Jamestown Trivia

One popular new game of the 1980s was Trivial Pursuit. As time went on additional sets of cards were made for different topics. This was the case here in Jamestown as the city celebrated the 100th anniversary of its incorporation as a city. A set of cards with six different questions and answers about Jamestown then and Jamestown’s history were created and sold by the committee. It was a fundraiser, as well as an awareness raiser for the history of the city and the village that preceded it.

In the collection of the Fenton History Center is at least one box of these cards. After reviewing a few of these cards, one realizes that many of the questions no longer have the correct answer if one played the game today. Many of the questions pertained to time of the centennial celebration. For instance, one question was “How many policemen are on the force?” The answer given was 72, but is that the correct answer for today?

Another question is “What ice cream store in the 1940s was located where the beauty school is now?” To answer that today, one would have to think back to the 1980s and figure out where the beauty school was and then go back to the 1940s to think of the ice cream store that had been in that location.

And a tidbit of Lucille Ball’s life in Jamestown was included with the question “What was the name of the cigar store where Lucille Ball worked?” The answer to that was Duffy’s. Looking in the city directories, we find that Duffy’s News Room was located at 201 W. Third St. during the 1920s and gone by 1934.

There are a few questions about Gov. Fenton and his family. And there are at least two questions about the Hall House where the Research Center of the Fenton History Center is now located. One question asks, “How many pillars are on the front of the Hall Memorial Home?” The answer is four. The second question asks what kind of tree is the “big dark colored tree on the front lawn of the Hall Memorial Home?” The answer to that is Copper Beech or European Beech. It is a lovely tree and has been growing in the front yard for many years. Take a look the next time you pass by the Hall House on Forest Avenue.

It would be fascinating to go through all the questions and update those that need updating for today’s answers but again those game cards would be out-of-date in just a few years as some of the answers will change again. Questions about the early history of Jamestown such as “When was the first firehouse built?” will stay the same.

If anyone is interested in purchasing a set of these cards to use with a Trivial Pursuit game board, the Fenton History Center does have a few sets for sale in the Museum Shop in the Fenton Mansion.