Hometown Treasures

- Posted on Nov 22, 2011 - 05:47 PM

Photo: eorge Bains, Scout master for Boy Scout Troop 111, Gloucester, stands in front of Walter Reed’s Birthplace at Belroi. The scouts maintain the property and provide tours. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

eorge Bains, Scout master for Boy Scout Troop 111, Gloucester, stands in front of Walter Reed’s Birthplace at Belroi. The scouts maintain the property and provide tours. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

You think you know everything about your home; then you open a drawer or a closet and find an absolute treasure, overlooked and almost forgotten.

You think you know your hometown; then you stop in a small museum or art exhibit, and another dimension unveils its wonders. How much do you really know about the place you live?

The series "Hometown Treasures," compiled by members of the Gazette-Journal staff, explores public museums, exhibits and archives open to all, and private collections available for viewing by appointment.

This week, we take a look at some of the older buildings in the community that afford visitors a fascinating glimpse into the history of Gloucester and Mathews counties.

Walter Reed’s Birthplace

Located at the corner of Belroi and Hickory Fork roads in Gloucester, Walter Reed’s Birthplace may be a bit off the beaten path, but it offers a wealth of information on the doctor who developed a vaccine to cure yellow fever.

The property is managed by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Joseph Bryan branch. Boy Scout Troop 111 maintains the building and opens it for historic tours.

The building was constructed prior to 1850, and the Reed family lived there until they moved into a United Methodist parsonage, built by Reed’s father, a United Methodist minister, in 1852. Reed was born here on Sept. 13, 1851.