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Revitalizing Jamestown: New group hopes to bring life back to downtown

In Local News on April 4, 2021 at 11:29 am

By Gery Deer

Editor

Special Report – Revitalizing Jamestown, Ohio. Watch our feature story here!

April 4, 2021 – Jamestown, Ohio – The eastern Greene County village of Jamestown, Ohio, once had a thriving downtown. Over the years, Jamestown’s business district was home to a movie theatre, five-and-dime stores, hardware, and multiple restaurants. Historically, most of the town’s commerce was generated by farming and lumberyards. Gradually, however, as farming slowed and land was sold off, building and plastics manufacturers became the primary employers.

But in the early 1990s two fires ripped through the downtown area, an economic blow from which the village has never completely recovered. And, while some efforts have been made toward revitalization, only the Jamestown Opera House has been fully restored, thanks to the local historical society. As for the rest of the area, urban sprawl, deteriorating buildings, and overwhelming renovation costs have diminished hope for a full comeback. 

However, one local group of idealistic entrepreneurs is a bit more optimistic. Jamestown native Luke Linville and his wife Adrienne, both realtors, returned to the village a year ago and began working on ways to breathe new life into the decaying business district.  

Main Street Jamestown founders/board of directors:
Amber Trotter, Chase Trotter, Adrienne Linville, and Luke Linville

The Linvilles partnered with Amber and Chase Trotter, who were also interested in a revitalization initiative. Together, the group formed the board of directors for Main Street Jamestown, a non-profit organization intended to support local businesses and property owners through grants, donations, and fundraising events.

“There are a lot of people trying to do good here like the Lions Club. We want to make Jamestown a better place and we have a passion for it, having grown up here,” Linville said. “We are trying to make people aware that there are businesses downtown, that there are people who are doing really good down here.”

When the previous owner of Something New florist retired in 2019, Kristine Erwin purchased the building and started renovations. Located at 18 W. Washington St., on the southwest block of the downtown, the flower shop was one of the few structures to survive the fires along that strip, but not without some scars. 

Kristine Erwin, Owner of Something New Faith, Flowers, Finds in Jamestown, Ohio

“The fire took the second floor of this building and so the roof has been leaking for many years,” said Erwin, a retired Greeneview teacher who credits her faith for guiding her to make this new career move. “There was damage to the ceiling and a lot of mold along the outside wall and in the back. We have replaced the plumbing and the heating and next we will be working on replacing the electrical.” 

One of the major issues with the storefront, however, is the old, single-pane windows, which need to be replaced to help with heating and cooling as well as signage and window displays. Fortunately, Erwin met Amber Trotter, who had also opened a new photography studio right next door. Main Street Jamestown had its first project.

As an inaugural event, the group held a fundraiser on March 20th to help Erwin replace two, large storefront windows. Held in the Lions Club lot next door to the flower shop, Main Street Jamestown offered games, a raffle, food and branded merchandise, with all proceeds going toward the Something New window project. Despite a cold but sunny spring day, organizers said the fundraiser was a great success and raised more than $1,500. More information about something Erwin’s shop is available online at www.somethingnewfaithflowersfinds.com.

Linville and his team would like to support area residents as well as downtown businesses. “Of course it starts with the downtown businesses and goes out from there and we hope to help residents as well,” he said. “We want to help with a leaky roof or landscaping or whatever someone may need that we can do. Every effort helps Jamestown look more attractive to people so they will come here and the businesses and town will thrive.”

The organization is busy on social media with regular live videos and event postings, all in hopes of engaging volunteers and raising money for future projects. “Right now what we’re doing is spreading the word,” Linville said. “If you see us post on social media please like and share. The more people we can get to interact with us, the more people who live in the area will be aware of us; even those who come here visiting family or come to the lake (Shawnee Hills) in the summer.”

Main Street Jamestown’s next event is a downtown street fair slated for April 24; information is available on their Facebook page. The organization is also partnered with the non-profit group Greene Giving and tax-deductible donations can be made online at https://greenegiving.ejoinme.org/MyPages/MainStreetJamestown/tabid/1223992/Default.aspx.

For more information on ways to support Main Street Jamestown, contact them on Facebook @MainStreetJamestown, call 937-374-9424, or email mainstreetjamestown@gmail.com.

You can also support Main Street Jamestown by purchasing branded apparrel. The online store is open until April 11th! https://mainstreetjamestown.itemorder.com/sale?fbclid=IwAR0K-FfFdltryPey7pw0LcQY-tk4-ZxJrCUxDZWmLRIYLG-RxQxQsCRWzg8

Story, Photos, video and content copyright 2021 The Jamestown Comet.com and GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Do you have a story from anywhere in Greene County, Ohio? Let us know! Send to media@gldenterprises.net.

Jamestown music festival to raise money for village park

In Charities, Children and Family, Entertainment, Local News, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on July 16, 2013 at 5:10 am

Singer, Songwriter 15-year-old Gabrielle Shuh will be featured with The Brothers & Co. Variety Show, just one of the bands performing during Samson’s Summerfest fundraiser for the Jamestown community park.

Singer, Songwriter 15-year-old Gabrielle Shuh will be featured with The Brothers & Co. Variety Show, just one of the bands performing during Samson’s Summerfest fundraiser for the Jamestown community park.

 

JAMESTOWN, OH – Last year the small, community park at the corner of Adams and Sycamore streets in Jamestown was demolished by the village citing safety concerns. Now, a group of dedicated residents have banded together to raise nearly a half-million dollars for its restoration beginning this month with a summer music festival.

From 11:30AM until Midnight on Saturday, July 20th, Samson’s Summerfest will be held at D&D Farms, 2466 Sutton Rd. in Jamestown, admission donation $10 per car. In addition to the 7 bands performing throughout the day, there will raffles, hourly 50/50 drawings, and professional face painters. A Kids’ Corner is planned as well, $5 for 10 tickets, with prizes for every participant. A bonfire rounds out the evening once the sun goes down.

“I used to play there when I was a kid and I wanted to take my own children there when I moved back to the area but it was torn down,” says event co-organizer Nick Starns. “We only have about $3,000 right now but we need a lot more to replace the park.”

While there is no exact or official figure available, an unnamed source has reported replacing the park’s basketball courts, skate park area, shelter house and other amenities would cost approximately $300,000.

Musical guests include Chained to the Sky, Desalitt, Suicide Ghouls, The Brothers & Co. Variety Show with Gabrielle Shuh, Drifting Aimlessly, and many more. Promotional considerations are provided by D&D Farms and GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing. For more information contact Nick Starns by calling 937-347-7377 or Anita Cheney at 937-675-2383.

(Click here for a video clip from WDTN – Living Dayton featuring Samson’s Summerfest)  Samson’s Summerfest Music Festival

The Suicide Ghouls

The Suicide Ghouls

"Chained to the Sky"

“Chained to the Sky”

NOTICE: The community park benefit concert is a private undertaking by concerned citizens and is in no way endorsed, sanctioned, operated or supported by the Village of Jamestown, the Jamestown Village Council, or the Jamestown Community Park Committee.

Jamestown family presents country music variety show to help pay deceased mother’s medical debt

In Charities, Children and Family, Entertainment, Local News, Media, National News, psychology, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Theatre, Travel, Uncategorized on March 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Lois Deer (center) with The Brothers & Co. members Gary Deer Jr., Gery Deer, and husband Gary Deer Sr. at the Jamestown Opera House in 2010

Lois Deer (center) with The Brothers & Co. members Gary Deer Jr., Gery Deer, and husband Gary Deer Sr. at the Jamestown Opera House in 2010

JAMESTOWN, OH – Exciting country music variety entertainment returns to the stage of the historic Jamestown Opera House at 7PM, Saturday, March 23 with The Brothers & Co. Variety Show. The 90-minute, live stage show is a one-of-a-kind performance perfect for all ages, full of amazing four-part harmonies, foot-tapping instrumentation, dazzling bullwhip handling, award-winning classic magic and side-splitting comedy routines.Tickets at the door are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and students. Children 12 and under are free. Reduced presale tickets are $7 and $5, respectively, available online by credit card and PayPal at http://www.thebrothersandcompany.com and in person at Ted’s Barber Shop, 3 W. Washington St. in Jamestown. Proceeds from this performance benefit the Lois Deer Memorial Expense Fund and the Jamestown Area Historical Society.

Following a long illness under full-time care, lifetime Jamestown Area Historical Society member, Lois Deer, passed away in 2011 at Hospice of Dayton from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. Mrs. Deer was survived by four grand children, several great grand children, her husband Gary Sr., daughter Cathy (Deer) Wolf and two sons, the founding “brothers” of the show, Gary Jr. and Gery. As a result of her lengthy illness, the family accumulated significant debt including legal and medical expenses upwards of $10,000.

Gary Deer Sr. and Lois Deer, around 2005.

Gary Deer Sr. and Lois Deer, around 2005.

About a year ago, Gary, Sr. was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but has continued to work to try to pay off the debts and remain at the family farm in Jamestown where The Brothers & Co. began. But as working becomes increasingly difficult and creditors grow more impatient the debt is becoming too difficult to manage and Lois’s family has not even been able to afford a headstone for her grave in Bowersville.Having performed for literally dozens of fundraisers over the years, Gery and Gary Jr. decided to help their dad the best way they knew how. Already scheduled to perform at the Jamestown Opera House, a building Lois and Gary, Sr. helped protect from the wrecking ball, they decided to follow their parents’ example.“Even when they had little to work with themselves, my parents always did their best to help others,” says pianist Gery Deer, who also directs and produces the Brothers performances. “The Brothers & Co. wouldn’t have happened without mom so doing this show is our small attempt to help repay my parents for everything they’ve done for so many over the years and ease some of my dad’s burden.”

The Brothers & Co. Entertainers started in 1995 and their formal western costuming is a tribute to their family’s musical heritage which dates back to 1917 with Lois’s father and uncle who both performed in the Lawrence County, Ohio civic band. Best known for their covers of The Statler Brothers, their repertoire includes country and oldies by The Statler Brothers, The Monkees, John Denver, and George Jones as well as many original pieces. Each performer is involved in creating the original music and comedy routines and the group’s fourth voice, Ed Jones, cousin of the Deer brothers, is their acoustic guitarist.

“If you’ve ever seen The Statler Brothers, they’re almost as good as we are,” jokes Gary Deer, Jr., percussionist of the group. “Mostly, we want to entertain people and give them a show like most haven’t seen since the 60’s. We are hoping to raise some money for the historical society while helping dad’s situation at the same time,” he says.

Gery Deer (left) with Jim Karns in "The Vanishing Bandana" - The Brothers & Co. Variety Show

Gery Deer (left) with Jim Karns in “The Vanishing Bandana” – The Brothers & Co. Variety Show

While it might seem like it to some, the guys insist this show is not just for the older generation. “We put a modern spin on an old kind of entertainment that’s nostalgic and originally presented all at the same time,” offers bass singer, magician and the most recent addition to the quartet, Jim Karns, of Fairborn. “If you’ve never seen a live variety show, this is something the whole family will really enjoy.”As another way to raise money for their cause, commercial sponsorships for the performance ranging from $150 to $500 are also available through March 19th. Business sponsors receive a live, 30-second commercial during the performance along with a special listing and web link on thebrothersandcompany.com website and mention in all media.Video clips of the show, podcasts and the official show poster are all available at the group’s website, http://www.thebrothersandcompany.com. Doors open at 6:30PM and refreshments will be on sale by the historical society. For more information go online or call (937) 902-4857. Those unable to attend the show but that would still like to help with the memorial fund can donate directly, online, at www.indiegogo.com/projects/lois-deer-memorial-expense-fund.BUY TICKETS ONLINE NOW …

Eventbrite - The Brothers & Co. Variety Show LIVE at Jamestown Opera House

(Watch for The Brothers & Co. Entertainers on WDTN-TV2’s “Living Dayton” program, Monday March 11th at Noon on Channel 2 or watch it streaming live.)