Hometown treasures

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Jul 27, 2011 - 04:51 PM

Photo: Hilton Snowdon, Gloucester’s tourism coordinator, stands in front of the Roane Building inside Gloucester’s historic Court Circle. The building currently houses the Gloucester Visitor Center. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

Hilton Snowdon, Gloucester’s tourism coordinator, stands in front of the Roane Building inside Gloucester’s historic Court Circle. The building currently houses the Gloucester Visitor Center. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

Photo: Holly Knoll, the former Moton Conference Center, sits on what is considered by many to be the most beautiful piece of property in Gloucester County. The home, its surrounding buildings and property are now owned by The Gloucester Institute. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

Holly Knoll, the former Moton Conference Center, sits on what is considered by many to be the most beautiful piece of property in Gloucester County. The home, its surrounding buildings and property are now owned by The Gloucester Institute. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

Gloucester County has a wealth of history to offer, ranging from archaeological projects such as Werowocomoco, to stories from its ancestors who participated in the Civil and Revolutionary wars, to historic homes such as Rosewell, one of the finest mansions built in the English colonies.

To residents and visitors alike, hidden gems are tucked away in local museums. This week, we explore some of the treasures that can be found in the Gloucester Visitor Center, the Rosewell Museum, Walter Reed’s Birthplace and the Gloucester Institute.

Gloucester Visitor Center

Gloucester’s Visitor Center, housed in the Roane Building inside the historic court circle, has rotating exhibits throughout the year. The museum is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1-4 p.m. Sundays. It is staffed by volunteers, each with an in-depth knowledge of the county’s history and its people.

Hilton Snowdon, Gloucester’s tourism coordinator, said a current exhibit in the center is a display of patterned quilts, used during the Underground Railroad movement. Slaves trying to escape from their masters would use hidden messages sewn in these quilts to help them escape to the north and into Canada.