Museum of History
The featured exhibit for the month of February is the Irene Morgan exhibit. The exhibit tells the courageous story of Irene Morgan. On July 16, 1944, Morgan, an African American woman, boarded a Greyhound bus at Hayes Store Post Office. She was returning home to Baltimore, Maryland after visiting her mother. When the bus arrived in Saluda, the driver ordered her to give up her seat so that a white passenger could sit. Refusing to comply, she was arrested and jailed. Her case reached the US Supreme Court, which decided in Morgan v. Virginia (1946) that laws requiring the segregation of passengers in interstate transportation were unconstitutional.
Also continuing is the Good Old Days exhibit. The exhibit features a display of household items, clothing, toys, photos, tools, and numerous other items that were used in Gloucester from the late 1800’s to the mid-1900’s.
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 Goodier (1925-1999), 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. Goodier 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 Goodier lived at Roaring Springs Plantation from 1992 until 2004.
The Museum also continues to display numerous permanent exhibits which include:
- Antique Survey Equipment
- Battle of the Hook
- Celebration of African American History in Gloucester
- Civil War
- Free School House
- Gremer Doll Houses
- The Hotel Botetourt
- James D. Gardner
- The Old Country Store
- Warner Hall
Museum Exhibits 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."
The exhibit traces 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 oyster-man to become the only recipient of a Congressional Medal of Honor from the area while serving in the Union Army.
Other exhibits include:
- Archaeological findings from "Paradise" (home of the Lees)
- Archaeological findings from the Fairfield Plantation
- Bacon’s Rebellion
- Gloucester’s participation in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War
- Native Americans