The Fairfield Foundation will host an Open House and activities at Dr. Walter Reed’s Birthplace, 4021 Hickory Fork Road in Gloucester County, on Saturday, September 11, from 10am-4pm. Dr. Reed was born in the small dwelling in Belroi on September 13, 1851, while his father was an itinerant preacher to Methodist congregations in the Gloucester and King and Queen County circuit. The youngest of five children, Reed became a U.S. Army pathologist and bacteriologist. He led experiments that proved yellow fever is transmitted by a mosquito bite.
In addition to tours of the house, which is a rare survival of an architectural style once common throughout 19th-century Virginia, visitors may participate in public archaeology to search for evidence of the Belroi community. . Cheryl Dale, president of of Mathews’ Bay Quilters will demonstrate period quilting and visitors will be invited to try their hand at the craft. . The Walter Reed Garden Club will exhibit 19th-century flower arrangements. Riverside Walter Reed Hospital, opened on September 11, 1977 and is celebrating 44 years; they will provide information on infection prevention in honor of Walter Reed’s contributions to public health that echoes through to the present. The Gloucester Museum of History will have a booth at the site and the Middle Peninsula Amateur Radio Club will be broadcasting live. Historical reenactors Dave Pondolfino and Katrina White-Brown will provide historical interpretation. Boy Scout Troop 111 and Cub Scout Troop 175 will assist with parking and hospitality.
A lecture on Walter Reed and Yellow Fever will be presented at 2 p.m. on the Birthplace lawn by Colonel John R. Pierce, U.S. Army (Retired), M.D., President of the Walter Reed Society, Inc., who served as chief of pediatrics, director of medical education, and chief of the medical staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He is the co-author of Yellow Jack: How Yellow Fever Ravaged America and Walter Reed Discovered Its Deadly Secrets.