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 84,000 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 allows us to offer numerous public programs, and further our efforts to engage with Middle Peninsula residents. The preservation of this iconic resource increases our 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!