On November 21st, a friend and I attended the open house at the Gabriel Daveis Tavern. The spelling of Daveis name is his own and from the Colonial period. The open house was truly delightful. The house is beautiful and each room was decorated by a class of school children. Refreshments were provided in every room and there were tour guides in each room as well. The high point of the visit for me, this time, was the opportunity to view the newly restored landscape painting that had been painted by Mr. Shuck, the previous owner of the house. He had left the house and its contents to Gloucester Township. Mr. Shuck is buried on the on the grounds and there is a memorial and area to sit near his grave.
The painting had been done (so I am told) on oilcloth taken from the floor of a slave cabin that was once nearby. The painting is beautiful, very well done. I have an Art degree and am a painter myself. It was also inspiring to me that the volunteers and preservationists honored Mr. Shuck by having his work professionally cleaned. It is incredibly generous of him to have left this property to the township to use to acquaint people with the history of the area and the way of life of people of that time and place.
During the season, the house is open on alternating Sundays. Information on visiting can be found by contacting the e-mail address listed for the tavern in my column of addresses. It is always best to confirm a date in advance. Later, I will write more on the history of the house.
A children's chorus provided holiday entertainment outside on the grounds and a some volunteers kept a small bonfire going in the parking lot. It was a really pleasant family event. I met some people there who had brought their children and remembered visiting the house when the previous owner, Mr. Shuck was still alive. They had fond memories of him and said he was a kind man who always had time to talk to them. This is a wonderful way to honor his memory.