A Place in American History: Gloucester County Virginia
Gloucester County Virginia was actually inhabited and visited after the first landing by English Settlers at Jamestown in 1607. The County was named for Henry, Duke of Gloucester, who was the third son of Charles I. Gloucester County was once a part of York County, until it was separated and in 1639, there were land grants made there. However, the crown did not deem it inhabitable until 1644 because of the Native American influences there. At the time, Gloucester was called Werowocomoco, and was home to Pocahontas and her father, the chief of the tribe. His stronghold was on the north side of Gloucester.
Gloucester also has ties to the daffodil. When colonists found themselves missing the English spring, they brought daffodils bulbs from England and planted them throughout the county. Today, the spring brings fields of wild daffodils to Gloucester, Virginia, and the county residents take pride in this natural beauty.
Famous Americans from Gloucester County, Virginia
There are many notable Americans from Gloucester County, Virginia. Perhaps the most well know of 19th Century figures is Dr. Walter Reed, who was born in Belroi, Virginia. Reed helped to conquer yellow fever, and the U.S. Army Hospital, Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington D.C., was named for him in 1906. John Page lived in the Rosewell Estate, and he attended the College of William and Mary, where he befriended Thomas Jefferson, a lifelong friend. There are many other notable Americans and historical facts about Gloucester, Virginia. Visit http://www.co.gloucester.va.us/histindex.htm for more information on Gloucester’s place in American history.
Waterfront Estates, Country Estates, and Historic Property, in Gloucester County
Tyndall’s Point is the tip of land jutting out across from Yorktown, named for Captain John Smith’s mapmaker. Tyndall’s Point was later renamed Gloucester Point.
Many grand, private historical homes, country estates, and waterfront estates exist in Gloucester today.
Locally Operated Seafood Restaurant in Gloucester County, Virginia
Visitors and residents of Gloucester Point Virginia will enjoy the Rivers Inn, with fresh local seafood in season and outdoor casual dining on the Crab Deck. The Blue Fin restaurant on Route 17 also serves fresh local seafood depending upon the season and availability.
Historical Landmarks in Gloucester County
Some of these historic homes and estates are open to the public during Historic Garden Week in Gloucester. Warner Hall was once George Washington’s maternal grandmother’s home and is an actual residence today. Rosewell, though in ruins now, is another famous residence in Gloucester, where Thomas Jefferson spent many evenings with his friend John Page.
Gloucester County Marinas
There are many marinas in Gloucester County for the visitor or resident of the County to enjoy. Many find pleasure in boating, fishing or water skiing in the Chesapeake Bay, York River, Severn River and tributaries. The Ware River Yacht Club, Severn Marina, Crown Point Marina, and more are great spots for boaters to fuel up, eat, drink, relax, or stay. Read the article, “Marinas in Gloucester, Virginia: Boating in Chesapeake Bay Country” for further information on even more marinas in Gloucester.
Gloucester County Wineries
The Williamsburg Winery, in Williamsburg, Virginia is the closest winery to Gloucester, Virginia. It’s just a 20-minute drive to the Williamsburg Winery, where wine tasting and tours are held daily. The winery is the largest in Virginia, producing an estimated 60,000 cases on an annual basis.
Gloucester County Outdoor Activities
Gloucester County is filled with a variety of possibilities for the outdoorsman, the athlete, and the adventurer. Watersports such as waterskiing, wind surfing, sail boating, and more are engaged in regularly on the York and Severn Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Biking, camping, hiking, birding, and walking on the sandy beaches are just some of the many activities visitors and residents of Gloucester County partake in.
Gloucester County Beaches
Gloucester Point Beach was a popular destination during the colonial era, and it remains so, today. The county beach is well equipped with a picnic area and shade trees, a bathhouse with shower and concession stand, and plenty of swimming for all to enjoy. Boat ramps and a fishing pier make the Gloucester Point Beach complete, and make for a great place to relax and spend time with friends and family.
Gloucester County Proximity to Major Cities
Gloucester County is less than 45 minutes distance to Norfolk, and approximately one hour and fifteen minutes to Richmond, Virginia. The Gloucester County area is within a short drive to Williamsburg, Hampton, and Newport News Virginia, as well. Shopping, cultural and dining opportunities and more are found in these Tidewater Virginia cities that make up the Upper and Lower Peninsula near the Chesapeake Bay.
Gloucester County Public Schools
Gloucester County is equipped to serve young families with an extensive public school system. In the Gloucester County school system there are six elementary schools (Abington Elementary, Achilles Elementary, Bethel Elementary, Botetourt Elementary, Petsworth Elementary and T.C. Walker Elementary) two middle schools (Peasly Middle School and Page Middle School), and one high school (Gloucester High School). For more information on the scholastics, athletics, and extracurricular activities in each school, visit Gloucester County Schools.
Gloucester County Private Schools
Gloucester County also has a nice selection of private schools, too. Parents may consider sending their children to Christchurh, Saint Margaret’s, Gloucester Montessori, Majesty Christian Academy and Ware Academy.
Colleges in or Near Gloucester County
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science, a division of the College of William and Mary, has a campus in Gloucester County. Rappahannock Community College has a campus right in Glenns, Virginia, and another nearby in Warsaw, Virginia. For those seeking Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, Christopher Newport University in Newport News, and Hampton University are all within reasonable commuting distance to Gloucester County Virginia.
Contemporary Gloucester County on the Chesapeake Bay
Gloucester County is 216 square miles and much of this is waterfront property on the York River, Chesapeake Bay or the Mobjack Bay. There are approximately 35,000 residents of Gloucester County in Virginia and the population continues to expand as new development finds a place for growth in the Northern Neck area of the Chesapeake Bay.