The Center for Archaeology, Preservation and Education (The CAPE!) at the former Edge Hill Service Station in Gloucester is going to be our new home and headquarters. But it will be so much more than that! As a regional preservation center and archaeology lab, the CAPE will be a place where the public can learn about and participate in many activities that enhance and promote the history and cultural heritage of the Middle Peninsula and beyond. The CAPE will function as an archaeology lab, working classroom, museum, preservation information center and community gathering space. The CAPE is a community project, and local citizens and businesses have stepped up to the plate to help make this vision a reality. When completed, the CAPE will function as a public outlet to forward the Fairfield Foundation’s mission of promoting and conducting archaeology, preservation and education activities within Virginia’s Middle Peninsula and surrounding areas.
What can I do at the C.A.P.E.?
Have you ever wanted to excavate at a colonial plantation site, transcribe an old document, restore an historic landmark, record an oral history, or teach students about our heritage? These things will happen at the CAPE.
Have you found artifacts that you want to identify, or have stories about the people and places on the Middle Peninsula that you’d like to see preserved? Have you come across old documents and photographs, and are not sure how preserve them? You can find the answers at the CAPE.
Do you have a child or grandchild (or an inner child) that you want to introduce to the adventure of archaeology? Have you wondered about the history of a particular building that you drive by, or would like to know the process, pitfalls and incentives in restoring a piece of the past? The CAPE will be a place where all of these things can happen.
The CAPE will be a space where you can share your passion for history. The CAPE will help keep history alive on the Middle Peninsula. It will allow students, property owners, educational institutions, and local governments to learn from their historical resources and aid in their preservation for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
How does the Fairfield Foundation’s CAPE help the community?
The Fairfield Foundation was begun in 2000 to conduct public archaeology and educational outreach focused on Fairfield Plantation in Gloucester County. During the past 13 years we established innovative, nationally-recognized educational programs, developed a dedicated corps of volunteers who donated over 49,000 hours, and documented one of the most dynamic colonial landscapes in Virginia. Thousands of elementary and high school students received an introduction to archaeology at sites on the Middle Peninsula; over one hundred students from across the country completed internships with the foundation, preparing them for careers in preservation and related fields; participants in preservation workshops learned valuable skills about how to preserve and restore historic buildings; and local volunteers learned and advanced our knowledge of historic sites throughout the Middle Peninsula. Recently the foundation expanded its focus to offer more educational archaeological experiences in Gloucester, Mathews and surrounding counties. The CAPE will allow us to broaden our many community benefits and display this region’s dedication to preserving the past for the future.
What can I do now?
Now more than ever it is crucial to support the restoration and operation of the CAPE. Become a part of history by clicking HERE to donate, and spread the word by liking and sharing our page on Facebook, emailing your friends, or talking with your neighbors! You can follow along online with the restoration progress at the building, or drop by to see the work in action. If you like what you see, please get involved and join us in a preservation and education experience.
To date we have raised over $750,000 dedicated to purchasing, restoring and operating the center. But with a project budget totaling $1.3 million- we have a ways yet to go. Every donation, no matter the size, moves us closer to completing the restoration, and achieving the dream of a regional center that combines archaeology, preservation and education. The CAPE will be a community space where everybody can learn about, share, and experience the heritage of the Middle Peninsula.