Things to Do in Jamestown
American comedienne Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, New York, so it's here that the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum and Center for Comedy was opened in 1996.
The museum's exhibits include a recreation of the “I Love Lucy” TV sets, including Ricky's nightclub, as well as memorabilia and artifacts from the show. There are costumes, personal photographs, and awards on display.
The facility is also a “Center for Comedy,” which hosts an annual comedy festival, a comedy film festival, and a “comedic education program” that is a partnership with a university. Classes are for adults or children ages 11-17, and range in topics from improv to stand-up.
Opened in 2018, the National Comedy Center in Jamestown is the nation’s official cultural institution dedicated to comedy as an art form. Featuring more than 50 immersive exhibits and interactive experiences, the museum celebrates the great minds and voices of American comedy and gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the comedic process.
Housed in a beautiful, red-bricked former mansion, the Fenton History Center is the premier site for local history and genealogy in Jamestown, New York. The museum’s informative exhibits range in topic from the history of the city to the Underground Railroad to the life of Lucille Ball, who was born in the area. There’s also the research center, another classic structure, just a short walk from the museum.
The building alone is worth a visit to the center. Named after a former governor of the state, it is an architectural gem of the 19th century, built in an Italian villa style. Let the historic building seemingly take you back in time with period rooms, a resources collection, and dozens of artifacts relating to Jamestown's industrial past.