On Wednesday, May 4, the Fenton History Center unveiled three signs marking the outbuildings of the original complex at Walnut Grove. Dr. Tom Greer, the resident archeologist has pursued this project since the summer of 2012, bringing to life dozens of artifacts and a much clearer picture of the property during the years that the Fenton family lived there. Several of the archaeology assistants, including one who assisted with the original dig joined us.
We were joined by Mrs. Fenton, portrayed by Cindy Rodgers, who was celebrating her 198th birthday. In addition, Bill Reynolds, the great-great-great grandson of the Fentons, PJ Wendel, the County Executive, and Lisa Vanstrom representing Senator George Borello were in attendance. It was a bit of a reunion with previous directors Joni Blackman and Noah Goodling who were joined by many previous employees and volunteers of the Fenton.
Following the unveiling of the interpretive signs, everyone came into the Mansion to have a bite of Birthday Cake and to view the new exhibits. Dr. Greer and Victoria, our Curator, filled two cases in the basement with items recovered in the dig. The drawing room showcased a lovely light green loveseat, chair and foot stool that is believed to have belonged to the Fenton’s daughter. And just next to the loveseat, one of Mrs. Fenton’s formal gowns was displayed. In the dining room, a recently discovered news article from the Jamestown Sun was displayed. It was the front page of the paper the day after Reuben Fenton passed away and contains much interesting information. It was restored by volunteer Rick Roll and will eventually be displayed in the Mourning Room on the second floor.
The dig will continue this summer and if you are interested in this project or any other project at the Fenton, please call 716-664-6256