The Gloucester Museum of History is currently featuring the "Gloucester's Veterans" exhibit in observance of African American History Month. The exhibit will be on display in the Museum until the end of February and recognizes Gloucester's military having served in World Wars I and II. Also continuing on display is the exhibit "Threads: A Loving Legacy Unfolds". This exhibit highlights the creative handiwork of ladies from two families who helped shape the history of Gloucester County - the Sterlings and the Shacklefords. Pictures of each woman are included and stories of many of the pieces on display, some dating back to 1920. The display was created by cousins Hilda Anne Nolen Hodgson, Amy Williams Boykin, Heather Sterling Pearce and Mary Anne Sterling. Also displayed is the "Good Old Days" exhibit which includes more than 100 Gloucester County relics from the 1800's to the mid-1900's. It offers insights into a way of life that no longer exists when people milked cows, churned their own butter, cranked ice cream in a wooden freezer, make their own bread, made clothes from feed sacks, repaired their own shoes, raised and fried their own chickens and heated their homes with firewood which they sawed themselves.
Another popular exhibit at the Museum is the original oil painting of Civil War General W. B. Taliaferro reviewing the last general muster of the Gloucester Militia at Roaring Springs Plantation the 4th Saturday in May 1860. Painted by Robert E. Goodlier (b.1925 – d.1999), the painting has been donated to the Gloucester Museum of History by his family. The artist’s daughter, Elizabeth G. Esrey of Middletown, Delaware and son, Winslow R. Goodlier of Glen Allen, Virginia, agreed that the painting should be returned to Gloucester because of it’s historic significance to the County. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Goodlier lived at Roaring Springs Plantation from 1992 until 2004.
The Museum also continues to display the "Battle of the Hook" Exhibit as well as other numerous permanent exhibits such as "Celebration of African American History in Gloucester", "The Old Country Store", "The Hotel Botetourt", "Antique Survey Equipment", "Gremer Doll Houses", "James D. Gardner", "Civil War", "Free School House" and "Fairfield" which will remain in place throughout the year. The newly added permanent exhibit, "Ebenezer Baptist Church", will be on display in February.
Museum Exhibit on the Second Floor
The second floor of the Gloucester Museum of History is also open to the general public. The theme of the eight station exhibit is "Echoes From The Past, Six Periods of Gloucester History," tracing Gloucester's rich history and varied contributions from 5 million years ago, when the area was covered by a warm tropical sea, to the Civil War, when it gave both a General to the Confederate Army and was home to James D. Gardner, who rose from oysterman to become the only recipient of a Congressional Medal of Honor from the area while serving in the Union Army. Other displays in the new exhibit area include Native Americans, Bacon's Rebellion, archaeological findings from "Paradise" (home of the Lees), archaeological findings from the Fairfield Plantation, and Gloucester's participation in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War.