City of Alexandria, VA
Page updated May 14, 2013 10:50 AM
Welcome to Historic Alexandria! With more than 250 years of history and hospitality to its credit, Alexandria offers an array of historic and cultural attractions. Alexandria's many historic homes, churches, businesses and museums allow residents and visitors alike to experience the hand of the past that makes our city the charming and historic town it is today. Visit City of Alexandria museums and historic sites and discover our past, present and future!
This week in Historic Alexandria, brush up on your fencing skills, enjoy a walking tour of Alexandria's historic alleys and attics, honor Armed Forces Day with a free concert of Civil War era music, and enjoy special programs and exhibits at Historic Alexandria museums
View Alexandria history on C-Span's American History TV. The series of seven videos originally aired March 16-18, 2013, exploring Alexandria's Archaeology Museum, the Freedmen's Cemetery, Lee-Fendall House, Fort Ward and Alexandria's role in the Civil War, as well as the importance of the city to the first president, George Washington.
The American Alliance of Museums has announced the Office of Historic Alexandria has earned accreditation as a museum system at the November 2012 meeting of the Accreditation Commission. Accredited status from the Alliance is the highest national recognition achievable by an American museum.The Office of Historic Alexandria is only one of eight municipal organizations across the country accredited for their museum systems.
Visit the Historic Alexandria Museum Store in the Torpedo Factory Arcade, 101 N. Union Street, for great Historic Alexandria products. The shop offers great gift ideas, a wide variety of Alexandria-related merchandise and the very best selections from all the Historic Alexandria museum stores. Your purchases support programming at Historic Alexandria's museums.
Witness to war and reunion, Alexandria's place in Civil War history is truly unique and to help tell the story of the City's Civil War past, the Office of Historic Alexandria is holding many special events and exhibitions throughout the Sesquicentennial, Download the new Civil War iPhone app, check out the Calendar of Events for the latest information, visit Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, explore Alexandria's Civil Defenses of Washington by bike, and find out about the Contrabands and Freedmen's Cemetery. To learn about Alexandria during the Civil War, Witness to War and Reunion brings together historic resources, including First Person Accounts, that provide some insight into the War and its effect on Alexandria and its inhabitants.
Explore Alexandria's Civil War heritage with a free iPHone app, find out about an array of historic and cultural attractions, go on a scavenger hunt, and walk or bike a part of the Alexandria Heritage Trail.
Historic Alexandria offers a variety of day camp experiences for kids ages 5 through 15! Young ones from 5 to 7 can explore American history at The Lyceum through storytelling, singing, crafts, “old-fashioned” games, and visits to nearby historic places. At Fort Ward, kids 8 to 12 will discover what life was like during the Civil War with drills, crafts, reenactor visits, setting up tents and more. Kids 12 to 15 can explore Alexandria’s buried history at Archaeology Camp by excavating a real archaeological site, processing artifacts and learning how to protect Alexandria’s heritage.
"Stone-Ware of Excellent Quality, Alexandria Manufacture” Part I: The Pottery of John Swann, by Barbara H. Magid, appears in the beautifully illustrated annual publication, Ceramics in America, 2012. Swann's early stoneware appears in the cover illustration. The article includes illustrations of Alexandria stoneware from the collections of the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum, The Smithsonian National Museum of American History, The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and nine local collectors.
Groundbreaking has taken place on construction of the Contrabands and Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial. The memorial park, scheduled to open in 2013, will honor the memory of the Freedmen, the hardships they faced, and their contributions to the City. Freedmen's Cemetery served as the burial place for about 1,800 African Americans who fled to Alexandria to escape from bondage during the Civil War. Freedmen's Cemetery was rediscovered in 1987 by City Historian T. Michael Miller. The City Archaeologists researched the possible boundaries of the cemetery. Wesley Pippenger published the names found in the cemetery's record book in 1994, after finding the document in the Virginia Library.
The Office of Historic Alexandria is engaged in an effort to study and preserve the historic resources of Fort Ward Park. Learn more about recent archaeological excavations in the Park including new work in spring 2012, the Stakeholder Advisory Group, and relevant archaeological and historical information.
Now online: The Fort Heritage Trail Brochure
The Alexandria waterfront has an extensive history. While much has been written about various aspects of maritime history and activities on the waterfront, there is not one easy source from which to acquire information.
Make your child's birthday a historic occasion, with a party at one of several historic museums in Alexandria, including the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary, the Friendship Firehouse, and Gadsby's Tavern.
The Fort Ward Museum enlists the talents and knowledge of reenactors to offer numerous living history programs interpreting Civil War soldier and civilian life. Programs contribute to the public’s understanding of the period and enhance the Museum’s educational mission.
Seven of the city's premier historic sites are owned and operated by the City of Alexandria and fall under the administration of the Office of Historic Alexandria, the department of City government charged with the conservation, interpretation and promotion of these links to the past.
These sites - Alexandria Black History Museum, Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, Friendship Firehouse Museum, Gadsby's Tavern Museum, The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum, and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum - bring Alexandria's varied and storied history to life. Additionally, Alexandria has many more historic sites which are open to the public and tell a significant part of the city's historical tale.
The Office of Historic Alexandria has received accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.
American Alliance of Museums