Kids and families interested in aviation can once again visit a local air-themed attraction.
The Lucile M. Wright Air Museum has found a new home at the Jamestown Hotel, 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 dating back to the 1960s and was, in previous versions, located at Jamestown County Airport .
“He has moved several times since,” says Johnson. “Our mission here is about aviation and inspiring young people to make a career out of it. Of course, the Civil Air Patrol has been a great companion program for the museum.
Johnson said the process involved in preparing the museum for reopening included a lot of moving objects from storage to the new location.
“We were very lucky to receive a handful of donations of different things,” says Johnson. “I just got some new screens and then set them up. It’s centrally located right on Third Street at the Jamestown Hotel, so it’s really easy for anyone to get to. It’s pretty close from the Comedy Center, the ice rink and the Lucy Museum, so there are a lot of benefits where we are located, we are directly across from the Sports Hall of Fame, so it would be easy to come to Jamestown, do the Comedy Center, to do the Sports Hall of Fame, the Air Force Museum and the Lucy Museum. You can do all of these within walking distance. That’s a big plus for us.”
Johnson said the museum is very kid-friendly and includes a helicopter and flight simulators for kids to try out.
“Kids can climb and play with a complete and real helicopter,” he said. “And we have two really good flight simulators that we’ve set up so the kids can fly anything from a small plane to a jet on the flight simulators right inside the museum.”
The museum’s namesake, Lucile M. Wright, was heavily involved in aviation in the Jamestown area. She was the Civil Air Patrol’s first female courier pilot and was also a member of the female pilots’ group, the Ninety-Nines, Johnson said.
“She was a personal friend of Amelia Earhart, and she was president of the airport commission,” he said. “She was an active member of the Zonta Club. She moved to Wyoming in 1976 and died in 1990. She flew extensively in her life and promoted aviation extensively in that area.
Johnson said there are many reasons to get involved in aviation, including for fun.
“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 not just about learning science and math, it’s also about having fun.
Regular hours are currently being discussed by the museum’s board, but the board has set up a Facebook page to keep the public updated on upcoming information. It is under “Lucile M. Wright Air Museum.”
The council is also looking for a curator for the museum now that it has reopened. Interested parties can stop by Saturday to meet with board members or contact Ellen Maternowski, chair of the board, at 716-720-5019.