‘The Women Of Lake View’

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the people buried in Jamestown at Lake View Cemetery, now is your chance.

This summer tours will be held at the cemetery on various topics. On Tuesday, the first of these tours was held on “The Women of Lake View.” The informative walking tour had about 60 attendees who learned more about some of the women buried in the cemetery. A couple of those women included Cecile Gifford Minturn and Josephine Fenton Gifford. Minturn was known for several accomplishments during her lifetime, but might best be remembered as the lady who donated the land that is now Long Point State Park. She died in 1965 and by 1968 her property was a state park. Gifford was also known for several contributions to the community, but one might say her legacy has carried on because she started the Mozart Club. The club is the oldest woman’s club in the county and is the second oldest music club in the state.

Sam Genco, Lake View Cemetery superintendent, said there have been tours at the cemetery before. For the last five years, tours have been hosted in the fall by the Fenton History Center at the cemetery.

“We wanted to do some more informal tours with a bit of theme to them during the summer months,” he said. “Instead of throwing all of our eggs into one basket with the fall tours. We wanted to give a teaser to people to get them to come to the fall tours by offering free summer tours.”

Genco said the informal summer tours won’t be as much of a production as the fall tours.

“In the fall, we have reenactors playing parts and they’re in costume,” he said. “We get actors and actresses to play the parts. We do carriage rides so people can ride around the cemetery. The summer tours will be a little less involved, but they still give good information. We will introduce them to people who are buried here that have interesting histories and accomplishments.”

Genco said there will be more tours held this summer. One will be held Tuesday, July 16, that will be based on some of the famous street names, parks and buildings in Jamestown. On Monday, Aug. 5, there will be a tour based on the famous sports figures who are buried in the cemetery. Genco said this tour will be conducted in conjunction with the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.

“We may do one on the various Johnsons. We have 104 John Johnsons buried here. I have a feeling we would be able to come up with a tour based on that,” he said.

Genco said he was pleasantly surprised by how many people showed interest in the tour prior.

“We’re expecting a pretty good crowd for our first one, and it is gratifying that so many wanted to come. I’m looking forward to giving some information about those who are buried here and how they contributed to society,”he said prior to Tuesday’s tour.

For more information on the Lake View Cemetery tours, call 665-3206.