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This Week in Historic Alexandria | eNews | City of Alexandria

This Week in Historic Alexandria
City Museums and
Historic Sites
Other Historic Sites and Resources
This Week in
Alexandria History
Gadsby's Tavern Tap Room

On July 8, 1946, the first public meeting of the Alexandria Historical Society was held at Gadsby’s Tavern on North Royal Street. The new organization dedicated to preserving and disseminating information on Alexandria’s heritage followed an emerging trend focusing on history and historic preservation in the city that had begun two decades earlier when Gadsby’s Tavern was acquired for preservation purposes by American Legion Post 24. Although the city’s early buildings had suffered from benign neglect during and in the decades after the Civil War, a move to highlight the city’s proud heritage, association with George Washington and the founding fathers, and preservation of historic buildings through a new Old and Historic Alexandria District designated that year provided a renewed interest in the history of Alexandria and a force for economic sustainability in the future of the city.
Commemorative Corner
Francis Pierpont

On July 7, 1865, the four year occupation of Alexandria by Union forces ended, and the military governor departed the city, vacating the home at 415 Prince Street that had been used as the headquarters for the “restored” government of Virginia. The restored government was first created at the Wheeling Convention in early June 1861 when counties in the northwest section of Virginia refused to join the Confederacy after the state’s vote for secession was approved by the larger population on May 23 of that year. Francis Harrison Pierpont, was elected governor with the support and recognition of President Abraham Lincoln, and was re-elected in May 1863, serving until 1867. He was a driving force behind the creation of the new state of West Virginia, approved by congress in 1863. When Arthur Boreman was elected governor of the new state, the capital of the restored government of Virginia moved to Alexandria with Pierpont remaining as governor.  It was Pierpont who ordered the seizure of a pasture at the southern end of Washington Street then owned by Francis L. Smith, Robert E. Lee’s friend and lawyer that was quickly developed into the Freedmen’s Cemetery.  In May 1865, President Johnson appointed Pierpont as Provisional Governor of Virginia and the capital was moved to Richmond.
On Sale Now
Bastille

Inspired by the dinner held at Mr. Wise’s Tavern in 1793, celebrate “the destruction of that infamous engine of oppression, the BASTILLE” at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum! On Tuesday, July 14, enjoy a historically inspired five course dinner paired with fine French wines. 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are priced at $100 per person, all inclusive. Please visitwww.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242 for more information.
WHAT’S NEW IN HISTORIC ALEXANDRIA
Stabler Leadbeater Apothecary MuseumThe Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum was recently awarded $3,220 from the non-profit Historic Alexandria Foundation to replicate the decorative ceiling medallion at the 18th century drug emporium that has been missing for many years. Replication of the medallion will be executed using pieces from the original plaster casting and from historic photographs in the museum’s collection dating from the early 20th century. Replacement of the medallion will enhance the recent interior restoration of the apothecary that now interprets the 1904 period, a time when the U.S. Food and Drug Act was passed that regulated consumable medicines and food products for the first time. This is the second award to the museum in as many years; last year the foundation provided resources to replicate the historic glass show globes in the front windows.Two other institutions were also awarded funding this year. The Athenaeum at 201 Prince Street received funding for restoration of exterior stucco finishes and the Lee-Fendall House at 614 Oronoco Street was awarded funding to restore a deteriorated porch. For more information on the Historic Alexandria Foundation, and its broad support of Alexandria’s heritage and historic sites, please visit www.historicalexandriafoundation.org.

Thank you to the HAF Board and director for their dedication to our city’s historic and cultural resources!

Special Note: Now through September 7 all Alexandria City Public School students, staff, and their families receive FREE Admission to Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. This includes all regular tours and summer family programs except for Harry Potter’s Birthday tours.

EVENTS
Jane Franklin DanceTuesday, July 7 – Jane Franklin Dance Adult Dance Classes
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Jane Franklin’s approach to movement echoes the intimate and inviting setting of the Athenaeum Gallery. Body integration for the individual is this class’s primary goal, while encouraging flexibility, strength and coordination. The cost to attend all sessions of Jane Franklin’s Dance Classes this week (Tuesday through Friday) or to receive a class card that can be used at other Jane Franklin class locations is $80 for four days. The rate for individual classes is $25 each. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Enroll at JaneFranklin.com or call 703-933-1111 for more information.Wednesday, July 8 – Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission 
Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street.

Regular monthly meeting. Free! 8 a.m. For further information, please call 703-746-4554.
 
Wednesday, July 8 – Jane Franklin Dance Adult Dance Classes
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Jane Franklin’s approach to movement echoes the intimate and inviting setting of the Athenaeum Gallery. Body integration for the individual is this class’s primary goal, while encouraging flexibility, strength and coordination. The cost to attend all sessions of Jane Franklin’s Dance Classes this week (Tuesday through Friday) or to receive a class card that can be used at other Jane Franklin class locations is $80 for four days.10 to 11:30 a.m. Enroll at JaneFranklin.com or call 703-933-1111 for more information.

Wednesday, July 8 – Alexandria Archaeological Commission- Threatened and Endangered Sites Committee
Virginia Theological Seminary, Addison Academic Center, Café 1823, Seminary Road

Regular monthly meeting. Free! 6:30 p.m. For further information, please call 703-746-4399.

Thursday, July 9 – Jane Franklin Dance Adult Dance Classes
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Jane Franklin’s approach to movement echoes the intimate and inviting setting of the Athenaeum Gallery. Body integration for the individual is this class’s primary goal, while encouraging flexibility, strength and coordination. The cost to attend all sessions of Jane Franklin’s Dance Classes this week (Tuesday through Friday) or to receive a class card that can be used at other Jane Franklin class locations is $80 for four days.10 to 11:30 a.m. Enroll at JaneFranklin.com or call 703-933-1111 for more information.

Confederate MemorialThursday, July 9 – Second Thursday Live: Wailin’ Ghosts of the Civil War 
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Stirring up the spirits of bygone years, Alexandria poet Peter Lattu joins forces with Edgar Poe, a Southern banjo player, to perform Civil War-era poems intermixed with 19th century banjo songs. Tickets are priced at $15 per person. 7 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

Friday, July 10 – Jane Franklin Dance Adult Dance Classes
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Jane Franklin’s approach to movement echoes the intimate and inviting setting of the Athenaeum Gallery. Body integration for the individual is this class’s primary goal, while encouraging flexibility, strength and coordination. The cost to attend all sessions of Jane Franklin’s Dance Classes this week (Tuesday through Friday) or to receive a class card that can be used at other Jane Franklin class locations is $80 for four days.10 to 11:30 a.m. Enroll at JaneFranklin.com or call 703-933-1111 for more information.

Saturday, July 11 – Special Family Tours of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
This flexible tour format will allow families to start a tour as soon as they arrive and move through the museum at their own pace. Young guests will be able to connect with the museum through their peer tour guides, plus have fun with hands-on activities at the end of the tour.
In late June and July, activities in the ballroom explore the science behind the historic ice well as part of National Ice Cream Month. Activities include making (and tasting) ice cream! August features activities about 18th century travel, highlighting a letter written by Thomas Jefferson outlining his route from DC to Monticello as well as art projects revolving around the theme.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Gadsby’s Tavern was the center of social and political life in Alexandria and the new Federal City of Washington. The tavern served as the premier gathering place for residents – including George Washington – and visitors to eat, drink, learn, and influence history. $5 adults ($4 with AAA), $3 children ages 5 to 12, and 4 and under are free. Alexandria City Public School families and Blue Star Families are free and coupons, including the Key to the City, accepted. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, please visit www.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242.

Sunday, July 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 ofThe New-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 www.alexandriaarchaeology.org or call 703.746.4399.

Sunday, July 12– New Family Art Lab at the Apothecary Museum
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 South Fairfax Street
New this summer, guests can explore the Family Art Lab Sundays from 2-4pm June 28 through Labor Day weekend at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, located at 105-107 S. Fairfax Street. The Lab features a new activity every week that brings together history, science, and art in a way all ages will enjoy. Families can come back throughout the summer and experience something new every time. No tour necessary to create in the Lab!

The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum in Old Town Alexandria is noted for its outstanding collection of medicinal herbs, shop furnishings, apothecary bottles and equipment, many still in their original location. It also has a spectacular collection of archival materials, including journals, letters and diaries, prescription and formula books, ledgers, orders and invoices. The names of famous customers appear in the documents, including Martha Washington, Nelly Custis, and Robert E. Lee. Lab only admission is $5 per family. If taking a tour, cost is included in regular admission. Alexandria City Public School families and Blue Star Families are free and coupons, including the Key to the City, are accepted. 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.apothecarymuseum.org or call 703.767-3852.

Ballroom DanceMonday, July 13– 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 available for each session online as follows: Basic Techniques, $15 per person, 7 to 7:45 p.m.; Advanced Techniques, $15 per person, 7:45 to 8:30 p.m.; attend both sessions for best results! Free practice session from 8:30 to 9 pm. For more information, please visit garystephans@me.comor call 703-505-5998.

Now on Exhibit through July 19 – Saturate / Stephen Estrada, Naomi Janchs, Abby Kasonik, Hannele Lahti, Eve Stockton, Thomas Teasley
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Using paint, photography, printmaking, glass and sound/video, six very different artists convey a sense of watery wetness in Saturate. Each artist not only manages to portray a sense of liquidness — whether realistically or abstractly — but in combination their works bathe viewers in the sensation. Free! Open Thursday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

Now on Exhibit – Journey to Be Free: Alexandria Freedmen’s Cemetery 
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.

Now on Exhibit – Their Fates Intertwined: The Lees of Alexandria in the War of 1812 
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 visitwww.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

Now on Exhibit – Fifty Years of Collecting: An Anniversary Exhibit of Objects from the Fort Ward Collection 
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 57th Massachusetts 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 www.fortward.org.

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