CORNING - You can kind of say that Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes is still celebrating its Whingblinger Festival.
While hosting the annual event at the end of September, Heritage Village staff met with a member of the Mansfield University Geosciences department - Dr. Linda Kennedy. Following a lengthy conversation, the groups co-ordinated a visit from Mansfield staffers and students and a special guest - ground penetrating radar survey equipment Sunday in order to attempt to locate the original pit latrine (privy) on the property.
"This is pretty exciting for us," said Heritage Village trustee Frank "Duke" Starr. "Linda was asking questions about the property at Whingblinger and we told her we needed to get a sonogram to find the privy.
"She said 'We have one.' It just came out of casual conversation."
According to Starr, the desire to get the proper equipment to help find the privy, as well as the original well on the property, has been around for more than two decades.
"We have a G.P.R. (ground penetrating radar) unit at the Geosciences department at Mansfield," Kennedy said. "I asked my colleague if he'd be interested in doing this as a community service project and he said he yes."
The project benefits Mansfield, as well.
"We're using this as a teaching opportunity for student research projects," Kennedy said. "What we want is for our students to use the software and learn how to do this.
"We're hoping to collect all of the data in the fall before it snows and the ground gets too difficult to work with."
Once the data is collected, it will be fed into a computer using special software.
"That will give us the nice images and hot spots. Old foundations, or if we do come across the privy location, it should show up as a hot spot," Kennedy said. "With a report on this information, if the Patterson Inn or the Historical Society wants to go after some grant funds for archeology, they'll have the background information, which should strengthen their proposal."
Kennedy, Dr. Lee Stocks and students Cecil Cooper and William Dolan are hopeful to get the information back to the Heritage Village trustees in the next several days.