Gloucester is the gateway to the Middle Peninsula that has seen an influx of residents due to its affordable housing, low crime and high quality of life.
The county is steeped in history. At the time of the arrival of English settlers on Virginia shores in 1607, Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas, had a stronghold on the banks of the York River in mid-Gloucester called Werowocomoco. Thomas Jefferson is believed to have written a draft of the Declaration of Independence while staying at Rosewell, the home of his friend John Page. The fate of the British forces under the leadership of Gen. Cornwallis were sealed in Gloucester when joint American and French cavalry units hemmed in the Redcoats in the Battle of the Hook, helping prompt the surrender at Yorktown in 1781 that effectively ended the Revolutionary War.
Walter Reed, known as the conqueror of yellow fever, was born in Gloucester in a small, two-story home that still stands at the intersection of Belroi and Hickory Fork roads. T.C. Walker was born a slave in Gloucester but went on to become a noted educator, lawyer and businessman.
The county is home to the annual Daffodil Festival that draws thousands of visitors every spring. Gloucester is also home to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science — a leader in oceanographic research. The sprawling Gloucester Point campus houses a visitor center with eight aquariums featuring saltwater fish native to Virginia's coast. A centuries-old commercial-fishing tradition lives on in the county and is highlighted every September with the Guinea Jubilee — a two-day celebration.
Other notable sites to visit include Warner Hall, the home of George Washington's maternal grandmother, which is a bed and breakfast and private residence, and Beaverdam Park. In October, Gloucester will hose a re-enactment of the Battle of the Hook.
Area: 257 square miles
Median age: 38.7
Landmarks: Gloucester Courthouse Circle, Rosewell ruins, VIMS, Coleman Bridge
Board of Supervisors chairman: Carter Borden, 804-642-2991
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