Letter: Gloucester’s rich history on display
The staff and board of directors for the Fairfield Foundation, Rosewell Foundation and the Joseph Bryan Branch of Preservation Virginia would like to thank the many guests and wonderful volunteers who joined us for our first Gloucester History Crawl on Nov. 13. We also thank the many businesses and the staff of 99.1 FM who helped to publicize the event, and we give special recognition to Paula Haggerty of the Rosewell Foundation for all of her work planning the various activities. The beautiful fall day was a wonderful backdrop for the combination of great food, fascinating history and exciting hands-on archaeology, resulting in a memorable experience for all involved.
Participants in the Crawl visited three of Gloucester’s most noteworthy historic sites: Fairfield, the ancestral plantation of the Burwell family; Rosewell, the magnificent 18th-century Page family ruin; and Walter Reed’s Birthplace, the small, early 19th-century house where one of America’s pioneering doctors was born. Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters, Warner Hall, Jessica’s Sweet Shop, Short Lane Ice Cream, Kelsick Gardens, and Rosemary and Wine generously donated food for the event. The diverse tastings at each site, including pumpkin gelato, quiche and biscuits, crab cakes, and butternut squash soup with cornbread, provided guests with a delicious sampler of the culinary talents within the county.
The activities at each site, including colonial reenactments by the College of William and Mary’s "College Company," the painting of Walter Reed’s Birthplace by Boy Scout Troop 111, and active archaeological excavations, demonstrate that there are many exciting ways to preserve, study and interpret our shared heritage. The wine, cider and beer tasting at the end of the day drew an even larger audience who enjoyed colonial-era beverages in a magnificent historic setting.
This program was the first collaborative effort between these three organizations. We look forward to more shared events in the future. Thank you again for your support, and we look forward to seeing all of you at the next Gloucester History Crawl.
David Brown and Thane Harpole
Co-directors, Fairfield Foundation
President, Joseph Bryan Branch
President, The Rosewell Foundation