By Rose S. Prinzi
The McClurg Museum is one of Chautauqua County’s treasures. Built over 190 years ago, the fourteen-room, Federal-style mansion features some of the earliest artifacts and archival materials involved with the settlement and subsequent development of our county. The collection features fine art, antique furnishings, and textiles of an earlier time.
As with all aging homes, repairs need to be made; and the McClurg Museum is no different. For years, the Chautauqua County Historical Society has struggled to maintain this aging, but dignified, building. With hopes of restoring a unique stained glass window located in their Children’s Room, the CCHS submitted a request for proposal to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s Community Service Fund. In response, the Foundation awarded $12,000 to the Museum to battle the woes of time. With the recent renovations of the Children’s Room, both children and adults can delight in its unique collection of toys of bygone days.
The Chautauqua County Historical Society was founded in 1883, making it one of the oldest societies in Western New York State. Since its inception, CCHS has been collecting and preserving significant history of Chautauqua County. Its mission is to foster an interest in and knowledge of the history of Chautauqua County through the collection, preservation and interpretation of objects, and archives of local significance. In addition to a substantial collection of Chautauqua County photographs and artifacts, its Research Library contains several important collections, including the Elial T. Foote collection, the Cushing family papers, the Albion W. Tourgee collection, and the John O. Bowman photographic collection. Genealogists reference local history files, including family histories and Civil War documents.
The Community Foundation is pleased to support efforts that preserve our local history. Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning, and enjoyment. They are institutions that collect, safeguard, and make accessible artifacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society. The Foundation continually works to enhance the community through special funding from our Community Service Fund. We are here to preserve the legacy of our forefathers, who began the Foundation over thirty years ago with the intent to continue the tradition of helping our neighbors, forever keeping the past in mind while looking to the future.
The Foundation’s Community Service Funds assist with the future needs of the community. Through local philanthropy, gifts made to these funds offer the Board of Directors of the Foundation flexibility in addressing area needs as they arise. So, if it is to preserve our history or assist in Jamestown’s Urban Design Program for the future, the Foundation is available to assist with local projects.
For more information about the Foundation’s Community Service Funds, go to our website at www.crcfonline.org or call our staff at 661-3390.