This Week in Historic Alexandria | News Release | City of Alexandria

This Week in Historic Alexandria
City Museums and
Historic Sites
Other Historic Sites and Resources
This Week in
Alexandria History

Tivoli Brewery

On September 9, 1891, a large fire erupted at the southeast corner of  Wythe and St. Asaph Streets, in one of the buildings operated as part of Portner’s Brewery, a  massive beer and ale bottling and storage complex extending across several blocks bounded by  Washington, Pitt, Wythe and Pendleton Streets.  The brewery was started in 1864 from humble beginnings out of the small grocery store operated by  Robert Portner, a German-born immigrant who rose to become one of Alexandria’s most prominent citizens. By 1890, Portner’s business produced over 60,000 barrels of his special brews named Vienna Cabinet and Tivoli and was one of Northern Virginia’s largest employers.
On Sale Now

Paving the Streets in Alexandria

Six beautiful homes, built from the late 1700s to the early 1990s, will be open to the public on Saturday, September 26 for the 74th annual Tour of Homes in Historic Old Town, Alexandria.

The tour, sponsored by The Twig, the junior auxiliary of Inova Alexandria Hospital, is expected to raise more than $30,000 for the hospital. While some of this year’s homes are of relatively new construction, others have been transformed from their original use, such as a warehouse or a market. Art collections, antiques, and eye catching interiors will be on display. Several homes also have breath-taking gardens that will also be open for the tour. Advance purchase tickets for the homes tour may now be purchased through September 23, 2015 for $35 per person online via the Twig’s website, www.thetwig.org or at the Ramsay House Visitor’s Center at 221 King Street.

As I RememberA major new acquisition by the City of Alexandria’s Office of Historic Alexandria is the Lewis Cass White Collection recently donated to Fort Ward Museum by Joseph and Sharon Scopin, authors of a new publication, As I Remember, which will be the focus of a special book signing and reception at the Museum on Saturday, September 12 (see entry below).

Lewis Cass White was a Union veteran of the 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry. He fought in 24 battles, and served throughout the war until he lost a hand at Cedar Creek in the fall of 1864. Among the notable engagements he participated in was the Battle of Fort Stevens, the only battle to occur in the Civil War Defenses of Washington and the only time that an American president came under direct enemy fire while in office. White’s collection of personal reminiscences, a daily diary, correspondence with fellow soldiers, speeches, and veterans’ eyewitness accounts of President Lincoln under fire at Fort Stevens shed new light on the important events of that 1864 battle. Selected items from the collection will be on exhibit for the book signing event.

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the extensive system of Union forts that comprised the Civil War Defenses of Washington. The Museum features exhibits, programs and special events throughout the year. For more information on the Lewis Cass White collection, please call Fort Ward Museum at 703.746.4848.

Lloyd HouseWednesday, September 9 – Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission
Lloyd House, 220 N. Washington St.
Regular Monthly Meeting, Free! 8 a.m. Please call 703-746-4554 for more information.

 Wednesday, September 9 – Alexandria Archaeological Commission Subccommittee Meeting
Virginia Theological Seminary – Addison Academic Center, Café 1823
Meeting of the Threatened and Endangered Historic Sites Sub-committee.  Free! 6:30 p.m. Please call 703-746-4399 for more information.

Thursday, September 10 – Second Thursday Live: Rhythm & Roots Experience 
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Rhythm & Roots Players bring invigorating and inspirational West African rhythm, wisdom, song, and dance straight to Old Town. Come see what Alexandria might have been like if early Africans had been more free to share their culture! Highly experiential performance that will grab and change you. Tickets are priced at $15 per person and are available online. For more information, please visitwww.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

Lee-Fendall HouseSaturday, September 12 – Lee-Fendall House presents a Civil War Walking Tour
Tour leaves from outside The Lyceum, 201South Washington Street
The Lee-Fendall House will offer a guided walking tour of Civil War sites in historic Old Town that will begin outside The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum at 201 South Washington Street. Discover locations and stories associated with soldiers, citizens, and the enslaved, including Robert E. Lee’s departure from his hometown, the occupation of Alexandria, and emancipation. The tour will last approximately 2 hours and the tour route is approximately 1.75 miles. Tickets are $12 in advance through the Online Store, or $15 per person the day of the program. FREE for LFH Members! For more information, please visit www.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

Saturday, September 12 – Family Dig Days
101 Callahan Drive, on the Grounds of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial
This activity is presented in three parts, beginning with an introduction to the history and archaeology of the Shuter’s Hill Site, followed by a site tour, and finally gathering around the screens to sift through excavated soil collecting artifacts. The bags of artifacts will be sent to the laboratory in the Museum for processing. All the necessary equipment will be furnished, but please wear comfortable clothes, boots or sturdy shoes (no sandals), and bring a water bottle. Individuals and families are welcome. Children under sixteen years of age must be accompanied by a participating adult. $5 fee per person is non-refundable, space is limited and reservations are required. 1:30 to 3 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4399.

Saturday, September 12 – Authors’ Book Signing & Reception at Fort Ward Museum
Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road
Learn more about an extraordinary local Civil War veteran, Lewis Cass White, and his compiled papers and memorabilia at an authors’ signing and reception for the book, As I Remember, at Fort Ward Museum. The publication, by Joseph and Sharon Scopin, details White’s story (see “What’s New” segment above) and his collection, which was accidentally found by the authors while cleaning out an elderly relative’s basement.

The book features material and objects from the Lewis Cass White collection, as well as an introduction by Defenses of Washington historian, B. Franklin Cooling. The publication will be offered at the book signing for the special price of $35, which includes tax. Only cash or check will be accepted. Attendance at the event is free! 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4848.

InvitationalSunday, September 13 – The Athenaeum Invitational Opening Reception
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Join us for the opening reception of the Athenaeum Invitational. This exhibit is generously sponsored by TTR | Sotheby’s International Realty. Free! 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

Monday, September 14 – 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.

Monday, September 14 – Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee 
City Hall, 301 King Street, Sister Cities Conference Room 1101
Regular Monthly Meeting, Free! 7 p.m. Please call 703-746-4554 for more information.

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 more information, please visit www.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

Fort WardNow 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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