Our Mission: To promote and involve the public in hands-on archaeology, preservation and education activities within Virginia’s Middle Peninsula and surrounding areas. The Fairfield Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization headquartered in Gloucester, Virginia, and has been expanding its public programs, research opportunities and outreach activities since 2000.
With the help of many volunteers and generous donors, we investigate all aspects of our region’s history through a variety of hands-on excavation and lab opportunities. We strive to bring the past to life by helping the public see, question and participate in the process of discovering history. Read More
We are committed to helping property owners, businesses, educational institutions, local governments and the general public identify, learn about and promote their historical resources—including buildings, archaeological sites, documents and oral history—to ensure their survival for future generations. Read More
In addition to working to preserve historic and culturally significant artifacts, the Fairfield Foundation has established educational programs with local public and private schools in Mathews, Middlesex and Gloucester Counties and endeavors to expand these programs in neighboring cities and counties. We also host public education programs at parks and historic sites in the area, and work with scouting groups, civic organizations and historical societies to broaden interest in Virginia’s history. Read More
Established in 2000, the Fairfield Foundation began with a focus on archaeological research and public outreach at Fairfield Plantation in Gloucester County, the prominent seat of the Burwell family, and home to generations of other families, both free and enslaved. We have grown to include innovative, nationally-recognized educational programs, developed a dedicated corps of volunteers who have donated over 65,000 hours to our mission, and documented one of the most dynamic colonial landscapes in Virginia. The plantation is the cornerstone of our outreach programs, which include workshops combining archaeology and architectural conservation, our popular and well-attended dig days, and a successful internship program that introduces students from across the country to the world of archaeological and historical research, public outreach, and cultural resource stewardship.
Since our founding, our mission and reach have expanded to include archaeological survey, excavations, historical documentation and public outreach across the region. Today the Fairfield Foundation is the preeminent archaeological research and preservation organization on the Middle Peninsula. The foundation works with the Gloucester Historical Society, Gloucester Genealogical Society of Virginia, the Rosewell Foundation, the Middle Peninsula Chapter of the Archeological Society of Virginia, the Mathews County Historical Society, the Middlesex Historical Society and Museum, York County’s New Quarter Park, the Tidewater Virginia Historical Society, and many other groups, to advance the broader study, recognition, and preservation of the region’s history and historical resources.
In 2010 we purchased the 1930 Edge Hill Service Station in Gloucester Courthouse to become our future headquarters, archaeological lab, and outreach center. Known as the Center for Archaeology, Preservation, and Education (CAPE), this facility will allow us to accommodate our growing public programs, and further our efforts to engage with Middle Peninsula residents. The preservation of this iconic resource enhances access to an increasingly interested public and provides much needed space to bolster our successful volunteer and educational programs. The accurate restoration of this building highlights our efforts to preserve community history, and serves as an example of the sensitive reuse of an historic structure. Whether it is through the preservation of an old building, the study of an archaeological site, or the recording of an oral history or ancient document, we are demonstrating the value of preserving the past for the future, and we want you to join us. Click here to learn more about getting involved with Fairfield!
Board of Directors
Carl Fischer, President
Thomas Karow, Vice President & Treasurer
Janet Brown, Secretary
Lori Jackson Black
Elizabeth Wood Santini
Dr. David Brown, Co-Director
Thane Harpole, Co-Director
Anna Rhodes, Senior Staff Archaeologist
Ashley McCuistion, Public Outreach Coordinator and Digital Curator
Victoria Gum, Preservation Coordinator