Step Back in Time at Fenton History Center

Fenton History Center provides the opportunity to step back in time and see what it was like in Jamestown and Chautauqua County decades ago.

Fenton History Center provides the opportunity to step back in time and see what it was like in Jamestown and Chautauqua County decades ago.

This weekend you can slow the pace of your busy world. Turn back to a quieter time, a time when there were no cell phones, email or 24-hour stores.

The Fenton History Center’s 9th annual living history day, Old Fashion Day, is this Saturday, August 10 from 10 Am to 5 PM at the Fenton Mansion and park located just south of the Washington St. Bridge at 67 Washington St., Jamestown. The festival is free to the public.

Help celebrate the Fenton’s 50th Anniversary with a display of 1963 cars, and free memberships to anyone who is celebrating a “50” milestone such as a birthday or anniversary in 2013. Along with old-time handcraft demonstrators, vendors, food, carriage rides, a children’s tent and the free museum admission the Fenton’s summer archaeology excavation will be open for viewing.

According to Thomas Greer, Walnut Grove Archaeology project manager and Fenton History Center Trustee, “The excavation has had some very interesting twists and turns. We will be opening the excavation during the day and will share our new discoveries with our visitors.”

This is a great day for grandparents and their grandchildren to learn about old crafts that were once a necessity. Old time crafts demonstrators will be showing leather working, woodworking/shingle making, quilting, tatting and chair caning.

Local musician and craftsman Mark Davis has been working with the Fenton’s Mount Vernon Linden Beech tree limb that fell last fall. He will be bringing a pictorial history of the work and discuss his plans for a memorial piece from the limb.

Gun collector Jerry Nelson will be showing his 1860s and later vintage guns made by local gunsmiths. Other collectors will be displaying wooden tools, marbles, locally-made guns, and axes. Modern craft vendors will be selling and demonstrating jewelry making, wood burning, and crocheting.

There will be horse-drawn carriage rides for a nominal fee and a children’s activities tent where they can practice hula hooping, digging for artifacts and fishing in a Victorian pond. Food will include home-made lemonade, kettle corn, Italian sausage, hamburgers, curly fries and hotdogs.

‘Picks and Hammers’ from Edinboro PA will be playing American traditional music from the 1800s and early 1900s using dulcimers, fiddle, mandolin and guitar. Bill Lucas, a local antiques dealer, will be on hand to advise and appraise. The cost for the appraisals is $3 per appraisal or 4 items for $10.

“History comes alive when we can touch it, when we have a chance to spin, weave or carve. When we can enter a time period and, hopefully, understand it better, then we begin to make it part of our life” says Joni Blackman, Fenton History Center Education Director, “This is one of the ways we can interest our children and grandchildren in their past. We would love to see the park filled with local collectors teaching about and showing off their collections.”

The 1863 mansion of former Congressman, Governor and Senator Reuben E. Fenton will be open for free during the event. The Fenton Mansion houses Jamestown’s local history museum. It has period rooms from the mid-late 1800s, a pioneer kitchen, a farmer’s workshop and many local history exhibits. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum gift shop will also be open. The summer exhibit is “Jamestown’s Top Ten." Ten artifacts are used to tell the highlights of our City’s history.

Jamestown is full of inspiring stories, interesting people and fun places. Take some time out of your busy schedule and enjoy your City’s past Saturday, August 10, at Fenton Old Fashion Day. For more information visit www.fentonhistorycenter.org or call 664-6256.