Jamestown, New York facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Downtown Jamestown, view from Washington Street.
The Pearl City
|Incorporated (city)||April 19, 1886|
|• 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)|
|• Density||3,534.6/sq mi (1,364.3/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|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 comedian Lucille Ball; Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson; naturalist Roger Tory Peterson; singer Natalie Merchant; 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.
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.
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, Kevin McElrath 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 age distribution of the population shows 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 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. As of 2016[update], a National Comedy Center and Museum of National Comedy in honor of Lucille Ball is being planned and built on the corner of Second and Washington Streets. This is adjacent to the newly renovated Train Station. Washington Street Bridge has also recently been fully rebuilt and renovated and renamed the Luci Desi Bridge in preparation for the grand opening in 2017. The National Comedy Center
- 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
- On August 2, 2015 construction began on The National Comedy Center which will be adjacent to the train station. The comedy center is expected to open in the spring of 2017.
Jamestown was the home city for the Jamestown Jammers baseball team of the New York–Penn League. The Jammers were the Single A Short Season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Following the 2014 season, the Jammers announced that they would be relocating to Morgantown, West Virginia. It was later announced that a new team in the Prospect League would replace the Jammers, and the team would keep the name.
Jamestown is the current home of the Jamestown Chiefs, a semi-pro football team.
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, the Jamestown Titans of the North Eastern Hockey League and the current Southern Tier Xpress of the North American 3 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 five New York State Championships, losing in 1993, and winning in 1994, 1995, 2000 and 2014.
Jamestown hosted its 15th Babe Ruth World Series in August 2011.
Jamestown hosted, at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, three exhibition games prior to the start of the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
The first Jamesway store opened in Jamestown. It later relocated to Chautauqua Mall.
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 does not serve the area, except through contract with Coach USA to provide Thruway Motorcoach service along Coach USA's existing bus route to bus Amtrak passengers to and from the Exchange Street Station in Buffalo.
Until the 1970s, four railroad companies traveled through Jamestown:
- Erie Railroad – main line passing through Jamestown (New York to Chicago)
In 1976, the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad was absorbed into Conrail, and then ultimately, by Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation in 1998.
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.
Jamestown, New York Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.