Tom Edwards took over the helm of the Gwynn’s Island Museum in 2015, but said he has had some big shoes to fill following the retirement of longtime director Jean Tanner.
Tanner worked for more than 25 years to preserve and display the history of the island that she calls home.
“You see in the Gwynn’s Island Museum the work of a generous-hearted American with a vision and a passion,” Edwards said. “Our island museum is much more than a collection of artifacts and the preservation of history. Creating the museum has built loyalty in our community and patriotism for our country. The Gwynn’s Island Civic League, Mathews County, our state and nation are very thankful for Jean’s work.”
Edwards said he became interested in the museum when he moved back home to the island in 1994 to care for his father, the late Henry Gwynn Edwards. He and his father made many trips to the museum to do research for Henry Edwards’s autobiography, “Memories From Mill Point.”
One of his favorite exhibits at the museum is a Cinmar Blade (stone knife) that was recovered with a portion of mastodon skull with a large molar and one tusk still attached. “It is believed this biface knife was used by early-day man to skin and butcher the mastodon,” Edwards said.