Jamestown NY (The Pearl City)
Located on Chautauqua Lake with Lake Erie to the northwest and the Allegheny National Forest to the south, Jamestown is the largest city in Chautauqua County with a population of 31,146 as of the 2010 census.
Jamestown Community College provides two and four-year degrees through matriculation agreements with several universities. 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.
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 approximation 1,500 students K–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.
Located in nearby Lakewood NY, the Chautauqua Mall offers numerous shopping retailers.
Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena holds numerous ice sports events including several hockey teams and played host to the start of the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center is dedicated to Jamestown’s own Lucille Ball, the city also has multiple murals featuring Ball, and annually hosts a comedy festival in her honor as well as a run, which featured dozens of participants dressed as the famed comedienne.
The Fenton History Center honors former Jamestown Resident Reuben Fenton, the 25th Governor of NYS.
The Robert H. Jackson Center was built to preserve the life and legacy of Robert H. Jackson, former Supreme Court Justice and famous for his handling of the Nurenburg trials.
The Lucile M. Wright Air Museum. http://www.lucilemwrightairmuseum.org/
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History promotes the teaching and study of nature and appreciation of the natural world.
Local Businesses and Employment Opportunities:
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; Jamestown Engine Plant or JEP, SKF AeroEngine, 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.
Local Transportation Services:
The Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport (JHW) is north of the city and provides scheduled and charter air service.
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.
Notable people from the area include comedienne Lucille Ball, Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, singer Natalie Merchant of the 10,000 maniacs, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The city’s strong industrial history has led to inventions including the crescent wrench and automatic voting machines. At one point, Jamestown was known as the Furniture Capital of the World, holding furniture expositions at the Furniture Mart.
While visiting Chautauqua Lake in 1806 James Prendergast foresaw how to develop the areas of Pine forest in Southern Chautauqua County. He purchased 1,000 acres of land in 1809. He returned in 1811, cleared an area for settlement and used to lake outlet on the Chadakoin River to build and operate the areas first damn and sawmill in the area. By 1813 a blacksmith shop and wood furniture operation had also came to the area.
Due to the difficulties in transporting hard woods, they were burned and the ash was leeched to obtain lye and peal ash, critical for the manufacture of glass products. By the mid 1820’s the area was one of the Nation’s largest centers for the production of pearl ash, earning Jamestown (named in 1815 after Prendergast) the nickname “The Pearl City”. The settlement grew rapidly, in 1827 it was officially incorporated as a village, and an influx of Swedish, Italian, Irish, and English settlers led to it’s recognition as a city by the State of New York in 1886.
In 1887 the Jamestown Electric Light and Power Company, Art Metal, and WCA Hospital were established. They were soon joined by Jamestown Woolen Spinning Co (1888), Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (1888), American Aristotype Co. (1889), James Prendergast Library (1891), the Municipal Light Plant (1891), Chautauqua Worsted Mills (1892) and Collins Ice Cream (1892).