Meet the Winners – Best Museum
#1 Deltaville Maritime Museum
The Deltaville Maritime Museum was established in 2003 through a partnership between the efforts of a dedicated and visionary group of local volunteers and the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors who agreed to lease the 16 acres for the museum and what would become Holly Point Nature Park. In 2012, fire destroyed the existing museum, antique boats and events pavilion. Since then, the museum has come back strong and the museum building and pavilion have been totally rebuilt. The museum’s waterfront features the log-constructed buyboat F.D. Crockett, and Explorer, a replica of the craft used by Captain John Smith to explore the lower Chesapeake Bay in 1608. The museum has maritime displays that feature Deltaville’s colorful boatbuilding history and culture and a gift shop. The museum is located at 287 Jackson Creek Rd. in Deltaville and is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call 776-7200.
#2 Historic Christ Church
Historic Christ Church in Lancaster County, a historic Anglican church built circa 1732, is considered one of the best-preserved colonial churches in the southern United States. The church building is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. It is also on the Virginia Landmarks Register. The museum currently has a special exhibition that commemorates Robert Carter III’s Deed of Gift of August 1, 1791 when Carter ultimately emancipated more than 500 enslaved people on his Tidewater and Shenandoah plantations. Carter declared that he had “for some time past been convinced that to retain them in slavery is contrary to the true principles of religion and justice and that therefore it was my duty to manumit them.” Historic Christ Church & Museum is located at 420 Christ Church Rd. in Weems. It is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. The last day to visit in 2018 is November 30. For further information, call 438-6855.
#3 Reedville Fishermen’s Museum
The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum opened in 1988 and is dedicated to serving the heritage of the maritime history of lower Chesapeake Bay, the watermen who have made their living there, and the menhaden industry that has existed in Reedville for over a century. The museum is located on Cockrell’s Creek on land once owned by Captain Elijah Reed. Reedville was named for Captain Reed who in the late summer of 1867 arrived on Chesapeake Bay to fish for menhaden. Reed is considered the father of the bay’s modern menhaden industry. In the 19th century, fish oil from menhaden was used up and down the East Coast primarily to fuel household oil lamps in the night. The museum’s displays are centered around commercial fishing in that area, and the museum boat dock features the skipjack Claud W. Somers and the buyboat Elva C. The museum is at 504 Main St. in Reedville. For more information, call 453-6529. Check the museum’s website for fall and winter hours, www.rfmuseum.org.