Jamestown, founded in 1811, is at the eastern end of Chautauqua Lake. One of its claims to fame is that it was the childhood home of Lucille Ball. It was here that Ball first performed her wacky comedy acts, which are now commemorated every year during the Lucille Ball Hometown Celebration. Another well-known Jamestown native was Roger Tory Peterson, who wrote and illustrated the Peterson Field Guides, which document the flora and fauna of various U.S. regions.

Lucille Ball's grave is in Jamestown, in the Lake View Cemetery, just down the street from the Comfort Inn and Hampton Inn. Her birthplace is at 69 Stewart Avenue, and her childhood home is at 59 Lucy Lane, in Celoron, 3 mi west of Jamestown.

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