Historical Society opens gift shop

Published 7:47 pm Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society recently unveiled its new gift shop on the first floor of its Bank Street headquarters.

The room is covered top to bottom in red wallpaper with black and white curtains. The original decorations were from Gerard Dawson, and the room was his personal library and study.

The new feature was the final renovation needed to complete the first floor of the Phillips-Dawson House.

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While the gift shop has books and T-shirts, there are also historical items that come from donations around the community.

“We wanted to offer something historical and unique,” said Executive Director Kimberly Blair Greene.

Some of the items don’t have a known origin, but some of them have stamps from locations like Paris and Italy.

Most of the literature featured in the gift shop focuses on Suffolk history.

“These are a great opportunity for parents and students to do a summer project,” Blair Greene said. “It’s really neat to know about the time you live in.”

The society has been working on the gift shop for the past year, since they decided to put the room to that use. The room used to be a storage room for the historical society.

Along with the historical items and books, the historical society also sells Virginia peanuts, hot sauce and peanut ornaments.

Every dime spent in the gift shop goes back to the historical society so they can keep running and provide programs and continue to renovate the home.

The shop will be open when the house is open — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday — at 137 Bank St.