The past is all around us – especially on Virginia’s Middle Peninsula. From the buildings along Gloucester’s Main Street to the archaeological sites that populate so many of the plowed fields across the region, we are surrounded by history. These buildings, sites, and landscapes have witnessed great events, and everyday toil- and they form part of our identity. We love to share the stories of history with family and friends- our connections to our ancestors, to buildings we grew up with, and fields where we’ve walked. History creates a sense of belonging to a place, and can also guide some of our present actions. But history must also be guarded in a constantly changing world. As new structures are built and old ones removed or modified, and as archaeological sites are threatened by development, we must act to study and preserve the history that is meaningful to our community.
Preserving the past safeguards our vital historic resources. Educating people about history helps us understand who we are as a community.
The Fairfield Foundation believes that preserving the physical elements of the past is crucial to maintaining our community’s identity. Preservation ensures that the next generation will understand where they come from, what their ancestors experienced, and the important events that defined this region throughout its history. Combined with historical and archaeological research, preservation can turn a plowed field, an old building, or a streetscape into a time machine that lets us travel back to days long past. Preservation can coexist with our modern land-use needs, working in tandem to sensitively maintain the buildings, sites, and landscapes we love. The ultimate goal of preservation is to continue using these resources while maintaining our connections to the physical fabric of history.