The Fairfield Foundation, a Gloucester County research and education organization, has purchased the former Texaco station at the corner of Main Street (Rt. 17 Business) and John Clayton Memorial Highway (Rt. 14) as well as surrounding property in the Gloucester Court House area, The non-profit group plans to restore the historic building and adaptively re-use it as their
headquarters and archaeology lab.
The building, which has been vacant for a number of years, was built in the 1930’s and operated until the 1990s as the Edge Hill Texaco Service Station. It is considered one of the oldest remaining Texaco gas stations on the East Coast. Old photographs show the building surrounded by fields owned by T.C. Walker, who also sold the property to J.C. Brown to build the service station.
“We plan to make this an important preservation project that will help revitalize our historic main street,” said Dave Brown, co-director of the Fairfield Foundation. “We hope it will become a new gateway to the village, and something that the entire community can be proud of. Our Board is committed to an accurate historic rehab of the building, in which we will have our offices, plus space for the storage of our collections and for working with volunteers and visitors.”
In addition, the foundation plans to incorporate exhibits on the “highway type” Texaco station and how the automobile and gas stations changed everyday life in Gloucester County. The former owner of the property, Mr. Andy James, is a descendant of the original owner of the Edge Hill Service Station and operated it for a number of years.
“I’m very pleased to have been able to work out an arrangement to sell the site to the Fairfield Foundation, knowing that they plan to restore the building and retain a piece of Gloucester’s history,” said James.
The purchase of the property is partially supported by a generous grant from the Cook Foundation, a local foundation dedicated to the arts and architecture in Gloucester. “This project will be significant for the continuing effort to bring more business and activity to Gloucester Main Street,“ said Adrianne Ryder-Cook, Foundation president.
The Fairfield Foundation is currently planning the historic rehabilitation and will soon begin a public fund-raising campaign to raise remaining funds for the purchase and renovation. “This project represents a major addition to Gloucester’s downtown historic district and is an important milestone in the preservation of Gloucester’s history,” said Cecil Wray Page, Fairfield Foundation board member.
The Foundation invites the public to stop by as the work begins and to get involved in the restoration of a Gloucester landmark. For more information, contact the Fairfield Foundation by mail at P.O. Box 157, White Marsh, VA 23183, by phone at (804) 694?4775, or by email at [email protected] The Fairfield Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that invites tax-deductible donations.
The Cook Foundation is a non-profit, private foundation. Its primary purpose is to enhance the
quality of life in Gloucester, Virginia through support of local arts and architecture. The Foundation works with the Main Street Preservation Trust, and supports arts-related events developed by the Gloucester Main Street Association and other organizations. The Cook Foundation is a 501(c)(3) and accepts tax-deductible donations.