Atlantic Cities
Postcard

Jamestown Really, Really Loves Lucy

Today's Postcard comes from Jamestown, a city with 31,000 inhabitants, located in western New York. While it can claim a unique range of famous Americans as its own (the NFL's current commissioner, D.C.'s first African-American mayor, a Backstreet Boy, and Natalie Merchant), no native son or daughter receives as much admiration as Lucille Ball, more than 20 years after her death.

Ball, who was born on this day in 1911, was a television pioneer, starring in one of the most popular shows of her time, becoming the first woman to run a television studio, and receiving many awards, including four Emmys and a posthumously received Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Her hometown has long embraced her connection to the city, especially since her death, with multiple facilities (a Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz museum, another museum that has an exact replica of the "I Love Lucy" studio a couple blocks away) and events (an annual comedy festival and a 100th birthday party that broke the world record for most Ball impersonators in one place) dedicated to her.

The most present reminders of her connection to the city can be found in a series of murals found around downtown. Local artist Gary Peters has painted five of them in various locations, the first color one being unveiled last year. Below, some of Peter's murals you'll find in Jamestown dedicated to its favorite daughter:

 

(Flickr/Frankphotos)

(Flickr/Frankphotos)

(Flickr/Frankphotos)

(David Duprey/ Associated Press)

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

Join the Discussion