Archaeologists Restoring the Edge Hill Service Station on Main Street
There is slow but steady progress restoring the future home of the Fairfield Foundation on Main Street. After a flurry of activity last fall, we stabilized the Edge Hill Service Station and are well on our way to saving this remarkable landmark at the gateway to our downtown. Our iron framed windows are newly glazed, our garage doors repaired, and our flat roof replaced. In the last few weeks you’ve seen us patching our stucco and you’ll see significant improvements to the car wash very soon. It’s an exciting time at the corner of Main Street. Not only will the station serve as the headquarters for our non-profit and our many archaeology and preservation volunteers, but it will also be a clearing house for information on history, archaeology, and preservation incentive programs that will benefit private businesses, individual property owners, and municipalities across the Middle Peninsula.
Our non-profit is dedicated to helping others retain our historic landscapes, sites, and buildings, putting them to productive use as a vital part of our community. Especially on Main Street, we are surrounded by wonderful buildings and historic sites that connect us all with the past. Most of these spots have seen many lives, and are still actively used for businesses, residences, and tourist attractions, adding to our sense of place and our local economy. Our goal with the service station restoration, as well as our work at the Edge Hill House (with the Gloucester Woman’s Club), the T.C. Walker House (with the Economic Development Authority and Hampton University), and around the courthouse green (with Gloucester County Parks, Recreation and Tourism), is to bring history to the people, make it accessible, and preserve it for the future.
You can get involved, too! No experience necessary – just an enthusiasm and love of the past. We have frequent opportunities to help on nearby archaeological sites in Gloucester, Mathews, and other Middle Peninsula Counties. You can also help with our work at the station. Learn to reglaze iron frame windows or help plaster our interior walls, and many more trades and techniques you can use on your own home or business. In the months to come we’ll be painting the exterior of the station, restoring the exterior light fixtures, and steadily bringing the building back to its early 20th-century appearance. We look forward to meeting you and getting you involved with your history!
David Brown, Fairfield Foundation