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Jamestown air museum finds new landing spot

Submitted Photo Pictured is Lucile M. Wright, a longtime Jamestown resident who was a Civil Air Patrol courier and pioneer in aviation.

Children and families interested in aviation will once again be able to visit a local air-themed attraction.

The Lucile M. Wright Air Museum has found a new home at the Hotel Jamestown, 110 W. Third St. in Jamestown in Suite 101, and will be open this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum has been closed since 2018. Museum board member Mike Johnson said the museum has roots going back to the 1960s and was, in previous iterations, located at the Jamestown County Airport.

“It has moved locations a handful of times since then,” Johnson said. “Our mission here is about aviation and inspire youth to go into this as a career. Of course, the Civil Air Patrol has been a great accompaniment program to the museum.”

Johnson said the process involved in getting the museum ready to re-open included a lot of moving things from storage into the new location.

“We’ve been very fortunate to get a handful of donations of different things,” Johnson said. “Just getting new displays and then getting the displays set up. It’s centrally located there right on Third Street at the Hotel Jamestown, so it’s great easy access for everyone there. It’s pretty close to the Comedy Center, the ice arena and the Lucy museum, so there’s a lot of benefits where we’re located. We’re right across the street from the Sports Hall of Fame, so it would be easy to come to Jamestown, do the Comedy Center, do the Sports Hall of Fame and the air museum and the Lucy Museum. You could do all of that within walking distance. That’s a big plus in our eyes.”

Johnson said the museum is very kid-friendly and includes a helicopter and flight simulators children can try out.

“Kids can climb and play with a full, actual helicopter,” he said. “And, we have two very good flight simulators that we have set up so kids can fly anything from a small plane to a jet on the flight simulators right there inside the museum.”

The museum’s namesake, Lucile M. Wright, was heavily involved with aviation in the Jamestown area. She was the first female courier pilot in the Civil Air Patrol, and was also a member of the women’s pilot group, the Ninety-Nines, Johnson said.

“She was a personal friend of Amelia Earhart, and she was the chairman of the airport commission,” he said. “She was an active member of the Zonta Club. She moved to Wyoming in 1976 and passed away in 1990. She did a lot of flying over her life, and promoted aviation in this area quite a bit.”

Johnson said there are many reasons to get involved in aviation, including for the fun of it.

“It becomes a bit of a lifestyle once you get into aviation,” he said. “At the end of the day we do it because it’s fun to do and we enjoy it. Aviation is more than just learning science and math — it’s fun, too.”

Regular hours are currently being discussed by the museum board, but the board has set up a Facebook page to keep the public up-to-date with upcoming information. It can be found under “Lucile M. Wright Air Museum.”

The board is also looking for a curator for the museum now that it has reopened. Interested parties can stop by on Saturday to meet board members, or reach out to Ellen Maternowski, board president, at 716-720-5019.

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