Historic anchor returned to Poquoson Museum after being stolen in September 2021

Posted at 1:17 PM, Jun 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-18 18:34:44-04

POQUOSON, Va. - An anchor believed to be over a century old is back home at the Poquoson Museum. Police found it buried in a backyard this week, nine months after someone stole the 9-foot-long, 2,000-pound artifact right from the museum property.

The big question so many people are asking is, "How do you steal something like this?" For the Poquoson Museum, the question is, "Why would you steal something like this?"

"It's a great day that we find out that someone in the community is not worthy to live here," said Paul Whitlow, the president of the Poquoson Museum. "People that would steal from us and other nonprofits don't really need to be in Poquoson."

Whitlow isn't holding back how he feels. The anchor's disappearance is still fresh — Friday, police returned the stolen anchor to the museum's grounds.

"I got a call yesterday morning and they said, 'We found the anchor, we have it at the museum, where do you want us to put it?'" Whitlow said.

Two thousand pounds of 19th century metal now decorates the museum's front lawn. Nine months ago, it was mysteriously stolen from the trail system in the back.

"How in the world did they get it out of here?" Whitlow wondered.

Police are still working that out, and are tight-lipped about the investigation so far.

Whitlow, a former police officer himself, says it was found at a yard near the museum. The big question now is — why?

Whitlow told News 3 the anchor was one of over a dozen donated to the museum, which was founded in 2003 as a way to celebrate and preserve Poquoson's history.

"Everything that's done here is done by volunteers," Whitlow said. "We live by donations and contributions."

Those donations support upkeep of the grounds, the main building and an old post office the museum is currently raising money to freshen up.

Stealing from an organization like this might be unthinkable, but rest assured — now that the anchor is back, it's not going anywhere.

"We're going to mount it," Whitlow said. "And we just got an offer yesterday from a Cub Scout group that said they wanted to come and clean it."

For more information about the Poquoson Museum and how to support it, click here.

If you want to make a financial donation to the Poquoson Museum, please send your check or money order to: Poquoson Museum, P.O. Box 2163, Poquoson, VA 23662, or you can contact Treasurer Frank Rezek at 757-868-9882.

Please include a note stating what you want the money used for (i.e. Tom Hunt's Store restoration, Marsh walk maintenance, or any other thing you can think of).