Diggin’ Deep

For the third summer, college students, professors and volunteers will be getting their hands dirty digging for the past at the Fenton History Center.

In 2012, the Fenton History Center, in conjunction with SUNY Buffalo, conducted an archaeological survey searching for the lost landscape of Gov. Reuben Fenton’s estate, Walnut Grove. Evidence of several outbuildings was discovered and more than 700 artifacts were collected.

In 2013, the excavation continued under the direction of Dr. Thomas Greer, Fenton trustee, with the participation of Jamestown Community College and oversight by SUNY Buffalo.

This summer, Greer will once again be working to uncover the past. The archaeological dig began Tuesday and will continue every Tuesday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. each week this summer. Greer said volunteers are welcome to lend a hand in several different capacities.

”Some people envision they have to be on their knees digging in the dirt the whole time, but there are jobs for all abilities,” he said. ”Some people dig, some people clean artifacts and some people document items. There are many things to do.”

Greer said there is a page on the Fenton’s website – – detailing the dig and what people should do if they want to volunteer.

”We could always use more help,” he said. ”Wear comfortable clothes and bring garden gloves if you have them. If you don’t, we can supply them.”

Greer said the group will continue to work where they left off at the end of last summer. Last year, work was done to uncover a building’s foundation.

”This is a building we didn’t know existed,” he said. ”What we are finding is causing us to look at early maps. We think it was a barn that no one knew about or remembered it was there. We would like to document the extent of the building. We think we have the front two corners and we’re hoping to find the back two corners.”

To volunteer, or for more information, call the Fenton History Center, located at 67 Washington St., at 664-6256.