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
Alexandria Citizen band

One August 26, 1948, the Alexandria Citizen’s Band was honored to win first prize in a competition held at the Virginia State Fireman’s Convention. The local band, a community organization comprising volunteer members who bring musical entertainment to Northern Virginia, Alexandria, and the DC Metro area, still plays a summer concert series annually at Alexandria’s Market Square and at other special events in the area. The band was organized in 1912 and is one of the oldest community bands in the country.
On Sale Now
Rhythm Roots

The Rhythm & Roots Experience!

On September 10, 2015, at 7 p.m., enjoy a magical evening of invigorating and inspirational West African rhythm, wisdom, song, and dance as the Rhythm & Roots Players bring their special vibe straight to Old Town! Come see what Alexandria might have been like if early Africans had been more free to share their culture! This is a highly experiential performance that will grab and change you. Tickets are priced at $15 per person and are now available online.


ACPSAs we wind up the final weeks of summer, the Office of Historic Alexandria reminds residents and visitors to our great city of the following special programs for ACPS students and staff, and the Blue Star Museums collaboration for active-duty military personnel. These programs offer free admission to select museums through Labor Day 2015:

Alexandria City Public Schools!  Now through September 7 all ACPS 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.

Welcome to Blue Star Museums 2015! Blue Star Museums is collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day, May 25, 2015 through Labor Day, September 7, 2015. The following Alexandria museums are participating in the program this summer:

For more information, please on Blue Star Museums visit: http://arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums#sthash.U2IFIJ5N.dpuf

Tuesday, August 25 – Alexandria Assembly Dance Rehearsal
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum’s performance dance group, the Alexandria Assembly, meets most Tuesday nights for practice and instruction. Monthly donations accepted. Prerequisite: dancers must have participated in one of the Museum’s Thursday night dance class series. Free! 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Please visit www.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242 for more information.

Gadsby's TavernSaturday, August 29 – Special Family Tours of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 South 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. Activities in the ballroom explore the science behind the historic ice well as part of National Ice Cream Month and include making (and tasting) ice cream!

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.

Carlyle HouseSaturday, August 29 – Carlyle Crafts and Games Day
Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 North Fairfax Street
Bring the children and enjoy a day of 18th century crafts and games! Decorate an 18th century fan, paint a selfie (self-portrait), make a necklace, and much more. You will also have the chance to play some colonial games such as the Game of Graces, and Hoop and Stick. This event is designed for children ages 3-12, but all are welcome! Craft activities are available while supplies last. Admission to the event is FREE; tours of the museum are priced at $5 per person. 12 noon to 3 p.m. For more information, please visit www.carlylehouse.orgor call 703.549.2997.

Saturday, August 29 – Walking Tour of General Robert E. Lee Sites in Alexandria
Lee-Fendall House and Gardens, 614 Oronoco Street 
Enjoy the waning days of summer with a guided walking tour of Lee family homes in Alexandria’s Historic Old Town. The tour will highlight locations and stories associated with the Confederate general’s life in Alexandria, his hometown from the age of five and residence of his “earliest and oldest friends.” The tour will last approximately 90 minutes. Tickets are available in advance for $10 per person through the museum’s Online Store, or for $15 at the door. Tour space is limited, so the purchase of tickets in advance is highly recommended. 1 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes. FREE  for LFH Members! For more information, please visitwww.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

Sunday, August 30 – 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.

Apothecary MuseumSunday, August 30 – 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.

Monday, August 31 – 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.com or call 703-505-5998.

On Exhibit through September 6– Exhibit: FIELDS 
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Join us for the opening reception of FIELDS, featuring the work of David Carlson and Pat Goslee, two abstract painters both deeply interested in spiritual exploration and energy fields. 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.

Lee-Fendall HouseNow 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 more 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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