The Tidewater Virginia Historical Society (TVHS) was founded in 2013. It evolved out of Preservation Virginia, formerly known as the APVA, which was founded in 1889. In that year two ladies who had been exploring the church ruins at Historic Jamestowne, founded the first historical preservation society in America. Their mission was to preserve and protect Virginia’s historical sites.
The APVA moved its headquarters to Richmond and acquired a number of historic sites including Jamestowne. To support the APVA, its activities and fundraising, chapters were established all across the State, with the founding chapter in Williamsburg. The Williamsburg chapter grew and flourished. It held its Board meetings in an office on the third floor of the House of Burgesses. This was given to the APVA by Colonial Williamsburg, in thanks for APVA property given to Colonial Williamsburg in the early 20th century. Meetings were held there until 2012.
Historical lectures, bus trips to the many historical houses and sites in the area were a regular part of the membership’s activities. Membership at one time totaled approximately 200. During the first decade of this century the APVA decided to phase out its chapter system and give up some properties which had been costly for upkeep. The APVA did retain Jamestowne, now the site of the fort rediscovered by Dr. William Kelso. In 2013 the Board (then headed by Joe Burkart, VP Forrest Morgan, and others) explored possible ways to maintain the historical focus. A decision was made to reinvent the chapter as an organization that would not only provide lectures and trips, but also would partner with other similar focused groups throughout the Tidewater region. Today TVHS continues to be a key organization for those seeking to preserve Tidewater Virginia’s rich history.
The mission of the Tidewater Virginia Historical Society is to preserve and promote the heritage of Tidewater Virginia by serving as an advocate for history, archaeology, preservation, and culture.
WHAT WE DO
Each year we organize educational programs, bus trips, and an annual special event with the goal to provide educational opportunities to our community, bring people who love history together, and explore the Tidewater Region.
Our members come from all over and have one thing in common: we love Virginia history and want to be involved in preserving it. For more information on how to join and benefits of membership, please visit the membership page on this site.
Sharon Short, President – Williamsburg
Forrest Morgan, Vice President – Matthews
Melissa McCue, Treasurer – Williamsburg
Sherri Phillips, Secretary – Williamsburg
Janie Moyers, Membership – Williamsburg
Paige Jessee, Programs – Suffolk
Frederick Siegel, Publicity – Williamsburg
Carl Bass, Partnerships – Williamsburg
Krista John, Website – Williamsburg
Ben Arney – Toano
Carl Lounsbury – Williamsburg
Jeannie Takesian – Williamsburg
Carol E. Harrison – Williamsburg