Visitors Are Taken On Journey To The Past

Jamestown is home to a rich history and the home of famous people, while still retaining its small-town feeling.

The Lucille Ball Hometown Tour takes visitors on a journey to the past and educates on how Jamestown came to be, visualized through the historic buildings of Jamestown. The tour is around two hours long, and carries visitors in a coach bus, driving past and dropping off at some of Jamestown’s most famous sites, especially where Lucille Ball is concerned.

“So many of these places have a connection to Lucy,” said the tour guide (who, coincidentally was also named Lucy).

Lucille Ball was born Aug. 6, 1911 in Jamestown and was raised until her teenage years in Celoron. When she was just starting out, everyone said she had no talent in acting, so she started out as a model. She managed to gain a few bit parts in movies until she grew into the actress the world knows today. She died April 26, 1989, when she was slated to return to Jamestown once more.

“Lucy and Desi were big influences in television,” the tour guide said. “We have three camera television and reruns because of those two. They paid to stay in California so they could shoot ‘I Love Lucy’ on film. Television before then was filmed in New York City.”

The tour takes visitors past four of five of the murals painted around Jamestown depicting famous moments of Lucy. Other stops include the three houses she lived in Jamestown, the high school where she landed in the track field behind the school by helicopter, the Robert H. Jackson center and The Lucille Ball Little Theatre.

Lucy, the tour guide, told the audience many facts about Lucy and her relationship with the town. There was also some facts about more recent buildings like the National Comedy Center, or buildings that didn’t have much to do with Lucy, like the Fenton History Center. Facts about Desi and other important people in Lucy’s life were also discussed.

The tour went from Jamestown all the way to Celoron and back again, making two stops — one in Celoron Park, and one at Lakeview Cemetery.

The Hometown Tour continues its run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Tickets are available for $20, and the tour bus leaves from the National Comedy Center. The bus leaves promptly at the scheduled times.

“I’ve been doing this tour for many years,” the tour guide said. “I still love doing it. I just love Lucy.”