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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Historic Alexandria
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Page updated Oct 14, 2014 7:59 AM

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Next Week in Historic Alexandria


1013 - Lloyd House imageFor the first time in over two hundred years, the front façade at Lloyd House will be illuminated at night, making the property safer for evening meetings and events, and to showcase one of the city’s best examples of Georgian architecture at night.  Historically, the building never had exterior lighting fixtures on the front, and to maintain authenticity and the historic building fabric, the decision was made long ago made to not add such lighting.  But after a recent experiment to up-light the building from the sidewalk level, it was decided to move forward with dual fixtures directly on the sidewalk, hidden behind the projecting risers of the lower steps at the entry to “wash” the building and its elegant pedimented doorway. The project, funded by the City, is part of a larger effort to convert incandescent lighting at Lloyd House to LED technology.


  • Tuesday, October 14   “Long Black Veil” Brew Beer Launch
    Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 105 North Royal Street 

    Port City Brewing Company has partnered with Gadsby’s Tavern Museum to launch its newest beer, Long Black Veil.  This black India Pale Ale was inspired by the famous and mysterious tale of the Female Stranger, who died at Gadsby’s Tavern on October 14, 1816.  The name of the special brew was based on the tale of the Female Stranger, who arrived to Alexandria by ship.  Having become ill, she was taken to the finest tavern in town – Gadsby’s Tavern – and was given a room, a doctor, and two nurses to care for her.  Her identity, however, was kept a mystery.  Days passed by and her condition worsened.  On October 14th, she died at the age of 23.   She is buried at St. Paul’s Cemetery and a table-top tomb bears the inscription “In the memory of the Female Stranger…” 

    Be one of the first to taste this special beer on the Female Stranger’s death day and visit the room where she died!  Tickets are available at $25 per person in advance or $30 at the door.  Doors open at 6 p.m. with special remarks at 7 p.m. and tours at 7:30, 7:45, 8:00, and 8:15 p.m.   Registration includes one beer, food, a tour, and a special Port City glass; cash bar for each additional beer purchase. For more information, please visit or call 703.746.4242.
  • Wednesday, October 15 Lecture: "I Am Not Afraid"
    Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 105 North Royal Street 

    George Washington gave his first farewell address at the end of the War for Independence and his second and more famous farewell address at the end of his term as President. Professor Peter Henriquez argues that there is a third and final farewell address. He will examine what this is and will focus on George Washington's death, an event which reveals much about America's greatest leader. Tickets are priced at $12 per person or $10 for Society members and volunteers. 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, please visit or call 703.746.4242.
  • Wednesday, October 15 Civil War Lecture-“The Paradox of Robert E. Lee"
    Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street

    In his forthcoming book “Lee’s Faith,” R. David Cox will explore how Lee's religious convictions influenced his major decisions, including after the War to assume the presidency of Washington College where he promoted reconciliation and national unity. Dr. Cox, an Episcopal priest who formerly served as rector of the R. E. Lee Memorial Church in Lexington, teaches at Southern Virginia University. Free!  Light refreshments will be served.  For more information please call 703.746.4554.
  • Thursday, October 16 Curiosities: Every Artifact Tells a Story
    Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union Street, #327

    We are all explorers. Whether uncovering hidden artifacts or creating the never-before seen, we celebrate the act of discovery and the compilation of remarkable things. We invite you to view the  works and installations at the Closing Reception for a special collaborative exhibit between the Alexandria Archaeology Museum and Torpedo Factory Art Center. This is a Virginia Archaeology Month event. Exhibit is open through October 19. Free! 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, please visit or call 703.746.4399.
  • 1013 - Poe imageThursday, October 16 Tales of Mystery and Imagination: Readings from the Works of Edgar Allan Poe
    The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street

    Actors from Guillotine Theatre will read stories and poems by the master of macabre. Since the Athenaeum is reputed to be haunted, perhaps there will be ghostly manifestations! A dessert reception follows the reading. Tickets are priced at $10 per person. For more information, please visit or call 703.548.0035.

  • 1013 - Chamber Music Class imageThursday, October 16 USAF Band Chamber Series at the Lyceum
    The Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street

    Come hear the USAF Band Chamber Series at the Lyceum. Chamber Strings: a concert showcasing string duos and trios, led by Technical Sergeant Wayne Graham, The United States Air Force Band. Free! 8 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, please visit or call 703.746.4994.
  • Saturday, October 18 Java Jolt & Book Signing with John Sprinkle
    Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union Street, #327

    OCTOBER IS VIRGINIA ARCHAEOLOGY MONTH! International Day of Archaeology Java Jolt & Book Signing with John Sprinkle, author of the new bookCrafting Preservation Criteria: The National Register of Historic Places and American Historic Preservation.
    This presentation elucidates the “prehistory” of the National Register of Historic Places, with a special focus on the evolution of the concept of archaeological significance, and helps practitioners and students alike connect with the origins of preservation’s contemporary paradigm. A resident of Alexandria’s Rosemont Historic District, John Sprinkle is the Chair of the Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission. Sponsored by Friends of Alexandria Archaeology (FOAA), with light refreshments. Free, but please RSVP to . 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, please visit or call 703.746.4399.
  • Saturday, October 18 Concert: Words & Music: After World War I
    The Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street

    Join Words&Music for their opening concert of the 2014-15 season! Follow the group’s musical visit with Americans studying, living and composing in France during the years following World War I. Tickets are priced at $30 per adult; $25 senior and active military; $18 students. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, please visit  or call 703.746.4994. 
  • Sunday, October 12 Civil War Sunday
    Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union Street, #327

    Explore the Civil War in Alexandria with Civil War Sundays.  See an original May 26, 1861, edition of TheNew-York Tribune detailing Colonel Elmer Ellsworth’s death in Alexandria, a Peeps diorama illustrating Ellsworth’s death, a TimeTravelers Passport exhibit featuring the Civil War drummer boy, a diorama of a heating system constructed in Alexandria to warm Civil War hospital tents during the winter of 1861, a cocked and loaded Wickham musket discarded in a privy during the 1860s, and an exhibit on a Lee Street archaeological site during the Civil War. Free!  1 to 5 p.m.  For more information, please visit or call 703.746.4399.
  • 1013 - Cauldron imageSunday, October 19  –  Cauldron Teas at Carlyle House
    Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 North Fairfax Street

    “Double, double toil and trouble/ Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” What is brewing in your pot? Come to the Carlyle House terrace for a spooky Halloween tea that will be sure to cast a spell on your scary celebrations. At 11 a.m. bring your little ghosts and goblins, ages 5 and up,  to our crafty tea, where they will enjoy child-friendly foods, crafts, and a goody bag. At 2 p.m., adults are invited to share in the Halloween fun, and will enjoy a tour of the museum after their tea and learn about 18thcentury funeral and mourning practices in Virginia.  Costumes are encouraged at both seatings. Please note: House tour is not included with the Crafty Tea. The Crafty Tea is priced at  $15 per child; the Cauldron Tea costs $30 per adult and $15 for children ages 5 to 12. Friends of Carlyle House receive 10% off.  Reservations and prepayment are required and can be made by calling 703.549.2997 or e-mailing For further information please visit .
  • Sunday, October 19 – Mad Science!
    Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 South Fairfax Street 

    What do super heroes, crazy animals, and explosions have in common? A mad scientist probably made them! Come to the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum to explore where real science and mad science collide. 45 minute tours start every 30 minutes between 1 and 4:30 p.m. and feature historic medicines with surprising side effects. Upstairs, meet the Museum’s very own mad scientist bringing to life some crazy concoctions and the science behind them. Tickets are priced at $6 per person, ages 5 and up, and reservations are recommended. 1 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, please visit or call 703.746.4356.
  • Sunday, October 19 Chamber Ensemble Master Class
    The Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street

    Listen in on the Chamber Ensemble Master Class with the Ensemble da Camera of Washington, American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras (AYPO) musicians perform. Musical instruction by Claire Eichhorn (clarinet), Anna Balakerskaia (piano), and Ricardo Cyncynates (violin/viola). Free, but donations gladly accepted! 3 to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4994 or visit
  • Monday, October 20 – Gary Stephans' Art of Ballroom Dance
    The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street

    Fun classes to learn to dance or improve your dancing skills: fox trot, waltz, tango, swing, salsa, merengue, rumba, cha-cha, and samba. All level of dancers are welcome, with or without a partner. Discover little techniques that most people never learn about and become a relaxed and proficient social dancer in these small, personalized dance lessons! Tickets are priced at $15 per person. Basic Techniques are from 7 to 7:45 p.m., Advanced Techniques are at 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. Attend both sessions for best results. Free Practice Session from 8:30 to 9 p.m. For more information, please visit or call 703.548.0035.
  • Open Through November 9, 2014 –Icons of American Culture / David AllisonExhibition
    The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street

    David Allison is a master photographer and has created a series of portraits of the objects he considers icons of American culture. The images in this show not only reflect American culture, but the photographer’s personal interpretation of our culture. Some of his images are classic, some are whimsical, some are satirical, but all are masterfully shot and printed.

    For more information, please visit or call 703.548.0035.
  • Open Through 2014 – Alexandria Freedmen's Cemetery Exhibition
    Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street 

    A new exhibit tracing the 150-year history of the long-forgotten Freedmen’s Cemetery, its rediscovery and how the new Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial was created at the site.  Free, but donations are appreciated. Tuesday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday: Closed.  For more information, please call 703.746.4356.
  • Open Through 2014 – Their Fates Intertwined: The Lees of Alexandria in the War of 1812 Exhibition
    Lee-Fendall House and Gardens, 614 Oronoco Street

    A new exhibit on the experiences of the Lee family in Alexandria during the War of 1812 examines the contributions of Alexandria’s citizens during the conflict that led to the writing of our national anthem through the lives of this iconic Virginia family. For further information, please visit or call 703.548.1789.
  • Open Through 2014 – Fifty Years of Collecting: An Anniversary Exhibit of Objects from the Fort Ward Collection Exhibition 
    Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road

    In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Fort Ward Museum & Historic Park, this new exhibition offers a glimpse into the growth and holdings of the Museum’s fine Civil War collection. The exhibit features some rare items related to the Defenses of Washington, such as an 1862 panoramic drawing of Fort Albany by the soldier-artist William Lydston, a folding camp chair that belonged to an officer in the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, and a Lambley’s portable copying machine used by an officer from the 57thMassachusetts Infantry.   Objects that interpret the Union occupation of Alexandria, such as a proclamation declaring martial law in the city, are also featured.  Examples of newly acquired objects are a field desk with personal belongings owned by a captain in the 107th New York Infantry, and a John Rogers statuary group, “Uncle Ned’s School,” which aimed to portray the efforts of newly freed African Americans to better their lives through education in the postwar years.

    Fort Ward is the best preserved of the extensive network of Union forts and batteries known as the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Free! Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.   For more information, please call 703.746.4848, or visit .


1013 - Lafayette imageOn October 16, 1824, the beloved Marquis de Lafayette arrived in Alexandria for an extended visit during his “Grand Tour of America,” one of the social high points in history of the young nation he had so fervently fought for. The Alexandria Gazette of October 19, 1824, vividly described his entrance to the city:

Between twelve and one o'clock General LaFayette entered the line from the Potomac Bridge, under a salute of artillery from Capt. Williams's company. Here he was met by General Walter Jones and suite.... LaFayette then entered a splendid barouche, drawn by four fine greys, [and escorted to Alexandria].... The procession entered the town through Columbus Street, went through a part of King into Washington Street. During the passage of the procession, the windows of the houses were filled with ladies, who, as they waved their handkerchiefs, told the General that he was welcome.... About three o'clock, Gen. LaFayette, accompanied by the residue of the procession, passed through the Grand Arch under a national salute of 24 guns.

After Gen. LaFayette had been conducted through the Arch, he passed the line of troops in King Street who were at presented arms. On his arrival at Royal Street, an impressive ceremony occurred which, in sublimity and moral effect, surpasses all: one hundred young girls and one hundred boys from seven to twelve years of age were arrayed in lines extending to the Reception room.... In the reception room [at Clagett's Tavern] the General was met by [Mayor Roberts] who spoke as follows: "In behalf of the Common council and my fellow citizens, I have the honor to bid you a cordial and affectionate welcome to the town of Alexandria." When the ceremony was concluded the Mayor and General Jones conducted him to the house which had been secured for his accommodations at 301 South St. Asaph Street.


The historic Lee-Fendall House Museum will offer its First Annual “Halloween Pumpkin Hunt” at 5:30 p.m. on October 24 and 25. Alexandria’s ghosts and goblins will fill the museum’s garden with hundreds of colorful toy-filled Halloween pumpkins for local children to discover. Other activities include crafts, refreshments, spooky stories, and a costume parade. Every participating child will receive a toy pumpkin! For tickets and more information on this exciting new event click here!



1013 - Jubal imageOn October 19, 1864, at the end of the months long “Valley Campaign” in the Shenandoah region, the two engagements of the Battle of Cedar Creek ultimately cemented public support of President Abraham Lincoln several weeks later.  The battle began in the morning, when troops of Confederate General Jubal Early, pursuing those of Union cavalry commander Philip Sheridan, came upon and quashed a troop of Union soldiers.  But Early’s men, deprived of food and supplies by the implementation of Sheridan’s ruthless ”scorched earth” policy felt throughout the region, left their ranks and began to pillage the Union camp. 

In a surprise rout, Sheridan heard of the melee and quickly turned from his path in Winchester to confront Early’s forces, causing “Old Jube” to lose all the gains that had been won earlier.  The action, combined with Sherman’s concurrent “March to the Sea” in Georgia, provided a much need boost to Lincoln’s political campaign in the war-weary Union, and secured his reelection.

Historic Alexandria Administration
Lloyd House
220 North Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703.838.6451

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.