Mathews County Historical Museum & Mathews County Historical Society announce a “revolutionary week” in Mathews, June 30-July 8, beginning with a musical homage and culminating in a 2-day encampment and reenactment. A series of events the week of July 4 is planned to commemorate the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Cricket Hill, which took place July 9-10, 1776 on Gwynn’s Island, now a part of Mathews County. It was the site of one of the defining battles of the American Revolution and the final stand of Virginia’s last royal governor, Lord Dunmore.

After fleeing from the burning of Norfolk, Lord Dunmore’s fleet of approximately 80 ships set anchor in the waters of Milford Haven off of Gwynn’s Island.

Dunmore thought that he had found a safe place moored at Milford Haven--safe from rebel attack, a place where the sick could be isolated due to an outbreak of smallpox, and where he could replenish supplies.  What he did not count on as he viewed the shore, was the strength of General Andrew Lewis and his patriots. As Lord Dunmore viewed Lewis’ patriot militia moving about on shore, building earthworks and setting up cannons, he dubbed them looking like “crickets on a hill.”   When the militia heard of Dunmore’s comments, they named the area where their cannons were mounted, “Cricket Hill.” Mathews County is proud to celebrate its heritage with homage to those brave soldiers and patriots who fought for freedom on “Cricket Hill.”

“Crickets on A Hill” Historical Musical Performance
Saturday, June 30, 7:30 evening performance and
Sunday,   July 1, 3:00 matinee performance on stage at Mathews High School,
*”Crickets on A Hill” written by county resident, the late Judy Ward and orchestrated by David Shuber, is part of a series of events planned to commemorate the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Cricket Hill. The Crickets musical is well known and beloved by Mathews residents and honors the role that the county played in the Revolutionary War. Contact  A. Minuth at 804-725-7947 or for more information. This event is sponsored by the Mathews County Historical Museum and Court House Players, with support from the Court House Community Orchestra.  Adults $15, children 12 and under, $5

Wednesday, July 4 Fireworks
Mathews County’s fireworks display, always a treat, will be featured at Mathews High School on the 4th

Friday, July 6, Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8
Encampment, Reenactment and Commemoration
On Friday, July 6th the 7th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line  along with the Maryland 14th Regiment of foot, Royal Marines from HMS Otter, and the Queen’s own loyal regiment, will set camp on the field surrounding the Gwynn’s Island Civic Center. On Saturday and Sunday there will be a reenactment of the battle followed by commemoration activities. Additional information is available from Forrest Morgan, 804-725-3121, or, or This event is sponsored by the Mathews County Historical Society and the 7th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line.

Underwater survey

The Mathews Historical Society is sponsoring an underwater survey of the waters around Gwynn’s Island. Thomas Jefferson drew a map of the battle in 1776. The purpose of the survey will be to verify the accuracy of the Jefferson map and search for evidence of the battle, including sunken vessels. The survey is being conducted by Clive Cussler’s world renowned National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) and the Saint Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum Archaeology Group. The initial survey which was conducted during the week of April 29 produced some interesting targets. Once the raw data has been analyzed the Historical Society of will sponsor  “putting divers in the water” to test archaeological assumptions.  The results of the survey and the divers findings will be announced during the “Revolutionary” week. Supporting organizations in this venture are the Mathews Maritime Foundation and the Gwynn’s Island Museum.

May Faire 2018

Images courtesy of the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal

May Faire 2017

Images from this year's event...a good time was had by all! (photos courtesy of Kate and Company Photography, the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal and Barbara Bass)