Saints and Sinners Tours
Our 10th Annual Saints and Sinners Tour with the Fenton History Center was held Saturday,
October 1st and 8th, with Mausoleum Tours on Sunday, October 2nd. The tours were well-attended as usual
for this ever-popular event. Horse-drawn carriages, actors in costume, and knowledgeable guides
contributed to a memorable afternoon/evening in Lake View Cemetery. This year make it a point to
attend these tours to learn more about the fascinating people, thrilling incidents, and long-lost stories of
Jamestown's past - and tour a mausoleum or two! Tickets and reservations for the 2017 Saints and Sinners
tours will be available starting this summer from the Fenton History Center. Call 716-664-6256 to get on
their email list to be reminded of this event. Come learn why this event has become a yearly tradition for so
many area families and friends. Walking and horse-drawn tours are available. Each tour features different
characters, so why not attend both?! New stories and characters every year, along with some old favorites.
See you there!
Summer Hours in effect (Gates will be open from 7:30 AM to 8:30 PM)
The cemetery grounds will be open from 7:30 AM until 8:30 PM during the summer. The current hours are
always posted on all the cemetery gates. Always check the gate signs to confirm closing time. If you
become locked in the cemetery with your vehicle, try these phone numbers, if you have a cell phone -
716-490-3778, or 716-720-3403. Please note that the three small Pedestrian Gates are always left unlocked
(except on Halloween evening). Two of these gates are located along Lakeview Ave., and one is located along
North Main St.
Veteran's Grove design by Rod Drake - Clark Patterson Lee Design Professionals
Rendering by Joe Rollman
Veteran's Grove Dedication - June 13, 2015
After several years of planning, the Dedication of Veteran's Grove in Lake View Cemetery took place at
11:00 A.M., on Saturday, June 13, 2015, at the site located just north of the Sheldon Gate, which is located
at the north end of Lakeview Avenue. Tents were erected for the occasion, and seating was provided for
attendees. Appropriate music and services took place in the shadow of the 80-foot flagpole and large flag
(20' x 38') at the event. This was the third time in the cemetery's 157-year history that a veteran's area was
established. The first dedicated veteran's site was established in 1862, and was named Monument Hill.
It holds the remains of 113 pre-World War I veterans. The second veteran's area is Soldier's Circle, dedicated
in 1921, and now almost full with nearly 1200 veterans. See our 'Maps and Directions' page to locate these
Much remains to be done to complete the infrastructure around Veteran's Grove. Organizations and
individuals are encouraged to inquire about donations to help complete this worthy project. Please see
the article below concerning the Friends of Lake View Cemetery, Inc.
Update - October 17, 2016
Ground was broken Monday, October 17, 2016, for further work on the Veteran's Grove area. A divided
roadway has been installed from the entrance gate to the flag, as well as a connector road from the existing
burial area to the flag. Much remaining work is expected to be accomplished in 2017 and 2018.
Friends of Lake View Cemetery, Inc.
The Friends of Lake View Cemetery, Inc., has been established and chartered as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit
charitable organization dedicated to assisting the Lake View Cemetery Association with its short and
long-term goals. The Friends will act as a fund-raising arm of the Cemetery to aid in the completion of
the Veteran's Grove project, other planned development, and endowment assistance. Officers are:
President - David S. Alm
Vice-President - William R. Reynolds III
Treasurer - Charles T. Hall
Secretary - Samuel R. Genco
Trustees - David S. Alm, Jane D. Kidder, Andrea L. Magnuson, Mathew M. Moore,
& Elaine M. Rissel, George C. Schwob III, Anthony F. Dolce, Daniel K. Nagle
Hugh B. Golden - Business Manager
Organizations, businesses, or individuals wishing to inquire about any aspect of the Friends of Lake
View Cemetery, Inc., are invited to phone the Cemetery office at 716-665-3206.
When decorating, avoid using stone, glass, or plastic "chips", and/or small "knick-knacks". These
items can become 'shrapnel' if accidentally struck by a mower or trimmer. Keep decorations and plantings
within the bounds of the grave space, and as close to the marker or monument as possible. Don't simply
leave items at a gravesite without weeding and tending them occasionally. Use mulch to keep down weeds,
and to help the groundskeepers identify planting areas. Please use discretion when decorating. Avoid
excessive decorations, and be considerate of your "neighbors". Keep in mind the ambiance of the cemetery
as a whole, rather than the display of just one individual gravesite.
Featured Person or Family at Lake View Cemetery
(A continuing series about persons of note buried in Lake View Cemetery)
Chautauqua County holds a significant place in the history of the Underground Railroad (UGRR). Its
proximity to Lake Erie and Buffalo led to the formation of several well-tread routes and 'stations' for the
transport of escaping slaves during the early and middle 1800's. Catherine Harris became one of the
'conductors' of this enterprise in the Jamestown area about 1831, which is when she is said to have moved
to Jamestown from Buffalo - one of the first African-Americans to take up residence here. It is thought
that she may have moved here specifically for that purpose. She became well-known around town, and
was employed as a housekeeper, cook, and midwife by a large number of families in the Jamestown area.
Born in Titusville, PA, in 1809, she was twice married and spent most of her adult life in Jamestown,
before passing away in 1907, at the age of ninety-eight. Much of her life was spent at 12 West Seventh
Street, in a home that housed many runaway slaves in its time, and served as the original meeting
place and early parsonage for what became the A.M.E. Zion Church. In appreciation for Ms. Harris'
contributions to the church and to Jamestown's history, a monument at her gravesite in Lake View
Cemetery was erected and dedicated in March of 1976 by the church.
In an interview for a Jamestown newspaper in 1902, Ms. Harris recalled the secrecy of the U.G.R.R.
by stating that oftentimes she had no knowledge of the identity of the persons who dropped off or
picked up her 'boarders'. Many of the people she aided were also shy and spoke little, for fear of
being betrayed into the hands of their former masters. It is known that Ms. Harris was assisted in her
efforts by Silas Shearman, Phineas Crossman, and Dr. William Hedges, all of whom are buried in
Lake View Cemetery, but there are undoubtedly a number of others whose names are unknown that
contributed to this noble effort.