Jamestown, named for James Prendergast, evolved from the first settlement in 1810 at “The Rapids” on Chautauqua Lake’s outlet. His sawmill, erected in 1811, used the available waterpower to help expand the settlement. Continued use of the waterpower and the area’s abundant natural resources developed the manufacturing of furniture, textiles, and tools. Lumbering, farming, and industries undertaken by the hardworking settlers transformed Jamestown into an internationally known city with fine homes, successful businesses, and recreation opportunities on the lake and in the surrounding countryside.
Author Bio: Karen E. Livsey is the archivist at the Fenton History Center, Museum and Research Center in Jamestown. A native of the area, she writes a newspaper column featuring different items from the museum’s collections. Dorothy E. Levin has lived and worked in the Jamestown area her entire life. She and her family are avid postcard collectors, and she often travels to postcard shows to expand her collection.
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