Calling all history buffs and artifact collectors: The Gabriel Daveis Tavern Museum House in Glendora will host the South Jersey History fair Saturday. Built in 1756, the site is one of the oldest standing structures in the township.
Sharon Mickle, president of the Gloucester Township Preservation Committee, said the family friendly event appeals to anyone interested in the history of South Jersey.
“The SJ History Fair includes something for adults and kids alike, history buffs and those just curious about South Jersey’s history, from Colonial days to the present,” she noted.
The fair will also include a performance of the national anthem, free antique appraisals and a performance by the Harmony Mainstage Choir. Entertainment will be provided by the Groggy Pine Boys, Martin Kavanagh and Joe Wills; Cynthia Smith of Smitty’s Kitchen Music; and the Colonial Hearth Players. The Harmony Show Choir will feature teens from Camden and Gloucester high schools.
“Our purpose is to provide visitors with various information and experiences on local history sites, really in their own backyard,” Mickle explained. We’re hoping that people can come and take away a bit of information on local places they may want to visit.”
More than 40 exhibitors from the area will be in attendance in tents set up along the grounds and run by historic societies, other history groups and authors.
The Gabriel Daveis facility was constructed for travelers who needed lodging and food when waterways around Timber Creek were at low tide. It operated as a tavern until 1771, then became a private residence lived in continuously until 1976. Tours of the building include items that belonged to various families.
According to Mickle, it was no coincidence that the house was turned into a museum.
“The last owner of the house, William Shuck, arranged with the township to have purchased the house for $1 and have it be left to the township,” she noted. “But there were some stipulations. The township had to create a historical society and also use the house as a museum. That’s how it shifted from being a full time home.”
Admission to the tavern and its grounds is free. The facility is open the second and fourth Sundays of the month, April through November, and the second Sunday in December. The fair comes on the only Saturday the facility is open all year.
“On Saturday, we hope to give tours that will entice people to come back,” Mickle said. “But the type of tour really depends on the group … We try to get people to realize what life would be like [ in the past] by asking them questions, how [different] their life might be. We try to pique their interest when taking tours.”
History fair hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the tavern, 500 Third St., just off Route 168. The event is free and parking is available on the grounds.