Local residents will be able to learn about Jamestown’s history including its beautiful architecture, as the Fenton History Center is hosting Inside Jamestown’s Churches Tours.
“The tour will take guests inside some of Jamestown’s churches,” Victoria Parker, the Fenton’s curator, said.
Tours are scheduled to run from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.
The first begins at Christian Missionary Alliance Church, 1011 W. Third St. Participants in the tour will also have the opportunity to visit Temple Hesed Abraham at Bethel Lutheran Church, 904 W. Third St., St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox at Mt. Vernon Place and St. Elia Albanian Orthodox at 103 Palmer St.
The Fenton held similar tours in 2018 and 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have done church walking tours for years, but everyone wished we could go inside,” Parker said. “Prior to the pandemic, we did this tour in 2018 and 2019 with different churches. There are so many churches in Jamestown that we can’t cover them all at once.”
Like many events, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the tour being canceled for two years.
“It was very popular and we are excited to be able to bring it back,” Parker said. “Members from the churches will meet us at each location and give us a tour and historical information about each church.”
Inside Jamestown’s Churches Tours will give participants the chance to visit four unique churches that represent different parts of the city’s history.
“Each of these churches are unique to Jamestown and have their own stories,” Parker said. “St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox church is celebrating their centennial this year. St. Nicholas and St. Elias are the only Orthodox churches in Chautauqua County. The congregation of Temple Hesed Abraham is the Jewish community in Jamestown who are now meeting inside a church building.”
As part of the Fenton’s endeavor to preserve history and offer the community events that highlight the region’s history, this year’s tour will feature architecture from different cultures and will reflect the diverse ethnic backgrounds of the faith community in the city.
“The main purpose is to teach people about different aspects of Jamestown’s history and welcome them into buildings they may not have already seen.” Parker said. “It gives our visitors the chance to see some beautiful architecture and learn about the history and heritage of Jamestown.”
Parker said the event not only offers the public a chance to visit four different churches and admire the architecture, but is also designed to help people learn about the history of the Jamestown community.
“Hopefully people will learn more about the rich heritage we have here in Jamestown, and gain a better understanding of what built our history,” she said.
Each year, the Fenton chooses different churches to host the tour.
“This year’s churches were chosen for their proximity to each other,” Parker said. “We don’t want people to have to drive a long distance between churches.”
As the event returns for the first time since 2019, the Fenton hopes people will come show their support and experience the tour.
“I always hope for a good turn out, both for us and for the churches,” Parker said.
While the churches are located near each other, those attending the tour will still be required to drive between locations.
The cost for the event is $10 for adults. Fenton History Center Members and chiildren 17 and under can attend the event for free.
In addition to the Inside Jamestown’s Churches Tours, the Fenton has several other events scheduled for the summer and fall months.
“The Fenton History Center 2 walking tours in August, on Aug. 6 Lucy Downtown Tour and on Aug. 20 the Old Northside tour,” Parker said. “Tours start at 10 a.m. at the Fenton History Center. We also have Fenton Canteen for local veterans the second Saturday of every month.”
The Fenton’s annual Saints and Sinners Cemetery Tours of Lakeview Cemetery will also return in October.
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