Chautauqua County and the surrounding region offers both visitors and area residents opportunities to explore historical attractions rich with heritage.
According to Andrew Nixon, executive director for Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, there are historic attractions located countywide at different levels in terms of the size of their operation.
"Some are completely unique in the world and others you might find similar things but they are still very interesting and round out a visit to the area," said Nixon.
The Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy, 2 W. Third St. in Jamestown, is home to a museum which salutes the first couple of comedy by featuring costumes, awards, photographs and other vintage memorabilia from the estates of the duo.
P-J photo by Dusten Rader
The area boasts a few completely unique museum-type attractions including: The Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy, The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History and the Robert H. Jackson Center.
"Those are unique in the world and attract a high degree of attention," said Nixon. "They would be the type of thing that would attract people to the area - a catalyst for the visit."
According to its website, The Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy is a nonprofit organization with the mission of preserving the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz by enriching the world through the healing powers of love and laughter and by developing the comedic arts.
Because Jamestown is Ball's hometown, The Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy has been home to the Lucy Desi Museum since 1996. The museum salutes the first couple of comedy by featuring costumes, awards, photographs and other vintage memorabilia from the estates of the duo. It also features permanent exhibits, recreations of studio sets and the Tropicana Room, and hosts screenings of original episodes. A Ball-Arnaz family portrait that once hung at Ball and Arnaz's home in Beverly Hills greets guests as they enter the museum.
The Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy annually hosts a Festival of Comedy, which occurs Aug. 1-4 and in the past has hosted comedians such as Ray Romano, Ellen DeGeneres and Paula Poundstone. This year the festival will host Kathleen Madigan, Bill Engvall and Tammy Pescatelli.
The Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy is located at 2 W. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information call 484-0800 or visit www.lucy-desi.com.
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History continues the legacy of Roger Tory Peterson, one of America's preeminent 20th century naturalists who was born in Jamestown. The institute promotes nature education and houses the naturalists' lifetime body of work.
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History is located on 27 acres of native forest habitat, at 311 Curtis St. in Jamestown. For more information call 665-2473 or visit www.rtpi.org.
According to its website, The Robert H. Jackson Center is a global source of information on the life, words, work and legacy of Robert H. Jackson, a Frewsburg-raised prominent trial lawyer in Jamestown. Jackson went on to become solicitor general, attorney general and an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. He served as Chief Counsel for the United States at the first Nuremberg Trial in 1945-46. The center recently hosted Chief Justice John G. Roberts.
The Robert H. Jackson Center is located at 305 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown. For more information call 483-6646 or visit www.roberthjackson.org.
"There are several other historical attractions that would provide visitors who are already coming here with lots of other things to do," said Nixon. "For example: the Dunkirk Historic Lighthouse, which is a fascinating place; the new Lawson Center, which features the history of boats on Chautauqua Lake and also ties in with an antique boat show every year; the McClurg Museum, which is also the Chautauqua County Historical Society; and there is even a really interesting place in Sherman called the Yorker Museum."
The Dunkirk Historic Lighthouse is located at 1 Point Drive North in Dunkirk. For more information call 366-5050 or visit www.dunkirklighthouse.com.
The Lawson Center is located at 73 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point. For more information call 386-6582 or visit www.thelawsoncenter.org.
McClurg Museum and the Chautauqua County Historical Society are located at 15 Main St. in Westfield. For more information call 326-2977 or visit www.mcclurgmuseum.org.
The Yorker Museum is located at the corner of Park and Church Streets in Sherman. For more information call 761-6503 or visit www.shermannys.info.
Chautauqua County and the surrounding region is home to many more historic attractions such as: the Fenton History Center, the Jamestown Gateway Train Station, Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, Dart Airport Air Museum, Lily Dale Assembly Museum, Midway State Park Museum, the Oliver Archives Center at Chautauqua Institution, the Seneca Iroquois National Museum, the Lincoln-Bedell Statue Park, the Findley Lake Nature Center, Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff Estate, the Lucile M. Wright Air Museum and more.
According to Nixon, there are always new things going on in the area. "I think that they could be confident in returning to the area and finding something new to do that they hadn't done on their previous trip - unless you spent a lot of time here," said Nixon. " It would take you a lot of time to cover all that we have to offer."
For more information call 357-4569 or visit www.tourchautauqua.com.