, and included a nursing school until Jamestown Community College filled the need with a two-year RN nursing program. It currently has a school of Medical Technology and Radiology Technology. Though Jamestown General Hospital still stands on Jones Hill, it is no longer publicly owned, and is now part of WCA Healthcare System. It houses mental health units as well physical, drug and alcohol rehab units. The main campus of WCA is on the corner of Allen St and Foote Avenue.
At present, the greater Jamestown area remains at the center of an impressive agricultural region. Among the area's leading producers are Welch's, Mogen David, Kraft Foods and Red Wing. Of all the counties in New York State, Chautauqua County has more farms than any other (about 2,200). Although its primary agricultural product is milk, Chautauqua County is also the State's greatest producer of wine and jelly grapes. The area's production of Concord grapes is one of the largest in the nation, second only to California.
Jamestown Community College provides a two-year education and four-year degrees through matriculation agreements with several universities. Recent additions to the campus include a state-of-the-art LEED certified science building and three residence halls. Jamestown Business College, located near the downtown core, now offers a four-year degree.
Jamestown Public Schools include: Jamestown High School; three middle schools, Persell Middle School, George Washington Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson Middle School; as well as six elementary schools.
The Red Raider Marching Band won the NY State Field Band Conference Championship in 1991, and has consistently placed in the top 10 at Bands of America competitions. They played at the pregame show at the 2004 FedEx Orange Bowl. In December 2007, they traveled to Florida to play at the Citrus Bowl. The other premiere music ensemble at JHS is the A Cappella Choir.
Also located just within the Jamestown City limits is another public school: Southwestern Central School, located almost on the border with Lakewood NY, which serves students K–12. The physical address is 600 Hunt Road W.E. Jamestown, New York 14701
The Southwestern Central School District serves approximately 1,499 students. Southwestern Central School occupies three buildings on one large campus. Southwestern Elementary School, which opened in September 2002, has 655 students enrolled in grades Pre-K–5; the Middle School serves 356 students in grades 6–8, and at the High School there are 441 students in grades 9–12.
The Southwestern Central School District is located on the west end of the city of Jamestown, New York. Included in the district are the villages of Lakewood and Celoron, the Town of Busti, rural areas and the suburban area of West Ellicott. Jamestown and the surrounding area comprise a population of approximately 60,000 people located 40 miles east of Erie, Pa. and 70 miles southwest of Buffalo.
The Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport (JHW) is north of the city and provides scheduled and charter air service.
Bus service is provided by Coach USA of Erie. Connections are available. to the Greyhound service in Buffalo. There is also a county-wide bus service (CARTS) and taxi service through various companies.
Long distance railroads
Present day Jamestown is on the mainline of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad which provides freight service. Amtrak provides a daily Thruway Motorcoach service between its Buffalo-Exchange Street Station and Jamestown.
Until the 1970s, four railroad companies traveled through Jamestown:
- Erie Railroad – main line passing through Jamestown (New York to Chicago)
Electric interurban – the Jamestown, Westfield and Northwestern
An electric interurban railroad—Jamestown, Westfield and Northwestern Railroad (JW&NW)—connected all three above towns (Jamestown-Mayville-Westfield) and ran along the north side of Lake Chautauqua. The JW&NW ended passenger operation in 1947, continued with freight, then quit entirely in 1950. Its rails and right-of-way have slowly disappeared.
- Theodore Albrecht, music historian
- Augustus F. Allen, former US Congressman
- Brad Anderson, cartoonist
- Mitchell Anderson, notable character actor
- Marshall Arisman, illustrator
- Cheryl Bailey, Executive Director of the National Women's Soccer League
- Fred Ball, movie studio executive, actor, brother of Lucille Ball
- Lucille Ball, actress, comedienne and businesswoman was born in Jamestown and grew up in nearby Celoron.
- Wilfred Beaver, World War I flying ace
- Alfred W. Benson, former US Senator from Kansas
- Walter Brown, former MLB player
- Rob Buck, founding member of 10,000 Maniacs
- Leon Carlson, former MLB relief pitcher
- Samuel A. Carlson, former mayor of Jamestown
- Nick Carter, singer, member of the Backstreet Boys
- Dennis Drew, keyboardist for 10,000 Maniacs
- Greg Edwards, county executive of Chautauqua County, former candidate for Lt. Governor of New York
- William Feather, publisher, author
- Reuben Fenton, congressman, senator, and Governor of New York, was born in the nearby Town of Carroll and made his home in Jamestown.
- Vagn F. Flyger, wildlife biologist, one of the world’s foremost authorities on squirrels
- Michael G. Foster, karate pioneer
- Andy Goodell, New York State Assemblyman
- Charles Goodell, former US Congressman
- Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, born and raised in Jamestown
- Mihal Grameno, Albanian rilindas, politician, writer, freedom fighter, journalist
- Alva L. Hager, former US Congressman from Iowa
- Gilbert Dennison Harris, notable geologist
- Hayward A. Harvey, inventor of the Harvey process
- John B. Hayes, retired US Coast Guard Admiral
- Abner Hazeltine, former U.S. Congressman
- Shawn Higbee, professional motorcycle racer
- John Jachym, businessman, philanthropist, sportsman
- Robert H. Jackson, U.S. Solicitor General, U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Supreme Court associate justice & Nuremberg chief prosecutor, graduated from Jamestown High School, lived and practiced law in Jamestown from 1910–1934, visited regularly when he lived in Washington from 1934–1954, and was buried following an October 1954 funeral at Jamestown's St. Luke's Episcopal Church
- Gene Johnson, a member of the band Diamond Rio, was raised in the rural area just south of Jamestown and attended school in nearby Lakewood.
- Harry Pratt Judson, second President of the University of Chicago
- Laura Kightlinger, actress, comedian, writer
- John Lombardo, founding member of 10,000 Maniacs
- Dwight Lowry, former MLB catcher
- Stanley Lundine, politician, Mayor of Jamestown, Congressman, Lieutenant Governor of New York
- Richard P. Marvin, former US Congressman
- Jim McCusker, retired NFL player
- Singer Natalie Merchant and the band 10,000 Maniacs also originated in Jamestown. The Maniacs' gold and platinum records hang on the wall of Jamestown City Hall.
- The Mighty Wallop!, rock band
- Irv Noren, former American professional baseball and basketball player.
- Francis W. Palmer, former US Congressman
- Pandora Boxx, drag queen and reality show contestant on the second season of reality-television series RuPaul's Drag Race.
- William Parment, former New York State Assemblyman
- Julie Anne Peters, author
- Roger Tory Peterson, naturalist
- Jess Present, former New York State Senator
- Jackson Rohm, country/pop musician
- Porter Sheldon, former US Congressman
- Nick Sirianni, NFL assistant coach
- Ira Spring, photographer, author
- Jud Strunk, singer/songwriter
- Samuel Teresi, mayor of Jamestown
- Davis Hanson Waite, 8th Governor of Colorado
- Arthur (Ed) Wall, journalist/author, managing editor The Honolulu Advertiser. editor Catholic News Service
- Walter Washington First African-American Mayor of Washington D.C., raised in Jamestown.
- Willis R. Whitney, founder of the research laboratory of the General Electric Company
- Dale Willman, award-winning journalist
- Thomas B. Woodworth, newspaper publisher, lawyer
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 168.
- "History of Jamestown, NY". History of Chautauqua County, New York and its people. American Historical Society, Inc. 1921. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
- "Police Department History". City of Jamestown Website. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- "Chronology Of City's History". The Post-Journal. 28 September 1971. pp. CT–15. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
- "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- Jamestown City Charter
- 20Carlson/76-3-15.pdf Carlson To Be Sworn In As Mayor of Jamestown
- Carlson Blasts Ahlstrom
- Nineteen Candidates Emerge for Library District Board
- "About the Mayor". City of Jamestown Website.
- "City Council Members". City of Jamestown Website. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History
- Jamestown World Series Central
- Ingles, J.D. (Fall 2004). Classic Trains Magazine. p. 72.
- "Frequently Asked Lucy-Desi Questions". The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, Inc. Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- Ingeles, J. D. (Fall 2004). Classic Trains Magazine: 72.
- Middleton, William D. (1975). The Interurban Era. Milwaukee: Kalmbach Books. p. 432. ISBN 0-89024-003-5.
- Ahlstrom, Harold (1974). Jamestown and Chautauqua Lake Trolleys. Jamestown New York: Fenton Historical Society. OCLC 30403459.
- Middleton, William D. The Time of the Trolley. Milwaukee Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 0-89024-013-2.
- Hatch, Vernelle A (1900). Illustrated History of Jamestown, Chautauqua County, N.Y.: Containing Sketches and Illustrations of the Village in the Early Days of its Existence, Together with Photographs and Biographies of the Present Time. Jamestown, NY: C.E. Burk. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jamestown, New York.|